VolunteerHub staffer Megan Burke went to the recent National Volunteering Conference for Day 2 in Canberra:
The National Volunteering Conference 2016 in Canberra last week provided a wonderful forum to learn about innovative programs, connect with subject experts and develop new skills to promote volunteering initiatives.
The wide range of topics covered at the conference was indicative of the diverse fields volunteers operate within across Australia. With palliative care volunteering in mind, there were several sessions that provided great insight into how things are currently being done within the sector, how we could borrow and adapt ideas from other sectors, and most importantly how volunteering could be better managed and promoted in the future.
The music and art program designed to enhance inpatient aged care at Prince of Wales Hospital demonstrated the innovative ways volunteers are engaging with, and improving the quality of life for elderly patients. While on the other hand elderly volunteers themselves at Eastern Palliative Care (VIC) were praised for so successfully adopting technology in their palliative care volunteering roles. It was inspiring to see the positive impact technology and innovation plays across the volunteering sector.
‘Here you call it volunteering, we call it community.’ Woman from Sierra Leone
A presentation about volunteering in multicultural communities, highlighted the value of ‘informal’ volunteering within culturally and linguistically diverse communities, while also considering opportunities to grow volunteering across cultural groups, and develop initiatives that improve participation and accessibility within these communities.
A brief visit to the Canberra Region Cancer Centre was a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the volunteers who contribute significant value to services and institutions that support the wider community across so many sectors.