Australia’s first National Strategy for Volunteering in a decade


National Strategy for Volunteering co-created by stakeholders from across the volunteering ecosystem launched at the biennial National Volunteering Conference.

Following a rigorous and inspiring 12-month co-design journey Australia has a new shared agenda for a reimagined future for volunteering. This strategy provides a blueprint for the next ten years that will enable volunteering in Australia to thrive.

“The National Strategy for Volunteering was designed and will be owned by all of us. It presents our collective vision for a future where volunteering is at the heart of Australian communities,” said Mark Pearce, Volunteering Australia CEO.

Thousands of stakeholders participated in online consultations, interviews, participatory design workshops, working groups, surveys, and a bespoke research project to build the National Strategy for Volunteering. The culmination of this process identified a unifying vision, three focus areas and aims, and eleven strategic objectives.

The National Strategy for Volunteering identified what needs to be prioritised to ensure volunteering is safe, supported, and sustainable in the future.

These priorities are captured under the three focus areas of the new strategy:

  1. Collective efforts must be directed towards enhancing the volunteer experience.
  2. A more comprehensive understanding of the value of volunteering to Australian communities and society.
  3. The right policy conditions, infrastructure, and support need to be in place to maximise the impact of volunteering.

The Strategy was funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, led by Volunteering Australia, and co-designed by the entire volunteering ecosystem.

“As far as we are aware, this is the first time globally that a project of national significance has been undertaken in this way,” added Pearce.

“We are grateful to the Department of Social Services for their partnership on this historic piece of work and we thank the thousands of stakeholders who contributed their time and expertise.”

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth emphasised that the Strategy will address the increasing demand for volunteers and boost sustainability in the sector.

“The National Strategy for Volunteering is the blueprint for how we will create a future in which volunteering can continue to be a rewarding experience for those who volunteer and for those in our community who benefit from it,” said Rishworth.

“We know the Strategy will not provide all the answers to the problems we face, but it will provide expert guidance to face these challenges head-on.”

The National Strategy for Volunteering can be downloaded from

Related: Volunteering Australia responds to the Federal Budget release