The 2016 Census was released today, with data revealing that Australians are still engaged and committed to volunteering activities.

Volunteering Queensland's 2017 State Volunteering Conference was a resounding success, enabling volunteer-involving organisations to advance their cause, inspiring programs and people, and increasing overall knowledge and understanding of the volunteering industry. On 8 and 9 June 2017, over 80 delegates from across Queensland came together for the inaugural State Volunteering Conference. The delegates were presented with a wealth of information, strategic and practical advice, support and encouragement through engaging presentations by renowned experts, panel discussions, interactive workshops and networking opportunities that prompted conversation on the volunteering climate. Many of the conference presenters travelled far and wide, from interstate or overseas, to share their knowledge and insights to better the future of volunteering throughout Queensland and the wider Australian community. We would like to extend our gratitude to all of our wonderful and inspiring dignitaries, delegates, presenters, panel members, facilitators, board, staff and volunteers who made the conference such a huge triumph. And, a big thank you to our conference sponsor Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Conducted every five years, the Census is the largest form of information gathering in Australia. The Census tells us things about the way that every day Australians live, and helps us to plan for the future. Statistics tell us that every year over 6 million Australians volunteer – but we want to know if that’s the whole picture.  With the re-release of the National Definition of Volunteering in 2015, we looked deeper than ever before at the diverse ways in which people volunteer.

Volunteering Queensland commends the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency (ASIA) on the release of their Modern Australian Communities report, the ninth instalment of their Australian Seniors Series, for the valuable insights the study provides on the state of volunteering.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducts the Census of Population and Housing every five years – the next Census is on 9 August 2016. It’s crucial that everyone in Australia participates on Census night as the Census gives us a snapshot of Australia. Importantly, it will allow us to see the differences in the community between our last Census, which was conducted in 2011 until now. Census data supports funding and planning for services and infrastructure in the community, including housing, transport, education, industry, hospitals, and the environment.

Dr. Megan Paull’s workshop: Dealing with the tough stuff – Managing the confrontational aspects of working with volunteers, explored the difficult questions on every volunteer manager’s mind. Booked out well in advance, their respect for volunteers was shown by this enthusiasm to understand how to approach challenging issues with due consideration.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have launched a national public consultation on statistics for volunteering and giving to clarify the data needs for information on volunteering and giving activity. The Australian Census has included an unchanged volunteering question in the past three Censuses. In light of this, the ABS is considering questions for Census 2021 and reviewing the questions accordingly. Volunteering Australia appreciates the opportunity to provide a response on statistics for volunteering and giving activity. We would like to acknowledge the importance of volunteering to the Australian communities’ workforce participation, inclusion and social cohesion. There would be a gap in skills and services without Australia’s volunteering sector.

Volunteering Australia has released their 'Value of Volunteering Support Services' research project.

In the lead up to the 2019 Federal Election, Volunteering Australia calls for all parties to adopt a policy platform that responds to the needs of the volunteering sector and grows a culture of giving in Australia