Welcome from the CEO

Firstly, thank you to the two-hundred volunteers who, through VCA, were stage managers, MC’s, team leaders, crowd control and festival volunteers at the 2017 National Multicultural Festival.  It was great to see all those purple vests roaming the city footprint. Without volunteers, the Festival would not exist. VCA also talked ‘all things volunteering’ for three days at the Canberra Show, and welcomed new Defence Families to Canberra.

Feedback from the first of our Specialist Knowledge Series was that the higher-level information is invaluable for volunteer involving organisations. The next presentation, on 23 March, will navigate the volunteering complexities in relation to Ethics, Risk Management and the Law.  The first of our Quarterly forums is on March 9, the day following International Women’s Day. Fittingly, it will focus on women and volunteering.

Throughout the year, VCA meets regularly with the other State/Territory peak bodies and Volunteering Australia, to work on national projects. Most recently our focus was the proposed volunteering grants model from the Department of Social Services, and its impact on communities throughout Australia. We have developed an ongoing advocacy campaign. See below for more.

A reminder that the nominations for the 2017 Volunteering Awards close at the end of March. What a wonderful way to recognise the significant contribution that volunteers and volunteer involving programs make to your organisation, and the Canberra Community. The Awards will be presented on Monday 8 May, at 6pm at the National Arboretum during National Volunteer Week (8-14 May 2017).

We are well into 2017, and look forward to meeting and working with members at one of the many engagements we have schedule in the next few months.

Glenda Stevens

National Advocacy

On Valentine’s Day, Volunteering and Contact ACT (VCA) joined Volunteering Australia (VA) and fellow State/ Territory peaks to ‘Share the Love’ for Volunteer Support Services at Parliament House. Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter MP, and Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Social Services, Louise Pratt, spoke at the event, attended by politicians and representatives of volunteer support services from around the country.

The morning was an opportunity to speak about the value that volunteer management, volunteer support services and peak bodies bring to Australia, and to raise concerns about DSS’s Stronger and Resilient Communities grants program. This new program omits designated funding for volunteer support services, and flags a de-prioritisation of volunteer management and volunteer support services, such as Volunteering and Contact ACT, by the Federal Government.

Effective, safe, productive and efficient volunteering does not “just happen” and it is not free. It requires expertise, leadership and local knowledge, as well as effective workforce management. Volunteer support services, like VCA, provide infrastructure in communities to lead, enable and build capacity to recruit and retain volunteers in a wide variety of organisations and services.

Following our advocacy, a motion by Senator Louise Pratt called for the importance of funding for volunteer management services to be recognised. The motion was passed by the Senate.

VCA will continue to advocate as part of the VA network, and independently, for the discrete funding for Volunteer Support Service to be reinstated. As volunteer-involving organisations enables, amongst other things, government programs to be more effective which results in stronger and more resilient communities.
We would love to hear from our Members

We would like to know how your volunteering programs are progressing or how you are benefiting from the ACT Community Directory. Do you have any stories or comments to share? If so, please email us here.
Member of the Month

Cystic Fibrosis 
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) ACT has a vision of people living lives unaffected by CF. It is their mission to improve the quality of life for people with CF and their carers, and their goal to provide support services, education and research that will help people with CF. For more info on this organisation please email or call 0437 485 454.
Nominate now for your favourite individual or group of volunteers!

We are proud to again host the Volunteering Awards, Canberra Region. This is a time when the volunteers of our community are recoginised for their commitment throughout the year. Our major event sponsor for 2017 is Beyond Bank, and we thank them for their support. We are excited to introduce the "Going Beyond" award.

We encourage all our members to get nominating now! Here are the award categories:
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Volunteer Team of the Year
  • Young Volunteer of the Year
  • Senior Volunteer of the Year
  • Profound Influence Award
  • Innovation Award
  • Thought and Leadership Award
  • Peoples’ Choice Award
  • Going Beyond Award

...Nominations close 29 March 2017.
National Multicultural Festival - thank you to our amazing volunteers!

This year we had the absolute pleasure of managing the volunteers for the 2017 National Multicultural Festival. Over the three days we welcomed more than 200 volunteers into our office and onto the Festival Footprint. We want to give an enormous THANK YOU to everyone that gave us their time over this weekend; the Festival would not have run as successfully without you.

Seeking a Social Support Volunteer

Our Connections Program is seeking volunteers. Did you know that Canberra has the highest rate of mental illness in the country? That over 75 000 Canberrans are affected by mental illness every year? Poor mental health can lead to social isolation and disconnection from the community.

Volunteers provide valued one-to-one social support to socially isolated women and men with a mental illness living in Canberra. If you would like to be a support volunteer please express your interest here.
2017 Volunteer Management Progress Report
For the second year in a row renowned volunteer management expert Tobi Johnson has released the ‘Volunteer Management Progress Report.’ Notably in 2017, 14% of respondents were located in Australia, a significant increase from the 2016 report. The report found that having sufficient time continues to be a struggle for volunteer managers, and that recruiting the right volunteers remains an obstacle. On a positive note, most leaders of volunteers are satisfied, feel supported in their role, and intend to continue working in the field.
To read the full report click here.
VCA 2017-18 Local Pre-Budget Submission

Download document here.
Members' Events

St John Ambulance ACT are offering the following free first aid information sessions targeted at retirees, seniors, the elderly and their families.

  • 22 March – Seniors week session – 10:00am-12:00pm covering CPR, Defibrillation, heart attack and stroke
  • 29 March – Medical emergencies – 10:00am-11:30am covering heart attack, stroke, burns, anaphylaxis and asthma
  • 27 April – What if the worst happens – 7:00pm-8:30pm covering CPR, defibrillation and choking
  • 25 May – Medical emergencies – 7:00pm-8:30pm covering heart attack, stroke, burns, anaphylaxis and asthma
  • 28 June – What if the worst happens – 2:00pm-3:30pm covering CPR, defibrillation and choking
  • 26 July – Medical emergencies – 2:00pm-3:30pm covering heart attack, stroke, burns, anaphylaxis and asthma
  • 26 August – What if the worst happens – 2:00pm-3:30pm covering CPR, defibrillation and choking
  • 16 September – Medical emergencies – 2:00pm-3:30pm covering heart attack, stroke, burns, anaphylaxis and asthma
  • 24 October – What if the worst happens – 7:00pm-8:30pm covering CPR, defibrillation and choking
  • 21 November – Medical emergencies – 7:00pm-8:30pm covering heart attack, stroke, burns, anaphylaxis and asthma
All sessions are at 14 Thesiger court Deakin. RSVP at 6282 2399 or (Please note these sessions are up a flight of stairs)

If your organisation would like to share any events with our community please email us.
Volunteering and Contact ACT Events 

Guest Speaker - Jeanette Purkis

9 March  |  9am - 12pm
Venue: The Youth Coalition of the ACT (46 Clianthus St, O'Connor)
Cost: Free members/ $80 non-members

Register here

To celebrate International Womens Day we are delighted to be welcoming guest speaker Jeanette Purkis to speak about women and volunteering. Jeanette was the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year, and is currently one of three finalists for the 2017 ACT Woman of the Year. Jeanette is an author, public servant, and passionate advocate for Autistic people and their families. Join us to hear from Jeanette about her experiences as a woman in volunteering, and her storied life as a woman with a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and atypical schizophrenia.

2nd Tuesday of every month 
Next one 14 March
10am - 2pm  |  More Info

Members of the public are invited to drop in and find out about the plethora of vacant volunteering opportunities in the Canberra Region. Trained staff are on-hand to assist prospective volunteers to find the right role, and apply instantly.


Doing volunteering business better

Topic 2:
Navigating Ethics, Risk Management, and the Law

23 March  |  9am - 11:30am

Register here

When it comes to volunteer involvement the ethical, legal and political landscape is fraught with challenges. Using recent case studies, this presentation will take you through the legalities of engaging volunteers, and help you to consider the relationship between ethics, risk, and volunteer involvement.

In this monthly series of workshops, subject matter experts will show organisations how to do business better through volunteer involvement. 


Bosum Buddies
Friday 24 March  |  10am - 2pm

Bosom Buddies is a charitable organisation of volunteers who provide personal support to breast cancer patients and their families and supporters in the ACT and surrounding region. Come and meet Bosom Buddies.

For more info email us here.
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Volunteering and Contact ACT · Level 2 · 202 City Walk · Canberra, Act 2600 · Australia

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