Welcome from the CEO

I enjoy new beginnings, the beginning of a book, new babies, a new city, or the beginning of the year. Each is filled with promise and expectation. Will the book’s heroine be triumphant, will that baby be a maths champion, and will I find my way in the new city? The beginning of a new year is something we experience together and therefore is filled with community expectation, as well as personal.

In the second half of last year, Volunteering and Contact ACT took some time to look at who we are, what we do, why we do it, what we are expected to do, and our effectiveness.  Following we asked, ‘What else should we do?'.

With a vision of ‘an engaged community enriched by volunteering, participation and knowledge’ we have embarked on some new projects for 2017.

First of these is managing the volunteer elements at the National Multicultural Festival, for the ACT Government.  During the three days of the Festival we shall manage around 350 volunteers. 

In response to member feedback we have also expanded our education program. For organisations involving volunteers we have developed a series of presentations that looks at doing business, and addressing the added complexity of involving volunteers. The first presentation, on Thursday 23 February will look at Cyber Security and Confidentiality. CEOs, CFOs, general managers and volunteer managers are invited to attend.  More information on the Specialist Knowledge Series can be found here.  

We have created some opportunities for participation in volunteering through two new events – the Executive HELPout, in April, and three Community Impact Days during the year. These events will assist the Canberra Community to engage in volunteering. More on these events soon. A list of all our activities can be found here.

Nominations for the 2017 Volunteering Awards, Canberra Region opens today! This is an opportunity for organisations to publicly recognise their volunteers, volunteer managers and programs. Some new awards have been added this year. Awards for Profound Influence, Innovation, and Thought and Leadership now complement the Volunteer, Young Volunteer and Senior Volunteer of the Year Awards. More information on the 2017 Volunteering Awards, Canberra Region can be found here.

The new year has begun and the Volunteering and Contact ACT staff in City Walk, and the Contact Shopfront, anticipate a busy and productive 2017, and with you, building an engaged community enriched by volunteering, participation and knowledge.

New Members
Welcome to our new members for January 2017. Click on the links to read more about each organisation.
Leapfrog Adventures Incorporated 
National Arboretum Canberra 

We would love to hear from our members as to how your volunteer programs are progressing or how you are benefiting from the community directory. Do you have any stories or comments to share? If so, please email us here.
Member of the Month

National Arboretum Canberra 
The National Arboretum Canberra is a living collection of forests and an entertainment and events centre offering spectacular views and unique experiences. It is home to 94 forests of international significance, being grown for recreation, education and conservation. It fosters ongoing local, national, international, government, community and corporate interests.

We aim to engage visitors and build community interest to increase their understanding of the Arboretum and its role in global biodiversity conservation. Volunteering offers the community a variety of opportunities to contribute to the ongoing development of the Arboretum.
The Friends of the Arboretum began engaging the community in a variety of volunteering activities in 2008 and continues to support the Arboretum through a large guiding program, working bees,  a harvesting group and various research projects. The Arboretum enjoys collaborating with community groups who bring their own expertise to further the growth of this remarkable landscape.
For more information about volunteering at the National Arboretum Canberra please email, phone 02 6207 8484 or visit our website.
Staff News 
Australia Day is a day driven by communities that reflect on what it is to be Australian. We recognised the contribution of two staff members, Sarah Wilson and Jen Hutson, with Australia Day certificates.
Sarah and Jen have both made a great contribution to our community through their roles at Volunteering and Contact ACT. Sarah joined VCA’s paid staff in 2014, after a stint as a volunteer writing, 100 Volunteer Stories for Canberra’s 100th Anniversary. She has a passion for volunteering and her knowledge will be well utilised in her new role as Policy and Education Manager.

Jen joined the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in 2004 as the Shopfront supervisor and Volunteer coordinator. While the name has changed, her commitment to assisting people has not wavered.
We welcome our new Communications and Events Coordinator Sarah Andersen. Sarah has a background in brand strategy and communication and is excited to become a part of the VCA community.
Member's Events

COTA ACT have the following events on

  • 17 March - Official launch: Seniors Week 2017
  • 21 March - Chief Ministers Concert - 10:30am at Albert Hall, includes a performance by the RMC Band and the Australian Rugby Choir. This free concert has booked out for the past four years, so be sure to reserve your space early.
  • 23 March - The Seniors Expo - 10am-3pm. This Expo attracts 120 exhibitors and upwards of 2,000 older Canberrans to get information on government and community, health, lifestyle, finance, travel, retirement, aged care, home help and modifications and more. Exhibition spaces are still available so contact us now.
  • 24 March - Positive Ageing Awards - 12:30pm. These awards recognise and celebrate the positive ways older Canberrans contribute to the community and how people in the community contribute to the lives of older Canberrans.
For more information on the above events contact COTA ACT directly: websiteemail or call 6282 3777.

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

2nd Tuesday of every month 
10am - 2pm |  
Register here

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 1: Cyber Security & Confidentiality
23 February  |  9:00 - 11:30am

Register here

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

4th Friday of every month
10am - 2pm

An opportunity for members of the public to meet various community organisations and learn about their valuable work. If you would like to know more about this event, or if your organisation is interested in participating, please email us here.

Policy, Research & Education

Volunteering and Contact ACT is pleased to announce that Sarah Wilson has moved into the new role of Policy & Education Manager. Sarah will be responsible for driving VCA’s policy, research, and education portfolios. Each month we will bring you interesting research being done in the sector and information on emerging policy issues. Sarah has been responsible for creating the Specialist Knowledge Series, aimed at helping you do volunteering business better.

This month we are seeking your feedback on topics for research that will benefit your organisation and volunteering programs.

If there are any topics you would like us to explore please email them to Sarah.
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Volunteering and Contact ACT · Level 2 · 202 City Walk · Canberra, Act 2600 · Australia

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