by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Active Retirees : Active Retirees Feb-March 2012
Active RetireesTM | 27 A retired woman is walking down the main street of Lismore when a young Rwandan man steps in front of her and reaches into his pocket. This is not the start to a bad joke; it is an example of how volunteers are bringing communities together. Lismore, like many country towns, has seen its young people leave for capital cities to find work. Pam Ashton, a Lismore local and lifelong volunteer, has observed that volunteers are now holding these country towns together. “A lot of paid jobs are covered by volunteers,” she said. “If there weren’t volunteers in those positions there would be a paucity of essential services.” The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that volunteers complete 700 million hours of service per year, equating to $15 billion dollars worth of unpaid work. Slightly more women volunteer than men, and close to 50 per cent of all 45-64 year olds volunteer, the highest rate for any age bracket. Especially in times of social change, driven in the past few years by economic turmoil, the role of volunteers becomes increasingly important for both financial and social reasons. The Australian Government is all too aware. Late last year the then-Federal Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion Tanya Plibersek launched a new strategy for the future of volunteering in Australia, emphasising the need to combat two worrying trends. “While the number of volunteers is increasing, the average number of hours spent volunteering has decreased and there are fewer people under 45 years old who are volunteering,” Tanya said. The government’s new strategy seeks to engage more young people by “harnessing information technology”. Further, it aims to increase the hours retirees spend volunteering by distributing information packs throughout 2012, explaining how to include volunteering in retirement. With these and other strategies in place, Plibersek hopes the positive impact of » Lend a hand Whether giving blood, helping on a telephone counselling service, planting a community garden or teaching young migrants to drive, volunteers are making a real difference in many communities. So, where and how are they pitching in, and what can you do? By Ben Miller WHy Do PeoPLe voLUnteeR? Duke University’s Emeritus Professor John Wilson, an expert in volunteering studies, sums up the two prevailing theories. Firstly, he explains, there is the unpopular ‘ human motives’ theory, where individuals' personalities are the primary reason they volunteer. Secondly, there is the prevailing ‘ rational action’ theory, where something in the set-up of society makes people more likely to volunteer. Wilson believes that the answer lies somewhere between the two theories. The stories emerging from regional Australia suggest that volunteering is a choice individuals make to change their societies for the better. That their motivations are to do good is lucky, because according to Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, a US- based thinktank that promotes ‘encore careers’ for retirees, baby boomers who use their discretionary time to shape society are destined to become “t he new trustees of civic life”.
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012
Active Retirees April-May 2012