Conference Paper Social Policy Research Workshop
Exploring the Economic and Social Value of Present Patterns of Volunteering in Australia
24 Nov 2003
This presentation (later a final report) begins by exploring the concept of volunteering. The term 'volunteer' generally designates a person who provides services or benefits to others for motivations other than financial or material reward. While volunteering takes place under the auspices of formal organisations, we also consider donating labour to emergency services, informal charitable acts, and unpaid care of adults with impairments to fall within the concept of volunteering. This research made use of three sources of data: the ABS Voluntary Work Survey 2000 (which tracks participation on a yearly level), the 1997 national Time Use Survey, and the basic tables of the Harmonised European Time Use Surveys (the latter two which measure daily rates of participation). This presentation highlights which groups of Australians volunteer, and their general preferences in their patterns of volunteering. The research highlights the voluntary activities of people in receipt of income support. Finally, this presentation considers volunteering patterns in Australia in comparative perspective with Canada and selected European countries.