International Volunteer Day celebrates one of the most honourable jobs in the world – being a volunteer. No matter how small a contribution, International Volunteer Day recognises the hard work and perseverance of volunteers all over the world. Many not-for-profit and non-government organisations rely on the generosity of volunteers to keep afloat and International Volunteer Day gives these organisations an opportunity to acknowledge their efforts.
The United Nations General Assembley established International Volunteer Day in 1985 and it is now celebrated worldwide with events to highlight the valuable work of volunteers. Events across Australia this year include conferences, morning teas and parties featuring guest speakers. Check your local volunteer-based organisation for activities planned for the day.
The day is also a great opportunity for people who want to get involved with volunteering. Twenty-one per cent of Australians aged 18 years and over were regular volunteers at least once a fortnight in 2006, and the numbers are still growing, according to the ABS.
This summer, in between sunbaking and enjoying your third helping of Christmas pudding, why not get out there and volunteer for a cause that is close to your heart. And to those already in the business of giving, Happy International Volunteer Day!