From Monday 20 May to Sunday 26 May 2019, Australia will celebrate National Volunteer Week while recognising this year’s theme Making a World of Difference.
It is a theme which local volunteer Elissa (pictured) feels strongly about. Once a week, the retired human resource manager gives her time to make a difference in the lives of people from Boroondara as one of the Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre’s volunteer referral officers.
Volunteering makes you useful. And it’s nice to feel useful to others.
In this role, Elissa connects with prospective volunteers who are wanting to invest their time in a passion-project, share a professional skill, find roles to work around busy lifestyles and learn how they can give back.
Elissa enjoys the feeling of connectedness to the community in her volunteer role and said she feels like she is part of a village.
“While I have the satisfaction of knowing I’m helping the broader community I also enjoy the personal aspect of working one-on-one with locals to empower them to make a difference,” said Elissa.
From being treasurer of the local kindergarten, sorting clothes in an opportunity shop, refereeing a game of soccer through to developing a local community organisation’s website, over a quarter* of Boroondara residents generously volunteer their time for the benefit of others.
The Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre offers a variety of services for people wanting volunteer roles and activities, including a Volunteer Skills Bank, where people with professional skills can lend their knowledge to support local community organisations in specialised projects and roles.
With nearly 60 per cent of local resident workers with a Bachelor, or higher degree, Elissa believes the Volunteer Skills Bank plays an important role in making it easy for professionals to support community organisations and make a difference locally.
“Many community organisations would struggle to operate without the time, effort and knowledge of volunteers,” said Elissa.
* Census 2016
Are you inspired, like Elissa, to make a world of difference?