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Collaboration on a national volunteering strategy begins

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The Advisory Group was appointed and is chaired by Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens. The Group will be a key source of expertise and advice to guide Australia’s vision for volunteering to 2021.

Senator Stephens also chaired a video-conference with State and Territory Ministers on 23 October 2009 to work collaboratively towards a National Volunteering Strategy. The Strategy will formally recognise the importance of volunteering in Australia and outline the Australian Government’s commitments to supporting and encouraging Australia’s diverse volunteers.

The Strategy will be released in 2011 in time to mark the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Year of Volunteering.

Senator Stephens said volunteers are crucial to the wellbeing of our society.

“The Australian and State and Territory governments are strongly committed to working in collaboration to promote and celebrate volunteers. All levels of government recognise and support their volunteers in a variety of ways and the purpose of working together on the strategy is to better align these efforts and to share best practice.

“Volunteering delivers a number of key social and economic benefits including creating supporting community resilience, enriching our cultural life and protecting out natural environment. They also play a significant economic role, with voluntary work contributing approximately 713 million hours to the community worth approximately $42 billion to the economy.

Ministers agreed to meet again to progress their collaborative work on a National Volunteering Strategy.

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