QUESTION: Volunteers

27 Feb 2019

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:14): My question is to the Minister for Human Services about the outstanding contributions made by volunteers in our community. Can the minister please provide an updated account of the government's commitment and current initiatives for recognising the important contributions of South Australian volunteers?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:14): I thank the honourable member for her question and for her interest in volunteers. I know that she is a very regular attendee at many community events, which are largely put on, put together and organised by volunteers, and I thank her for her interest in this area. Of course, in fulfilling our election commitment to provide free screening checks for volunteers, we were able to implement that on 1 November and that has been extremely well received by the volunteer sector.

Very recently, the Premier's Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Volunteer Service has been opened. This volunteer recognition acknowledges accomplishments, reinforces efforts and is a sign of appreciation for the enormous number of volunteers in South Australia. It is a way to keep volunteers involved, committed and active and to promote volunteering in the South Australian community.

The Premier's Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Volunteer Service was developed by the Community Services Directorate of the Department of Human Services to assist volunteer-involving organisations and community groups to recognise their volunteers for excellence and significant achievements. Organisations and community groups submit a short written online nomination, available on the department's website, which is www.ofv.sa.gov.au/premiers-certificate. Selection is based on volunteers meeting one or more of the following criteria: having made significant contribution to the community and/or organisation; secondly, having provided ongoing commitment and dedication to volunteering; thirdly, having demonstrated leadership in their volunteer role; and fourthly, having promoted volunteerism within their community‚ÄĒand it is 'or' not 'and'.

Organisations and community groups generally choose to present certificates to their nominated volunteers during National Volunteer Week celebrations, which run this year from 20 to 26 May. Nominations have now been opened; they are closing on Friday 29 March 2019. A number of members may well have seen that there has been a range of social media which has promoted this, and I encourage everyone to participate. In 2018, there were 138 certificates distributed, so we would like to target more people in 2019 and I encourage everyone to be involved.