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The Settlement Council of Australia (SCoA) and Volunteering Australia have today released their report, ‘Volunteering and Settlement in Australia’, with a snapshot of the volunteering activities of new migrants and refugees in Australia.
In the settlement sector, 65 per cent of new arrivals to Australia volunteered within the first 18 months of their arrival to Australia, to contribute to society, make friends, improve their English or gain local work experience.
SCoA CEO Tammy Wolffs noted, “Nearly one-third of all Australians are volunteers (31 per cent). It’s more than double within refugee and migrant communities, with our research indicating that more than two-thirds supported their communities through their volunteering work.”
Additionally, 88 per cent of services reported that greater support is needed through funding, culturally appropriate training programs and material, new partnerships and resource sharing.
Volunteering Australia CEO Adrienne Picone said, “The report highlights the need for more formal support and funding for both volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations to enable safe, effective and sustainable volunteering in the settlement sector.”
This report is based on a National Survey on Volunteering and Settlement in Australia and identifies possible themes for more research and areas for policy development and advocacy. The report makes recommendations to support volunteering in the settlement sector.