Volunteering in Australia: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Volunteering in Australia

1st Edition

Edited by Melanie Oppenheimer, Jeni Warburton

Federation Press

256 pages

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In recent years, there have been significant changes to volunteering in Australia. Changes to government policies and non-profit practice have led to differences in how people volunteer, what they do and where they give their time.

Volunteering in Australia provides a critical snapshot of the issues and trends in volunteering today and their impact on Australian society. It demonstrates how change provides a fluid and contested space for volunteers and their organisations. No longer can volunteering remain outside the broad parameters of our economic and social futures.

This book draws on a wide range of expertise from leading Australians, who discuss cutting edge issues such as spontaneous volunteering, voluntourism and new forms of voluntary action.

Volunteering in Australia provides a valuable and accessible resource for volunteers across the myriad of non-profit organisations, universities, and policymakers at all levels. This is essential reading for all those interested in the future of our society.


Reviews of predecessor:

‘Volunteers and Volunteering, edited by Jeni Warburton and Melanie Oppenheimer, examines the nature of volunteering in Australia, the contexts in which it occurs, and the future role of volunteering, especially in the Third Sector.

The contributors are eminent researchers in social and political affairs, and as such the book provides an insightful analysis of the issues affecting volunteers and the voluntary sector, and in locating this critical enterprise (worth $42 billion per annum according to Ironmonger, p56) in the broader social, economic and political frameworks.

[The book] provides essential reading for community organisations and government departments, managers of volunteers, practitioners in the field, volunteers themselves, and students in a range of fields where there is increasing interaction with volunteers in diverse circumstances and situations.’ - Australian Journal of Volunteering, 2002

‘Volunteers and Volunteering charts the importance of volunteers and volunteering in Australia's history as well as its impact on the political, economic and social fabric. The book explores the impact of volunteers on social policy and practice in what the editors … describe as a policy vacuum. Michael Pusey argues cogently that a 20-year program of economic restructuring has led to the shrinking of government-based support with a consequent "dumping" of the costs of civil society. … Jenny Onyx and Rosemary Leonard explore the impact of social capital on the economic and social functioning of Australian society. … It is worth seeing volunteering in terms of social capital, particularly in order to focus beyond the valuable outcomes it provides in terms of goods and services. Volunteering is more than a cheap form of value-adding, it's part and parcel of the civic values of a society that should be characterised as a caring community.

Volunteers and Volunteering is a well argued and timely reminder of this fact.’ - Educare News, Issue 113

‘…this collection of essays represent a starting point for more meaningful dialogue on volunteerism in Australia. Hopefully it will enable us to get over the 'silent barriers' that have been built in the past based on ignorance of both the importance and impacts of volunteering. It may raise awkward questions relating to equity and volition, but it has to be done. Any volunteers?’ - Michael Wright, NSW Fire Brigade Employees' Union, Worksite October 2002

Table of Contents

Part I: SETTING THE SCENE Introduction (Melanie Oppenheimer and Jeni Warburton) 1. A Short History of Volunteering in Australia ( Melanie Oppenheimer) Part II: VOLUNTEERING, POLICY AND PRACTICES 2. Volunteering and Recent Governance Reforms (Myles McGregor-Lowndes) 3. Organisational (Mis)Behaviour of Volunteers: Profiles and Perspectives ( Megan Paull and Maryam Omari) 4. Volunteering and Human Resource Management (Graham Cuskelly and Wendy O’Brien) 5. Blurring the Boundaries: Volunteering and Participation Requirements (Marc Levy) 6. Measuring Volunteering (Lisel O’Dwyer) 7. Formal Volunteering, Volunteer Infrastructure and Government (Annette Maher) Part III: VOLUNTEERING, CONTEXTS AND DIVERSITY 8. Volunteering and Ageing (Jeni Warburton) 9. Volunteer Tourism and International Contexts (Kirsten Holmes) 10. Spontaneous Volunteering: Trends and Challenges in the Australian Context (Jo Barraket, Robyn Keast and Cameron Newton) 11. Volunteering in Rural and Regional Australia: Trends and Implications (Rachel Winterton) 12. Volunteering in Traditional and Social Welfare Organisations: Current Challenges and Opportunities (Jeni Warburton, Melanie Oppenheimer and Melissa Moore) 13. Volunteering and Sport (Pam Kappelides and Russell Hoye)

About the Editors

Melanie Oppenheimer holds the Chair of History at Flinders University. She has been researching aspects of volunteering from an historical and contemporary perspective for over twenty-five years. Her books include the centenary history of Australian Red Cross. Melanie chairs one of the four Working Parties associated with the new SA Volunteering Strategy, 2014-2020

Jeni Warburton holds the John Richards Chair in Rural Aged Care Research at La Trobe University in Wodonga, Victoria. She has twenty-five years’ experience of research into social policy, particularly relating to issues associated with an ageing population, volunteering and community. Her research has played a key role in the development of practice and policy around volunteering and social inclusion, particularly relating to older people

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities