What is volunteering?

Volunteering is an activity that involves willingly spending time to help benefit a person, people, environment or community. More than 1.5 million Victorians volunteer their time, skills and experience, and in one way or another make a huge contribution to our local communities.

Robert Lowe Snr

Peek Whurrong Elder Uncle Robbie Lowe, 2018 COTA Victorian Senior of the Year Awardee.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering is a great way for people, regardless of their age, cultural background, location or circumstances, to get involved in the community and make a positive contribution.  In addition to the satisfaction of helping out for the benefit of others, there are many reasons people volunteer such as:

  • connecting with others and improving social ties
  • positively engaging and being active within the community
  • experiencing new challenges
  • raising awareness and supporting important community issues
  • interacting with different cultures
  • contributing to social change
  • developing professional networks
  • finding a pathway to getting a job, course or training
  • developing new skills or gaining experience in a variety of roles
  • exploring different career and job opportunities.

Research has also found a significant connection between volunteering and good health, showing that volunteering can (Vic Health, 2012):

  • alleviate depression
  • increase satisfaction with life
  • lower the frequency of hospitalisation
  • boost a person’s ability to cope with illness.

Changing Communities. Changing Lives

Many senior Victorians make a difference in their community.  They could be a leader who inspires others, a behind-the-scenes organiser, or a person who does the hands-on work to deliver services. There are also many organisations that improve the lives of older people. People and organisations like this are recognised annually in the Victorian Senior of the Year Award.  

Find out more about Victorian Senior of the Year Awards.

How do you find out more?

Volunteering Victoria is the state peak body for volunteering, with a focus on advocacy, sector development and the promotion of volunteering in Victoria. It also contains the volunteering portal where you can find opportunities to volunteer.