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Lizzie Blandthorn, Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Carers and Volunteers – Q & A

What is your top priority for the volunteering sector?

This government is committed to building on the great work of the former Ministerial Advisory Council for Volunteers and developing a Victorian Volunteer Strategy. We will consult widely with the diverse volunteering community and look at barriers that some people face when considering volunteering.

Where do you think there is clear consensus from the government for support for the volunteering sector?

Volunteers help in so many ways, be it fighting bushfires, planting trees, rescuing animals, keeping kids engaged and active through sporting clubs, helping others learn, running soup vans, op shops, food banks and mothers day stalls, and even sitting with people at the end of their lives, and that’s only a few examples of how volunteers give of their time and talents. The Victorian Government values and recognises the contributions of volunteers.

We know how rich society is because of the many contributions volunteers make across the state.

In your opinion, why do you think supporting the volunteer sector is important?

Volunteers are vital to Victoria’s social, economic, cultural and environmental fabric, and our communities are so much richer with a strong and vibrant volunteering culture.

Volunteering improves people’s connections and contributes to social cohesion and community resilience.

What is your vision for the sector?

We want volunteers to feel valued and that their skills are being utilised and we want to make it easier for organisations to support and further enable volunteering. We want to see volunteering energy and effort being directed into activities that are effective, sustainable and that provide value to the community.

How will you work towards building capacity for volunteer management at a local level?

The Victorian State Budget 2018-19 included an investment of $500,000 over two years to support capacity and capability development in the volunteering sector.

Four projects are currently being funded to build the capacity of leaders and managers of volunteers, and the lessons learned from these projects will help to inform the development of the Victorian Volunteer Strategy.

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