28 February 2006
The Australian Emergency Management Volunteers Forum is currently undertaking research to find out how much it cost for individual volunteer to be involved in emergency management volunteering.
Through Emergency Management Australia funding has been made available to develop a national survey of such volunteers to examine the negative direct cash costs and in kind contributions that volunteers make over a 12-month period as a result of such volunteering commitment.
The Research and Planning Unit of Anglicare Sydney has carried out the first stage of this two-stage project and have designed and piloted a questionnaire on one of the Forum agencies – the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol.
The pilot results were very promising and it is intended that in 2006 Stage 2 of the project, a national survey of emergency services volunteers, will be implemented. Underpinning the project is the knowledge that this research is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
There has been considerable national and international research on valuing volunteer contributions, the costs to the agencies and retention factors but there has never yet been a comprehensive national survey that gauges the costs to the volunteers themselv%s.
It is expected that the results of this survey will enable intelligent and informed advocacy to Government on the cost of volunteering to our members.