The Volunteering Strategy for South Australia was launched in February 2014 by the South Australian Government in partnership with Volunteering SA&NT, Business SA and the Local Government Association of SA.

It provides a practical ‘blueprint’ for action that will result in real and lasting improvements to the volunteer experience in South Australia. Over 500 South Australian stakeholders contributed to develop the strategy through roundtable meetings, workshops, social media and an on-line survey.

The strategy articulates a vision for volunteering in South Australia that is distinctly  South Australian and reflects our social and economic way of life.

The strategy has identified four focus areas and sets out a framework of priorities to support decision making and policy development to 2027. Click below to find out more about each of the focus areas.

Focus Areas

Invest in the foundations of volunteering

This focus area will ensure that volunteers are welcomed and valued by society and are given the opportunity to develop according to their individual abilities, needs and aspirations.

Why?

As interest in volunteering grows, volunteer involving organisations need to be supported to build their capacity to inclusively recruit, train and support volunteers. The aim is to deliver experiences that match the needs, aspirations and lifestyles of volunteers and higher standards of volunteer management.

Key priorities

1.1 Raise the status and profile of volunteering within organisational structures.

1.2 Increase the diversity of volunteering opportunities to better engage under-represented groups.

1.3 Partner in the update and increase the update of the National Volunteer Standards.

1.4 Enhancing regional communities through volunteering.

 

Promote and inform on the benefits of volunteering

This focus area will raise the profile of volunteering in South Australia to ensure all facets of the community have a greater understanding of the benefits of volunteering, with the ultimate goal of facilitating greater participation. A key challenge is to create and strengthen more resilient communities by sourcing volunteers to meet demand.

Why?

Where there are issues such as shortages of volunteers, marginalised groups being underrepresented or people from diverse backgrounds facing barriers to inclusion, it is vital that the benefits of volunteering are accessible to all volunteer-involving organisations. This builds community wellbeing and a robust civil society.

Key priorities

2.1 Develop a holistic promotion strategy for volunteer recruitment with a unified message – particularly for  CALD communities and other marginal groups.

2.2 Promote positive images of volunteers and the diversity of volunteering roles.

2.3 Identify innovative and new models for volunteer reward and recognition. Consider social media, tablet applications, youth incentives and/or passport recognition schemes.

2.4 Research and promote the benefits of corporate volunteering and encourage employers to provide employee-working arrangements, which facilitate volunteering in the community.

2.5 Recognise volunteering as both a pathway to employment for young people and a pathway to retirement for older people, with multiple outcomes for individual wellbeing and connections to community.

Implement leading practice and high quality standards.

This focus area will support an active infrastructure that is essential to inclusive and sustained volunteer involvement. Issues that impede volunteering need to be responded to and more effective policy interventions need to be initiated to support volunteering.

Why?

Governments, business and volunteer involving organisations need to work together to ensure that regulatory requirements are as clear and uncomplicated as possible and that future policy decisions take into account any potential impact on volunteering.

Key priorities

3.1 Identify issues and gaps in the rights of volunteers in terms of work health safety, governance and recognition.

3.2 Review government and private funding criteria to include volunteer costs, training and management.

3.3 Investigate the transferability of criminal history record checks across organisations and jurisdictions.

3.3 Improve access to information on regulatory requirements, good governance and risk management for use of volunteer-led community organisations – which will lead to reduced ‘red tape’. Bring resources that support volunteering together in one place on-line for better accessibility. Promote the simplification of volunteer recruitment processes and consider common templates where it makes sense.

Progressively adapt through continuous improvement.

The value of volunteering to individuals and communities needs to be recognised across South Australia. This focus area ensures the impact of volunteering on individuals, organisations and communities is measured consistently with the aim of continuous improvement and advocacy.

Why?

There is a lack of information about the scale and impact of volunteering. This focus area generates and tests potential solutions to overcome barriers to volunteering and ensures the strategy remains focused on collaborative action and results.

Key priorities

4.1 Support the national review of the definition of volunteering. Support research and advocacy that documents the value and impact of volunteering.

4.2 Address the ‘time-poor’ barrier to volunteering by developing innovative avenues to volunteering such as ‘time-banking’.

4.3 Review the governance structure of the Volunteering Strategy for SA.

4.4 Review the Volunteering Strategy for SA on an annual basis to ensure it is relevant, dealing with current trends and practice and maintains partner and bi-partisan support.

Download The Volunteering Strategy for South Australia 2014-2020

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