International Volunteer Day (IVD) was celebrated on Saturday 5 December. IVD is a United Nations auspiced day that commenced in 1985 and is now celebrated around the world as a day to recognise the contribution of volunteers in their communities. Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Mitch Fifield, today acknowledged International Volunteer Day, which is being celebrated this Sunday, 5th December by volunteers worldwide. “The contribution Australian volunteers make to our community is immense,” Senator Fifield said. “International Volunteer Day is an opportunity for us all to stop and thank the volunteers in our local community for the incredible work they do.” “Senator Guy Barnett and I moved a motion in the Senate to thank volunteers around the country for their dedication,” Senator Fifield said. The motion was passed unanimously. “Without the commitment of volunteers, our communities could lose their cohesiveness, and many valuable services that rely on voluntary work would cease to exist,” Senator Fifield said. “More than one in three Australians give up some of their time to volunteer, and their work contributes an estimated $42 billion to the national economy every year.” From just a few hours a week or several days a month, anyone can help make a difference through volunteering. As a community we need to find ways to encourage the next generation of volunteers.
Thank a Volunteer Day’ is a timely reminder of the significant efforts and contributions that are made by all our dedicated volunteers during times of crisis. Emergency services volunteering is unique – they make personal sacrifices such as giving up family time, putting off other commitments, or interrupting their sleep to attend emergency services incidents at short notice. I take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our emergency service volunteers for their time and commitment and recognise the important role they play in making our communities a safer place. I also wish to thank the family members and support networks of our volunteers. It is well known that additional responsibilities fall to other family members when FESA volunteers are called away to attend incidents.
JO HARRISON-WARD CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia