They’re the unsung heroes who keep our communities ticking. The mums and dads behind the canteen counter at Saturday morning sport. The boys and girls in yellow, green and orange who are at the front line when disaster strikes. The retirees who donate their time to care for those less fortunate than them. The selfless souls who wear their hearts on their sleeve, and who help the causes they believe in by giving something of themselves.
About 31 per cent of the Australian population – or 5.8 million people – volunteer in some capacity. In SA, more than 920,000 people volunteer, contributing about 1.76 million volunteer hours each week.
If you look around – at work, school or even the street you live on – you will no doubt see someone who is making a difference to the community by donating something we hesitate to put a value on: time.
But did you know that volunteer work equates to 107,400 full-time jobs, worth $4.9 billion each year? Australian volunteers deliver an overall economic contribution of $290 billion annually – bigger than mining, retail or agriculture. In fact, volunteering is bigger than all three of them put together.
These are massive numbers, and in SA, it’s no different.
Volunteering touches every section of Australian society including, but not limited to, education, emergency services, sport and recreation, arts and heritage, as well as social services. The far-reaching contribution volunteering makes builds strong and resilient Australian communities.
State government research has indicated, unsurprisingly for those who live there, that in rural and regional areas figures show higher rates for volunteering.
Volunteers are the backbone of their communities.
Research says if you give time to volunteer you will feel happier and more content – doesn’t that make it all worth it?