A new report launched for National Volunteer Week highlights the strength of volunteering, showing Queenslanders roll up their sleeves when times are tough.
Minister for Communities Leeanne Enoch and Volunteering Queensland launched the State of Volunteering in Queensland Report which shows more than 3 million Queenslanders aged 18 and over participated in some form of volunteering in 2020.
“Volunteers are the backbone of our communities and this report highlights just how eager Queenslanders are to help others, even if it’s during the height of a global pandemic,” Minister Enoch said.
“In 2020, volunteering is estimated to have been worth $84 billion in Queensland, which is incredible when you consider how COVID-19 significantly disrupted traditional volunteering roles.
“Over 28,500 volunteers put their hands up to be part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Care Army, and we have provided $250,000 to Volunteering Queensland to broaden the role of this initiative.
“This is in addition to $990,000 in funding to Volunteering Queensland this financial year, to further support volunteering in this state.
“We have also brought together representatives from across the volunteering, community, public and private sector to form the Queensland Volunteering Action Partnership, which will guide our government’s work to further boost volunteering rates in Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.
The report also found it would cost $37.1 billion to replace the labour of Queensland’s volunteers which is three times the total compensation to employees in the government sector.
Volunteering also contributes $6.3 billion to the state’s Gross State Product, provides $4.10 in return for every dollar invested, and more than one in four people volunteer from home or online which is a 15.2 percent increase from 2019.
Volunteering Queensland CEO Mara Basanovic said while it was always believed that the majority of Queenslanders volunteered in some way, the State of Volunteering report now has the evidence to back that up.
“With over 3 million Queenslanders volunteering – that’s a participation rate of 75.7 percent and certainly something we should all be proud of and celebrate,” Ms Basanovic said.
“We have always known that volunteering is a valuable contributor to Queensland’s economy. Now we have the hard facts, each year volunteering contributes almost $84 billion to our state.
“Not only does volunteering contribute almost $84 billion annually to the community, it also offers a significant return on investment.
“For every $1 invested in volunteering, it delivers a return of $4.10 back to the community.”
Minister Enoch said the Queensland Government was committed to supporting volunteering and increasing participation in volunteering across the state.
A copy of the State of Volunteering in Queensland report is available at https://volunteeringqld.org.au/.