Volunteering benefits our community and society

Volunteering benefits our community and society

... but rates are declining

Posted on 09.05.2019

When my eldest daughter was in her first few years of primary school, I used to volunteer at the school canteen.

It was a truly memorable insight into school politics and how tense people can get about banana bread, but I found it enormously valuable.

The volunteer labour meant the food was good quality and the prices were low. I got to know the other mums (and a few dads) and the kids in my daughter’s class. Teachers came by to have a chat and snaffle the occasional sausage roll.

I found it well worth darting out of the home office once a week to spend a few hours cutting, toasting and fiddling with change.

The more pregnant I got with my twins, the harder it was to keep up with volunteering and eventually they threw me out of the kitchen (I suspect I was taking up too much room).

Soon afterwards the canteen closed down due to a lack of volunteers and no-one was able or willing to put up their hand to run the show.

Of course, not all parents have the ability to work from home and negotiate flexible hours or to get someone else to mind their kids. The end was understandable, but nevertheless sad to see.

Combining volunteer work, paid work and raising kids is a juggle and indeed one that fewer Australians seem to want to attempt.

Data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that 31 per cent of Australians volunteered with a not-for-profit organisation in 2014, down from 36 per cent in 2010. That is the first time voluntary work has fallen since recordkeeping began.


For the sake of our communities, and for the sake of our own wellbeing, we should make volunteering easier for all Australians, not just those with the time and money to do it.
(Rebecca Huntley)

ABC Life




Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On



Canoe Leader Training Course

Is it time to get recognised qualifications for your outdoor recreation skills?
Read more



Scenic Rim Trail Running Series Rd 3

RUN THE RIM: Scenic Rim Trail Running Series 2020

Read more



Top Rope Climbing Leader Course

Is it time to get recognised qualifications for your outdoor recreation skills?
Read more

Latest News

Queensland National Parks UPDATE

Camping and vehicle access

Read more
$150 Fair Play Vouchers Open

Helping Queensland kids return to the playing fields

Read more
COVID impacted families to get back into sport

Fresh round of $150 Fair Play vouchers now available

Read more

Become a member

We welcome applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More
Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten