Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Vinnies shops rely on volunteers to operate (St Vincent de Paul website)

During National Volunteer Week, St Vincent de Paul Society national president Mark Gaetani has thanked the charity’s 45,000 members and volunteers as he called on the Albanese Government to make an investment in the country’s volunteers. 

“Volunteering is vital for community wellbeing and is personally rewarding and in National Volunteer Week, as throughout the year, I honour the efforts of the Society’s 45,000 members and volunteers around Australia,” Mr Gaetani said.

“Our conference members provide assistance to thousands of families and individuals in need, while our shop volunteers are essential for the running of our much-loved Vinnies op shops.

“Our volunteers range in age from their teens to their eighties. Many are retired and have every right to take it easy, but they still put in countless hours helping others in a variety of ways. 

“Yet volunteering depends on co-investment from Government in many areas.”

Mr Gaetani said volunteering had been on a downward trajectory and, if prompt action is not taken to reverse this trend, the future of volunteering is in jeopardy. 

The Society is seeking a commitment from the Government for the implementation of the National Strategy for Volunteering – a 10‑year blueprint for a reimagined future for volunteering in Australia. 

“Volunteers are vital in so many areas, from assisting aged care and health services to responding during emergencies and improving disaster readiness, and supporting sporting activities,” Mr Gaetani said.

“We agree with the peak body Volunteering Australia who have advised the Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, that investing in the implementation of the National Strategy for Volunteering is a wise and fiscally responsible decision. 

“It is a moral imperative to foster greater cohesion in our local communities at a time when a growing range of challenges are threatening to pull us apart.

“It is an investment in supporting the wellbeing of our communities, the strength of our social fabric, and the resilience of our nation.”


Government backing is vital for volunteering’s future (St Vincent de Paul Society)