Chance to say thanks to WA’s vol­un­teers

The Advocate (Perth) - - NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK - Hon Mick Mur­ray MLA Vol­un­teer­ing Min­is­ter

WA values and en­cour­ages vol­un­teer­ing and we should be proud of the dif­fer­ence this ef­fort makes to a range of good causes: from sport to health, ed­u­ca­tion, cul­tural and en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives.

The eco­nomic ben­e­fit of vol­un­teer­ing is val­ued at $39 bil­lion per an­num but this fig­ure does not cap­ture the in­tan­gi­ble so­cial and cul­tural value of vol­un­teers' con­tri­bu­tion to the well­be­ing and vi­brancy of our com­mu­ni­ties.

About 80 per cent of peo­ple aged 15 years and older in WA give their time to the com­mu­nity. Na­tional Vol­un­teer­ing Week is an op­por­tu­nity to re­flect on the im­por­tance of this col­lec­tive ef­fort.

The State Govern­ment, in part­ner­ship with Vol­un­teer­ing WA and lo­cal gov­ern­ments, will be sup­port­ing a range of com­mu­nity events to pub­licly ac­knowl­edge the in­di­vid­ual ef­forts of vol­un­teers who are work­ing hard to im­prove the lives of oth­ers and our com­mu­nity.

As Vol­un­teer­ing Min­is­ter, I have es­tab­lished a vol­un­teer­ing com­mu­nity ref­er­ence group to make sure our ap­proaches in this area are in­formed by real-world ex­pe­ri­ence from the peo­ple who know the sec­tor best: vol­un­teers and the or­gan­i­sa­tions that sup­port them. The Govern­ment de­vel­oped the WA vol­un­teer­ing strat­egy, which pro­vides a frame­work and strate­gies for all lev­els of govern­ment, non-govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions, the pri­vate sec­tor and the com­mu­nity to en­cour­age and sup­port vol­un­teer­ing. I look for­ward to at­tend­ing the WA Vol­un­teer of the Year Awards this week to hear more in­spir­ing sto­ries and meet the de­serv­ing fi­nal­ists and win­ners. As Min­is­ter, I meet hun­dreds of vol­un­teers from all walks of life and am al­ways in awe of how much they give, par­tic­u­larly in small towns where the need for help is al­ways so great. I will also be host­ing the WA Vol­un­teer Ser­vice Awards on Sun­day in recog­ni­tion of mem­bers of our com­mu­nity who have vol­un­teered for more than 25 years. Con­grat­u­la­tions to all the WA vol­un­teers and thank you for your ef­forts.

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