Good Practice in Action seminar
Strengthening the Government-Volunteering Interface Seminar - 24 November 2006
Volunteers play a vital role in contributing to social development, the economy and the environment. The Government Policy on Volunteering acknowledges the importance of volunteers, and highlights government’s expectations of state sector agencies in relation to their policy development, service delivery and interactions with volunteering.
At this seminar participants heard about and discussed:
- why volunteers are important to government agencies – including yours!
- how volunteers contribute to achieving government and community goals
- what motivates volunteers to participate
- how volunteer networks can support policy development
- how government agencies can help maximise the volunteering experience and contribution.
This seminar was recorded on video and presentations are viewable on the Public Service Intranet.
"International perspectives, experiences and lessons"
Liz Burns, whose visit was arranged by Volunteering NZ (VNZ), spoke about the wider international context for volunteerism and support for volunteering. She highlighted the vital role volunteering will play in helping to achieve the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and eradicating the eternal scourges of humanity such as poverty, famine, disease, ignorance, war and injustice.
Liz also spoke of the need to address the gap between activism and philanthropic service giving. Liz reinforced the importance of the full spectrum of volunteering – from caring and charity through to advocacy and working for change.
"It is not enough to care for the victims of the eternal scourges, ……but it is also not enough to protest against the eternal scourges," Liz said.
"One without the other is not enough."
Liz also emphasised the important role government has to play in setting an enabling legal framework to support volunteering. Liz was very complimentary of the work New Zealand has done to support volunteering, singling out the Government Policy on Volunteering and the Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government Relationship as excellent examples of this. Liz believed New Zealand’s experience would be useful to the international community and encouraged us as a nation to promote our efforts to support volunteering on the world stage.
Liz Burns was appointed President of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) in 2001. IAVE is a non-governmental organisation that promotes, celebrates, and strengthens volunteerism worldwide. IAVE has members in 80 countries and a Board of Directors made up of representatives from Scotland, Canada, USA, Nigeria, Mauritius, Singapore, Australia, France, Columbia, Taiwan, Bolivia and Slovenia, with special youth and corporate volunteering representation.
In 1983, Liz was appointed to develop a new organisation, Volunteer Development Scotland, which is the national centre for volunteering in Scotland. She has served on a wide range of boards and committees in the NGO and government sectors, including the Joint Working Groups, which produced the first National Strategies for Volunteering in the UK, and the Compact between Government and the Voluntary Sector. Liz is a past President of the European Volunteer Centre. She has published articles on volunteering in a wide range of journals and conference reports, and has spoken at conferences around the world.
Presented by: Liz Burns, President of the International Association for Volunteer Effort
"Engaging and consulting with communities"
Success relies on the relationship of trust that has been built between the Office for Senior Citizens (OSC) and each volunteer. Discover how a team of forty older volunteers contribute to policy development by helping OSC consult senior communities. For six years, the Volunteer Community Co-ordinators’ (VCC) wide local networks, skills, knowledge and commitment have enabled older people from different cultures and geographical areas to have a voice. This presentation tells the story of the formation and evolution of the VCC programme and explore how the programme’s strength of linking dispersed locations around the country also poses communication challenges.
Presentation led by: Jane Yoong, Community Volunteer Co-ordinator, Office for Senior Citizens
"Finding and keeping sport volunteers (what the research tells us)"
SPARC relies on the actions and effective functioning of organisations within the sport and recreation sector to achieve its outcomes. Volunteer effort carries sport on its shoulders, particularly at the community level. Anecdotally we know that many sports are struggling to find enough volunteer support to sustain their activities, yet the number of people volunteering has remained relatively static. SPARC is the government agency responsible for promoting and supporting all New Zealanders to be physically active through sport and physical recreation. SPARC partners with national sport and recreation organisations and regional sports trusts who effectively act as channels of influence to effect change at community levels.
Presented by: Nicky Sherriff, Senior Policy Advisor, Research, Policy and Planning, SPARC ihi Aotearoa (Sport & Recreation NZ)
"A CDEM approach to volunteering - enlisting sector support to create development opportunities"
Volunteers can be the experts. There was a need for nationally standardised, NZQA-accredited training to support the development of the civil defence and emergency sector; including its volunteers. MCDEM worked with the sector over three years to create a comprehensive modular package: RAPID Response and Preparedness in Disasters. This presentation focuses on how the packages were developed in collaboration with sector participants, including its volunteers and the Local Government Industry Training Organisation. MCDEM had to work flexibly using existing networks to get sector buy-in. The result is the successful introduction of a co-determined training suite.
Presentation led by: Sarah Stuart-Black, Manager, CDEM Specialist Services, Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management