National Volunteer Week 2021



Monday 17 – Sunday 23 May 

  • New official data reveals the severe impact COVID-19 has had on volunteering with nearly one in ten Australians having not returned to volunteering in the past year.
  • This National Volunteer Week (17 – 23 May), Volunteering WA is urging Australians to recognise, reconnect and reimagine volunteering, as the peak bodies lead the way to reinvigorate volunteering.
  • Volunteering WA is calling on everyone to ‘wave your appreciation’ for volunteers and recognise the vital role they play in our lives each and every day.

 Each year Australian volunteers dedicate over 600 million hours to help others; however, compelling new research reveals the severe and ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the sector.

 The rate of volunteering through an organisation was already declining over time, from 36% in 2010, to just 29% in 2019 and now new ABS data shows nearly one in ten Australians have not returned to volunteering in the past year.

 This comes as three quarters (72%) report their organisation’s volunteer program was not fully operational whilst 42% were not confident that they will achieve pre-COVID levels of volunteering activity in the next six months.

 At the height of the pandemic in Australia, two thirds of volunteers (66%) stopped volunteering altogether, equating to an estimated loss of 12.2 million hours per week.

 Volunteering WA CEO Tina Williams, is confident the sector can recover with support from Government and industry. 

 “This year’s National Volunteer Week theme acknowledges that it is time to recognise, reconnect and reimagine volunteering. By recognising volunteers, reconnecting by giving our time and reimagining how we better support volunteers, I believe WA can reinvigorate volunteering for the future.

 “We are working hard to build an understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on volunteering and its role in Western Australia’s recovery. It is vital for all of us to work together, share our collective knowledge and reimagine how we can better support Australia’s diverse, dedicated and invaluable volunteers. 

 “This National Volunteer Week, we will celebrate the significant contribution made by almost six million Australians, including more than 550,000 Western Australian volunteers. This includes community sport coaches, volunteer programs across hospitals and aged care, wildlife carers, and volunteers supporting disaster response and recovery.

 “We encourage everyone to reconnect with the community by giving our time to help others and ourselves. To get involved and find a volunteer opportunity that suits you, visit or contact your local volunteer hub or resource centre,” Tina says.



Volunteering WA

Holly Hazel  |  Manager Marketing & Communications  | 08 9482 4304

 Wave Your Appreciation for Volunteers

We invite you to put your hand up and thank all the volunteers around Australia by waving a special smile of appreciation to recognise the great work volunteers do each and every day.

WAVE FOR VOLUNTEERS: Upload your wave photo to social media, tag @VolunteeringWA and share using the hashtags #NVW2021 and WAVE FOR VOLUNTEERS: Upload your wave photo to social media, tag @VolunteeringWA and share using the hashtags #NVW2021 and #waveforvolunteers.


WA Volunteer of the Year Awards | Thursday 20 May 2021 | Crown Perth

The remarkable contribution of WA volunteers will be recognised at the Western Australian Volunteer of the Year Awards on Thursday 20 May at Crown Perth. These Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding efforts made by volunteers each year across eight different categories. In 2021, 31 finalists were shortlisted from over 270 incredible nominations. The recipient for each award will be recognised at the Awards gala dinner during National Volunteer Week. 

Snapshot – Volunteering

  • Volunteering WA is the peak body for volunteering in WA, working across community, government, corporate and education organisations to provide leadership, advancement and the celebration of volunteering.
  • 30 per cent of Western Australians generously donate their time and effort to volunteer work.
  • Volunteering WA proudly represents over 730 organisations and about 550,000 volunteers in the State.
  • Volunteers are reportedly happier and healthier people, with volunteering increasing feelings of self-worth, connectedness and providing overall better mental health.
  • Volunteering can provide pathways to employment by helping people gain valuable work readiness skills and confidence, with employers reported to believe it provides candidates with an advantage when applying for a job.
  • There are multiple motivations for people volunteering, including helping others, personal satisfaction and doing something worthwhile.