Volunteering Geelong is calling on the community to support its fight to stay open amid government funding changes to volunteer resource centres across Australia.
As of July this year, Volunteering Geelong (VG) will no longer receive a direct annual grant from the federal government to cover essential operational and program costs. Instead, funds will be diverted to a centralised state-based body that will prioritise and distribute money across Victoria.
VG has been given no guarantee that it will continue to receive its recurrent $120,000 annual funding grant which pays for coordination of volunteer accreditation, volunteer referrals and training and professional development for volunteers and organisations.
More than 160 local charities and not-for-profit organisations rely on Volunteering Geelong’s services, with community volunteering efforts valued at approximately $140 million across the G21 region. The organisation’s support has helped build local know-how and experience, and a thriving volunteer culture in the region.
VG has approached Volunteering Victoria to secure a formal partnership and maintain current funding levels for its local services but is yet to receive confirmation on future arrangements.
It is planning a community forum during National Volunteer Week in May to advocate for the local volunteering sector and seek community backing.
In the interim, VG is calling for the community to support its online petition asking the federal government to reconsider the funding changes: www.change.org/p/anne-ruston-help-volunteering-geelong-to-keep-its-doors-open