Volunteering has been sidelined this year in the Federal Budget, according to Catherine Cini, CEO of GriefLine.
“While GriefLine recognises that $10 million has been allocated towards volunteer grants for 2017 – 2018, this funding does not acknowledge the backroom work undertaken to ensure effective volunteering,” she said.
There are 5.8 million Australians or 31 per cent of the population who engage in formal volunteering activities and programs, making an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion.
GriefLine has 200 professional allied health volunteers who help people through difficult times.
“Combined, the volunteers provide 48,000 hours of their own time each year for a service that is referred to by LifeLine, beyondblue, hospitals and the police. Helping getting somebody back on their feet and fully productive is good for everybody. Yet the budget seems to have forgotten the role of volunteers and their management.” Ms Cini said.