Our 2018 Annual Report was released at our Annual General Meeting last week. Find out our highlights of 2018, and some of our plans for 2019!
Below is an excerpt from our General Manager:
As the community sector undergoes significant change and we see many mergers and organisations closing their doors, Volunteer West has refreshed, consolidated its position and reached out to communities across the region this year. As a strategy new to the organisation, expos held in Wyndham and Moonee Valley saw hundreds of local residents connected to volunteering. The events, held thanks to funding from the respective local governments, have also created interest in volunteering more broadly.
Volunteer West has been a key contributor to the establishment of a National Network of Volunteer Resource Centres. The network aims to establish standards for the operations of VRC’s, set benchmarks for best practice and share resources amongst centres. A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the foundation centres and all VRC’s will be invited to participate in the network.
We are working with a group of VRC’s in Victoria to seek support from the State Government to work on projects in rural settings as well as growth corridors. For some time now Volunteer West has flagged the need for the establishment of additional services in our most disadvantaged and fastest growing local government areas. Aside from Volunteering Victoria, there are fourteen VRC’s covering the south, north and eastern regions of metropolitan Melbourne and one covering the west. Volunteer West continues to advocate for more resources for volunteering in our region.
Volunteer West was successful in obtaining a grant from the Hobson’s Bay Community Fund for a Governance Mentors project. This will enable us to have a volunteer mentor work with a community group to strengthen their governance processes and practices. Volunteer West will then produce a report evaluating the project, highlighting successes and challenges and plans to build on this work if further funding allows.
A significant change for us has been the move to the Louis Joel Community and Arts Centre. This has enabled us to have more meeting spaces and greater visibility for the service. The centre have been very welcoming to us. Although we only needed to move across the road we still
had the unenviable task of packing and sorting through what seemed like decades of paperwork!
Laura Rouhan has left us this year and we wish her well for the future. Laura has initiated a new partnership with Victoria University. Students assist us with event style information and referral, meeting at the Laverton Community Hub and conducting telephone interviews for prospective volunteers who are unable to attend face-to-face. The students have gained valuable experience in their interactions with local community members and Volunteer West is grateful to them for their assistance with connecting volunteers to opportunities. Kasia Tkaczyk also ably assisted us during the year with our work supporting outreaches.
We continue to work closely in partnership with our agencies across the region and look for opportunities to grow volunteering in Melbourne’s West.
General Manager, Volunteer West