Dear Editor,


This week is National Volunteer Week- Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering.


It’s a chance to acknowledge the contribution of those who donate their time and skills to make our local communities stronger.


Australian society relies on volunteers to provide a myriad of activities and programs, in our schools and hospitals, residential and home care settings, playing fields, and community centres.


Volunteers are also often on the frontline when crises hit – particularly in our rural and regional communities fighting bushfires, delivering food packages, and providing support to those at risk in our communities.


Through the resilience and innovation of volunteers and volunteer involving organisations, voluntary action has been a vital pillar in supporting communities through recent challenges.


Across Australia, it is estimated that over five million people volunteer in one capacity or another.


However, two thirds of people who were volunteering through organisations or groups stopped volunteering during the early stages of the pandemic, compounding a longer-term decline in volunteering participation.


This week is also a call to action to reverse this decline because volunteers truly are the heart of communities across Barker.


I’m helping to celebrate our local volunteers through my Barker Volunteer Awards program, because no matter how big or small the contribution, volunteers all contribute to making the community an even better place to live, work and raise a family.


I encourage everyone to celebrate your local volunteers and the vital role they play in your life and the life of those around you.


Yours sincerely


Tony Pasin MP

Member for Barker

Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport