National Volunteer Week

Ministers Statements

Ms MIKAKOS (Minister for Families and Children) (12:21:53) — I rise to update the house on the Andrews Labor government’s investment in volunteering. Through the 2018–19 Victorian budget the Andrews Labor government are providing more funding to support Victoria’s volunteers as we want to encourage more people to volunteer in their local community, which is often also a pathway to employment.

This week is National Volunteer Week, and this year’s theme, ‘Give a little, change a lot’, recognises the profound impact volunteering has just through people giving their time. To mark National Volunteer Week last Friday the Parliamentary Secretary for Volunteers, Gabrielle Williams, the member for Cranbourne in the Assembly, Jude Perera, and the Labor candidate for Cranbourne, Pauline Richards, met with volunteers Roy Snook and Christine Marsh from the Cranbourne Regional Uniting Church food truck, which offers a safe environment and family meal experience for Victorians in need. I take this opportunity to thank Roy and Christine and the many others who provide their time and effort to make life easier and more enjoyable for others in our community.

Victoria’s volunteer sector is worth more than $23 billion to the state economy — a figure that is expected to increase to $42 billion by 2021. That is why our government is investing a further $500 000 over two years to make it easier and simpler for volunteers to do what they do best. This funding will help develop and deliver a training and mentoring program for managers of volunteers, to support broader uptake of the national standards for volunteer involvement and to support best practice management approaches in small and medium-sized volunteer-based organisations. It will also enable a series of technology trials to be conducted to test the effectiveness and feasibility of different types of products in generating and supporting volunteering activity across a range of locations.

I take this opportunity to commend my parliamentary secretary, Gabby Williams, for the important work that she has been doing in leading the Ministerial Council for Volunteers, and I note that this funding comes on top of $145 000 already provided in the 2018–19 financial year to support the work of that ministerial council. I am constantly humbled by Victoria’s vibrant volunteering sector, and I want to conclude by simply saying two words to the over 1.5 million Victorians who volunteer each year, and they are ‘thank you’.