National consultation on the Department of Social Services Volunteer Management Program

Don’t miss this important opportunity to inform the future of federal funding for volunteering.

This session is now fully booked. A second session will be held on Friday 2 March which you can register for and attend. If you are unable to attend either session, please complete the survey. Thank you.

Join mpconsulting and Volunteering Queensland for a consultation workshop to review the Department of Social Services (DSS) Volunteer Management Program (VMP). You are invited to contribute ideas and discussion of potential new models for volunteering funding and service delivery. Together we will unpack the pros and cons of existing models and approaches, and focus on the needs, challenges and opportunities for change to maximise the potential of volunteering in both the Queensland and national context.

The existing federally funded VMP has been in place for some 15 years with 52 volunteer support service organisations funded across Australia, seven (7) of which are in Queensland. Although the program has seen a number of changes during this time, VMP has essentially focussed on volunteer support services to build capacity and capability of volunteer-involving organisations to recruit, manage, grow and develop volunteers in their local area. These volunteers support the organisation they engage with to deliver vital services and achieve its mission. In recent years VMP has also focussed on supporting people experiencing disadvantage into volunteering as a pathway to reconnection and participation. 

In 2017, following a threat of funding withdrawal for VMP, a successful national advocacy campaign (‘Tower of Strength’) was mounted and with strong support from the volunteering sector, VMP funding was reinstated for three and one half (3.5) years. The Minister at the time (The Hon Christian Porter MP) also signed off on a review of VMP to determine its future at the end of the extended funding cycle. Mpconsulting was contracted by DSS to undertake the review.

This consultation is your opportunity to inform the future of federal funding of volunteering – whether in its existing VMP format, a new funding model, or not funded at all. With Queensland volunteer numbers below the national average, with significant gaps in volunteer support services across the state, and low per capita funding support compared with other states and territories, it is critical that Queensland’s voice is heard in this consultation.  

Without federal funding for volunteer support services there would be a huge void in our sector. Volunteering support services will not be able to:

  • Help you find suitable volunteers to match your needs
  • Support good volunteer management practice through training, professional development, technology, research and resources
  • Promote volunteering and volunteer opportunities and participation in the community
  • Undertake important advocacy and policy work to advance volunteering
  • Support your workload and save your volunteer program money and time
  • Strengthen and connect Queensland communities through volunteering

Volunteering is an issue of national interest and importance. Not only does volunteering (formal and informal) comprise our largest workforce by industry, it contributes significantly to the economic and social well-being of our nation, as well as our state and local community. Volunteering requires a whole of government investment from across all levels of government.

As a valued stakeholder, it is important for you to be at the consultation to contribute to the review and help frame its outcomes and the future of federal funding for volunteering.

All views will be respected and submitted for consideration by DSS.

Below is a snapshot of the value provided by volunteering support services:

The consultation workshop will commence with an overview of the current VMP, the objectives and focus of the review and early observations (to test whether these resonate). The consultation will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of the current VMP and volunteering support services
  • Challenges and opportunities for volunteer management in the future
  • Participants’ experience and knowledge of best practice models for volunteer support, development and management
  • New ideas and innovations, and
  • Ways in which the effectiveness and efficiency of the VMP could be improved.

Date: Thursday 1 March 2018

Time: 10:00am – 12:30pm

Venue: 66 on Ernest, TAFE Queensland, 66 Ernest Street, South Brisbane

Public Transport is recommended as South Bank Train Station, South Bank Bus Station and South Bank Ferry Terminals are all within walking distance. Car parking is nearby on Ernest Street, Little Stanley Street, Tribune Street and Vulture Street or the public pay carparks of South Bank, Convention Centre.

To enter the venue:

  • Go to Ernest Street in the heart of TAFE South Bank
  • You will see a courtyard area at Block C with big green seats, a coffee shop and the library to the left and Student Services to the right
  • Proceed to the end of this courtyard to a stairwell that will take you up to Level 1 and 66 on Ernest
  • Lift access is to the left of the stairs, towards the Library.

RSVP: by Thursday 22 February to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

While it is in your best interests to attend in person, if you are unable to make it to the workshop there are a number of ways you can still be involved in this important discussion:

  • Email any feedback on your experience of the VMP or volunteering support services to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 31 March 2018.
  • Complete a survey designed to obtain input from volunteers, volunteering support services and volunteer-involving organisations by 31 March 2018. Take the survey online:

We need to work together to ensure volunteering is always valued and financially supported at a federal level, and that the voice and contribution of Queensland’s volunteering sector is heard and adequately resourced so that we can continue to advance volunteering for Queensland’s and Australia’s economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being.