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Volunteers celebrated during national week of recognition

2021-05-21

South Australians who give back to the community have been celebrated during National Volunteer Week (17 – 23 May).

The week began with a powerful show of solidarity when hundreds of volunteers took to the streets for a parade through the Adelaide CBD, culminating in the official launch event in Victoria Square.

In front of this 700-strong crowd, the State Government­ - in partnership with Volunteering SA&NT, Business SA and the Local Government Association of South Australia - proudly announced the new Volunteering Strategy for South Australia 2021-27.

Organisations and public sector agencies hosted events across the state, some of which included the presentation of the Premier’s Certificate of Recognition for outstanding volunteer service.

Almost one million South Australians give their time and skills to help others and social media was filled with positive stories and messages of thanks for these individuals, community groups and organisations.

Throughout the week, the Department of Human Services (DHS) highlighted some of the volunteers who contribute to state government programs and services. Discover their stories on the DHS Facebook page, or read them below.

Thank you to the DHS staff members, and each and every one of our state’s volunteers, who generously give back to the community.

If you are thinking of volunteering, DHS offers a range of opportunities across the Department. Explore the current vacancies now.

Lived Experience Network

The team provides a voice for the community through workshops, consultations and surveys, and helped to develop the Trauma Responsive Systems Framework.

Aboriginal members of the group also featured in videos as part of the new workforce development training package - Culturally responsive, trauma responsive practice.

It’s a rewarding role for the group’s members who say they feel more confident, more respected, that they are making a positive difference and that they have found their voice.

The team provides a voice for the community through workshops, consultations and surveys, and helped to develop the Trauma Responsive Systems Framework.

Aboriginal members of the group also featured in videos as part of the new workforce development training package - Culturally responsive, trauma responsive practice.

It’s a rewarding role for the group’s members who say they feel more confident, more respected, that they are making a positive difference and that they have found their voice.

Public Sector Volunteer Policy Network

More than 120,000 volunteers contribute to state government programs and services.

These volunteers are championed by the Public Sector Volunteer Policy Network (PSVPN), a team of passionate advocates who serve as a powerful voice to develop and influence volunteer policy across the South Australian public sector.

Formed in 2016, this group of volunteer program managers and policy makers from various public sector agencies encourage learning and innovation in volunteer engagement, ensure recognition for the volunteer sector and support the implementation of the Volunteering Strategy for South Australia 2021-2027.

Georgina

Georgina started volunteering with the Women's Information Service (WIS) in the Parafield Gardens Children’s Centre as a way to connect with the community. Being a passionate advocate for women, volunteering for WIS has proven to be a perfect fit!

Volunteering has shown Georgina the value of her skillset and her worth as a team member. She warmly encourages others to volunteer for WIS and contribute their story, experiences and skills to this important work.

Kahkashan

Kahkashan arrived in Australia from Pakistan eight years ago. She has since become busy with family life, raising three daughters. Without extended family here in Australia, Kakahshan was looking to build connections in her local community.

One day at her daughter’s childcare centre, she mentioned her interest in volunteering to Women’s Information Service (WIS) volunteer Simone. That chance encounter opened up a new range of opportunities.

As a proud volunteer at the WIS Parafield Gardens Childcare Centre (PGCC), Kahkashan relishes her role supporting other women and giving back to the community in a way that aligns with her interest in women’s wellbeing.

Kahkashan says volunteering at WIS has helped her ease back into working life, discover new perspectives and make close friends to enjoy learning and sharing a laugh.

Juliet

Juliet is passionate about supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence and delivers support services to clients as a volunteer at the Women’s Information Service (WIS) Haven in Gawler. This has given her the opportunity to learn new skills and connect with a warm and generous group of women.

While she felt nervous about getting started, Juliet felt it was the right time for her to take on this role and she hasn’t looked back.

“It is fulfilling and purposeful and you meet people you might otherwise never have gotten to the privilege to know,” said Juliet.

“If the volunteering role you are considering is something you care about, are interested in or would like to know more about, then be brave and turn up and see.”

Julie

Julie volunteers at the Women’s Information Service (WIS) Haven in Murry Bridge, providing information and referrals to women and specifically to women who have concerns for their safety.

She describes the WIS team as a “cracking group”, who are “energetic, driven, intelligent, humorous and entertaining with a wonderful ability to treat everyone with respect and appreciation.”

Julie says that while it’s true that volunteering means giving your time and skills to the community, you also receive so much in return.

“You receive encouragement, support, friendship, laughs, satisfaction and you learn so much more about the environment around you.”

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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