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National Volunteer Week celebrates volunteer contribution

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Volunteers will have their time to shine this week with National Volunteer Week taking place from the 9th-15th of May.

Brett Williamson CEO Volunteering Australia, said the theme ‘give happy, live happy’ celebrates that there is so much more to volunteering than simply giving your time and skills to help others.

“This National Volunteer Week we say thank you to the six million Australian volunteers and celebrate that they are living healthier, happier and more meaningful lives by volunteering,” said Williamson.

“Volunteering is a core part of the community and plays a critical role in Australian society, and in Australia’s economy. 57 per cent of staff in volunteer involving organisations are volunteers, and they form a formidable workforce powering many essential community, environmental, sporting, welfare, emergency services, education and cultural services and supports.”

The 2016 State of Volunteering in Australia report found that 86 per cent of volunteer involving organisations need more volunteers.

Dr Lisa O’Brien CEO The Smith Family said, “Generous volunteers donated an estimated 516,700 hours of service to The Smith Family last year, with around 5,000 volunteers directly supporting disadvantaged students as trained mentors, tutors and reading buddy supervisors.

“In addition, 94 per cent of surveyed volunteers said they would talk positively to family, friends and colleagues about their volunteering experience at The Smith Family,” said O’Brien.

“I sincerely thank each and every one of our volunteers donating their time, talent and expertise to ensure we’re able to continue to provide critical education support to more than 124,000 disadvantaged children and their families. We couldn’t do it without you.”

Rebecca Lane Bicycle Network General Manager said, “We will have around 5,000 people enjoying the Grampians and Great Ocean Road later this year but without the contribution of 400 volunteers the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride wouldn’t happen, it’s that simple.”

Lane said volunteering on a major event such as the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride was a great way to make a difference to a community, explore new places and meet friendly people.

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