National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers. From Monday 17 May to Sunday 23 May 2021, National Volunteer Week will celebrate the significant contribution of Australia’s almost six million volunteers.

The theme for National Volunteer Week 2021 is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. which acknowledges that it is time to: 

  • RECOGNISEcelebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives.
    Never has this been more evident than after a year where Australia has dealt with drought, devastating bushfires, floods, and a global pandemic. Amidst the pandemic, while many of us stayed home, volunteers continued to deliver essential servicesorganisfood packages, and offer care, comfort and more to support the wellbeing of Australians. Volunteers make our communities stronger, especially during times of need, crisis, or isolation.
  • RECONNECT to what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves.
    In a year
     when many of us have experienced increased loneliness or isolation, mental health or financial stress, volunteering can help. Evidence shows that volunteering connects us to others in our local communities, to better mental wellbeing or to potential pathways to employment. When we help others in our community or give our time to a cause we value, we also give back to ourselves. 
  • REIMAGINE how we better support volunteers and communities they help.
    Since 2014, Australia has seen a 20 per cent decline in the number of hours volunteers give. During COVID-19, two-thirds of volunteers stopped working and a recent study highlighted that social purpose organisations continue to lose one in four volunteers due to illness or caring responsibilities. In the current, changing environment, where Australians are time-poor and experiencing higher degrees of uncertainty and stresswe need to reimagine how we do things. We need to collaborate more and adapt our volunteering practices and programs so we can better support and engage volunteers to continue the necessary work that they do.

During National Volunteer Week, VolunteeringACT will be hosting an exciting calendar of events:

2021 Volunteering Expo

Date: Saturday 22 May 2021
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Exhibition Hall, Thoroughbred Park, Randwick Road, Lyneham ACT
Cost: Free to attend!

After an unexpected break last year, we are back in 2021 for our annual Volunteering Expo!

The Volunteering Expo is a one-stop shop for individuals to find out about volunteering opportunities available in the Canberra community.

The Expo attracts a diverse range of exhibitors from all sectors, including community services, environment, sport, tourism, arts, and education.

In 2021 we are back bigger than ever, with breakout rooms, live entertainment, activity spaces, and food vans.

Are you interested in exhibiting at the 2021 Volunteering Expo? Visit our Expo webpage to register your stall!

Find out more about the 2021 Volunteering Expo

2021 Volunteering Symposium

Date: Tuesday 18 May 2021
Time: 9am – 7pm
Location: Hybrid (Online / In person at VolunteeringACT’s Events and Training Hub, Level 3, 202 City Walk, Canberra)
Cost: Free (Fully subsidised, thanks to support from the ACT Government)

The 2021 Volunteering Symposium is a free, full-day professional development opportunity dedicated to Managers and Coordinators of Volunteers, followed by an evening session for current and aspiring Board and Committee Members.

Over four sessions, delivered by industry professionals, Managers and Coordinators of Volunteers will learn how volunteer management practices have been adapted over the past 18 months and how we can work together to support a strong future for volunteering in our city.

The Symposium will be delivered in a hybrid format and will be free for attendees thanks to funding provided by the ACT Government.

The Symposium will feature a full day session for Managers and Coordinators of Volunteers and an evening session for Board and Committee Members.

Find out more about the 2021 Volunteering Symposium

Free Volunteer Training

Introduction to Volunteering
Date: Wednesday 19 May 2021
Time: 10am – 11:30am
Location: Hybrid (Online / In person at VolunteeringACT’s Events and Training Hub, Level 3, 202 City Walk, Canberra)
Cost: Free

Overview: What does it mean to volunteer? How do you find the right volunteering role? What are your rights and responsibilities as a volunteer? This session will give you a better understanding of what volunteering is and what it involves. It will also cover how to find a volunteering role, and what you can expect as you begin your volunteering journey. Attendees will be invited to share their experiences and discuss their volunteering goals.

Mental Health, Wellbeing and Resilience
Date: Thursday 20 May 2021
Time: 10am – 11:30am
Location: Hybrid (Online / In person at VolunteeringACT’s Events and Training Hub, Level 3, 202 City Walk, Canberra)
Cost: Free

Overview: What is mental health, wellbeing and resilience, and why is it important for volunteers? This session will explore what each of the three concepts mean and identify how they can be applied to support you in your volunteering role.

Find out more about Volunteer Training