Supporting and rewarding our volunteers
South Australian volunteers will receive in-kind support as well as tickets, vouchers and promotional offers as part of the State Government's strategy to reward existing volunteers and encourage the next generation.
Speaking at the South Australian Volunteer Awards, Premier Jay Weatherill said the 2014-15 State Budget includes $1.2 million over four years for two volunteer schemes based on similar programs working successfully interstate and overseas.
"We are delivering on our election commitment to reward and attract volunteers," Mr Weatherill said.
"Volunteers play a vital role in our community. They care for society's most vulnerable from children, to the elderly and people with a disability. The State Government recognises this and is taking steps to protect and ensure this tradition continues."
Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the Government has committed $600,000 over four years to develop a "time bank" scheme that enables volunteers to earn and trade "time credits" with other registered members.
"Time banks allow people to use their skills to help others by exchanging time as a form of currency," Mr Koutsantonis said.
"An older person might spend an hour a week cooking Meals on Wheels and later claim that hour to have someone with more mobility work in their garden.
"We are also committing a further $600,000 over four years to establish a reward scheme that will be similar to the Blue Dot program in the United Kingdom, whereby volunteer contributions are recognised with rewards such as discounts, free tickets or promotional offers."
Volunteers Minister Zoe Bettison said her Department will work with the volunteer community to develop the new initiatives.
"These programs will be developed in consultation with volunteers, their organisations and the peak body, Volunteering SA/NT," Ms Bettison said.
"My Department will work with the sector to ensure these two programs are distinctly South Australian and reflect our volunteering community.
"They are part of the State Government's new volunteer strategy which is designed to encourage future generations of volunteers."
Mr Weatherill and Ms Bettison today joined more than 1800 volunteers from across the state for the South Australian Volunteer Awards, featuring performers from the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
The award recipients are:
- Capgemini Business Services Australia Pty Ltd won the Premier's Award for Corporate Social Responsibility for its commitment to corporate social responsibility
- Cholly Winter won South Australia's highest distinction for an individual volunteer, the Joy Noble Medal, for her volunteering efforts for multicultural communities
- Cummins Hospital Adopt-a-Room Project received The Andamooka Community Project Award for its involvement in upgrading rooms and facilities at the local hospital
For further information about volunteering call the Office for Volunteers on 1300 014 712 or visit www.ofv.sa.gov.au