6 Million Australians[1].

700 million hours[2]

That is the number of volunteers who give themselves, their time and their resources to causes that are dear to their hearts.

Volunteering is the Aussie Way

Volunteering is an integral part of the Australian way of life.

We are all surrounded by volunteers daily. I have friends who started a non-profit organisation helping out those who are doing it tough because someone had to do it, and if not them, then who? As recently as this past election weekend, I volunteered when I was involved in staffing an election booth for the political party I support. Volunteering works.

One of the phrases that particularly resonated with me when Scott Morrison made his speech was “the quiet Australians.” I believe that many of the volunteers in Australia are the ‘quiet Australians”. They are the people on the ground, getting the work done.

Why Volunteer?

Australians volunteer for many reasons.

According to an article[3] that The University of Sydney published, people who volunteer get the following from volunteering:

  • volunteering provides a sense of purpose and meaning because people are interacting with others

  • giving makes you happier, whether you are giving money or time

  • volunteering could contribute to a healthier you

  • helping others may trigger brain chemicals which makes you feel good

  • in a time where people are increasingly feeling lonely, volunteering gives them a sense of belonging
  • your positive experience of volunteering may be contagious, and you could even inspire others to get involved as well
  •  you can develop your passions by volunteering.

How does volunteering help a job seeker?

Some volunteering organisations give quality training to their volunteers, who in turn, can apply this to their everyday jobs.

Many job seekers who just arrived in Australia also found that volunteering allowed them to experience possible employment.

You get to meet people whom you could add to your network as like-minded people often aggregate together. Recruiters also pay attention to areas that you volunteer in.

How volunteering impacted me

Volunteering was partly responsible for me being able to attain employment on two occasions.

Currently, in my involvement with the Parents & Collegians Auxilliary (PCA) at Lake Joondalup Baptist College, I am dependent on the volunteers that surround me. The PCA’s growth would not have been possible if it was not for the time and skills offered by the volunteers that believe in the purpose of the PCA. I have gained so much from being involved with the volunteers. Some of them have become very close friends of mine.

The benefits of volunteering are many, but to me, the main advantage is the people. I love meeting those people who could see a need and step up to meet that need. We can all make a difference.

This week Australia is celebrating and thanking the volunteers of this great country. If you have something to give, do so, whether it is your time, money, or skill you have, please do. You will be a changed person for it.

To all the volunteers out there, “Thank you. I am proud to be one, and I am thankful to know so many.”

[1] https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/get-involved/nvw/nvw-events/

[2] https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2017/05/03/7-surprising-benefits-of-volunteering-.html

[3] https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2017/05/03/7-surprising-benefits-of-volunteering-.html

© Chaleen Botha – All rights reserved

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About the Author

Having moved countries twice (from South Africa to China and then to Australia) as well as interstate in Australia (from Queensland to Western Australia), Chaleen Botha knows and understands the complexities of job hunting in Australia.

As an alumnus of the University of South Africa and with an accountancy background, Chaleen decided to reinvent herself in her new home and found that she enjoyed helping others in their search for employment.

Since 2012 she has played a pivotal role in the development of LinkedIn profiles. These profiles assist her clients, whether job hunting or looking to establish their brands on LinkedIn, to get their message across, connect with the right people, and achieve their LinkedIn objectives.

Chaleen was offered a role as a recruiter at a specialist recruitment firm and later at an outsourced HR firm. Very quickly, Chaleen realised that she enjoyed the process involved with recruitment. In 2022 she obtained her license to work as a recruiter and launched her own recruitment business.

Chaleen currently lives in Perth, Western Australia. When she is not working, she loves reading, watching movies and hanging out with her family and their two fur babies.

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