Volunteering is richly rewarding – for volunteers and for the organisations that work with them. But sometimes things can go wrong. We know that while many volunteers have positive experiences, some don’t go so well, and we want to make volunteering a positive and safe experience for all.

We have committed to working with the volunteering sector to explore the ways in which issues and conflict can be prevented and resolved.

Our existing Volunteering Strategy

In 2014, we released the Volunteering Strategy for South Australia 2014-2020 in partnership with Business SA, the Local Government Association of South Australia and peak volunteering advocacy body Volunteering SA & NT. The Strategy provides a coordinated and collaborative blueprint for action, identifying opportunities to promote and sustain volunteering until 2020.

A formal Volunteering Strategy Partnership Board comprising representatives of each partner and an independent chairperson governs the strategy.

The current Volunteering Strategy has successfully delivered a range of volunteering initiatives across the state. A full list of achievements is available on the Volunteering Strategy for South Australia website.

As part of the Volunteering Strategy 2014-2020, working groups are identified to deliver initiatives and address specific issues associated with the key areas of the strategy.

A working group comprising of people from across the sector has been meeting to explore mechanisms which will help to prevent and resolve conflict – ensuring that people have a positive and safe experience while volunteering. This is the main focus point in reviewing and updating the current strategy.

The new Volunteering Strategy

The new Volunteering Strategy will be released in early 2021. It will set the vision for volunteering over the next six years and outline how we will continue to improve the volunteering experience for everyone in South Australia. We believe there are many opportunities ahead for all of us, particularly as society changes along with volunteering habits. 

Incorporating lessons learned from the first Volunteering Strategy, the second Volunteering Strategy will introduce a more flexible governance structure and deliver on initiatives that grow and support volunteering in South Australia – including how to ensure volunteering is a safe and positive experience for all.

Volunteering in South Australia at a glance

  • 900,000+ South Australians volunteer
  • $5 billion estimated economic impact
  • 1.73 million volunteer hours per week
  • 45% engage as formal volunteers
  • 46% engage in informal volunteering
  • People in rural regions more likely to volunteer than people in metro regions.
  • Females are more likely to volunteer than males but the gap is closing (2% gap)
  • Overseas-born groups less likely to volunteer than Australian-born
  • ‘helping others in the community’ and ‘to give something back’ are common reasons for volunteering
  • 3 most common benefits from volunteering are: 
    • ‘personal satisfaction’
    • ‘friendship’
    • ‘feeling part of the community’