For many Christmas is a joyous and festive time to be spent with family and friends. Time spent having a BBQ, going to the beach or a game of backyard cricket. It’s a time to be grateful for the people in our lives and the country we live in.

In recognition of International Volunteer Day the 2018 Queensland Volunteering Awards are now open! The awards will acknowledge the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, volunteer managers, volunteer-involving organisations and businesses in bringing about positive change within their communities.

These prestigious awards demonstrate the value & vital contribution of volunteering to the well-being of Queensland.

Volunteering Australia has partnered with the Institute of Project Management (IPM) to launch an extensive report on the contribution of Volunteering Support Services (VSS) in Australia.

Ashley Fell was the guest keynote speaker at the Volunteering Queensland Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday 11 October 2017. Ashley is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and as Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle, she understands the need for organisations to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. Her expertise is in how to communicate across generational barriers.

On Wednesday 11 October, Volunteering Queensland held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in which we elected our new Board members for 2018.

Saturday 25 November 2017 has been designated as “Orange Day” by the UN to raise awareness against violence towards women and girls. The overarching theme of ‘Orange Day’ is “Leave No One Behind: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls”. Orange being a vibrant and optimistic colour it represents a future free of violence.

Poor mental health in the workplace is currently costing Australian businesses $11 billion a year as revealed by researchers at the University of Tasmania. With approximately 45% of Australians experiencing some sort of mental health issue in their lifetime, it is likely that at some point, every worker will be affected by mental illness, either directly or indirectly.

Anti-Poverty Week starts on Sunday 15 to Saturday 21 October 2017 coinciding with the UN’s annual International Anti-Poverty Day on Tuesday 17 October 2017.

Bianca (or better known to her friends as Cozi) is a Year 12 student from Everton Park State School who has completed the CHC24015 Certificate II in Active volunteering through our Students as Active Volunteers Initiative (SAAVI). Only 20 hours was required to complete the course; however Cozi volunteered over 100 hours of her time!

Mt Maria College Year 12 student Blake is completing a CHC24015 Certificate II in Active volunteering through our Students as Active Volunteers Initiative (SAAVI). Blake volunteers in the Religious Education Department at the school where he undertakes a variety of tasks that include designing labels for the 'care to cook' project, making flyers and bagging food and delivery to the local parish.

Vision Australia is a leading national provider of blindness and low-vision services in Australia. Vision Australia works to support Australians who are blind or have low vision, to help them maintain independence, overcome challenges and live their best life.

Nathanial is a Year 10 student from Parklands Christian College who is enrolled in the CHC24015 Certificate II in Active Volunteering through our Students As Active Volunteers Initiative (SAAVI). Nathanial loves sport and has a passion for giving back to his sporting community. He has dedicated time to volunteering at the Jimboomba Little Athletics Centre where he undertakes a variety of tasks including coaching younger athletes.

During National Volunteer Week, 8-14 May, the 2017 Queensland Volunteering Awards were held to acknowledge the efforts of thousands of volunteers, volunteer managers, and volunteer-involving organisations in bringing about positive change within their communities. The awards presentation and recognition ceremony was held on Friday 12 May in the Brisbane Room of Brisbane City Hall.

Youth Music Venture (YMV) has been nominated in the Queensland Volunteering Awards for its work in offering a safe place for young people to learn, make friends, build networks and entertain themselves through music.

This article appeared in ABC News Online - Sunshine Coast, 20 May 2016.  With painful memories of the Stolen Generation, Aunty Lillian Burke has volunteered with up to a hundred advisory boards, committees and consultancy groups over the last 10 years, and her efforts have now been formally recognised.

This article appeared in ABC News Online - Sunshine Coast, 26 April 2016. JUNE O'Sullivan has spent a lifetime helping others.  Over the past 70 years June has volunteered for numerous organisations in the Gympie region and loved doing it.

This article appeared in Quest Community News Online, 16 April 2016. Seventeen Mile Rocks’ Dorothy Kirby has volunteered at South Brisbane’s Maritime Museum for the past 42 years and has been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Queensland Volunteering Awards to be announced in May.

This article appeared in The Chronicle, 26 March 2016. Toowoomba woman Serenette Crombie has devoted herself to improving the lives of young women.  The 24-year-old has been nominated for the inaugural Queensland Volunteering Awards after 11 years of volunteering for the Queensland Country Women's Association Young Leaders program. 

This article appeared in Mission to Seafarers Port of Brisbane, 21 March 2016. You might not have heard of the Mission to Seafarers but that’s where Fitzgibbon’s Marcia Scholes has been volunteering since 1946.

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