IT IS a national industry worth an estimated $17.3 billion, annually and in the south-west alone, employs almost one third of the population.
In dollar terms, it is worth more to the Australian economy than mining.
And not one person gets paid for the hours they put in.
It sounds like a yarn worthy of a controversial current affairs program, but the millions of Australians who work in this industry, are proud of the fact that they don’t get a paycheck.
These are the figures describing our national volunteer sector, the majority of which can be found in rural and regional areas like ours and which will be celebrated in National Volunteer Week, May 17 to 23, with receptions across the Glenelg Shire.
“Volunteers play a vital role, lending their time and talents, for no reward or remuneration, to support, encourage and enhance the lives of others in the community,” Glenelg Shire Council Mayor, Anita Rank said.
“In fact, the Glenelg Shire boasts one of the highest rates of volunteerism across the state, with nearly one third of our residents reporting some form of voluntary work through an organisation or group.
“These recognition receptions will recognise the many coaches, umpires, canteen volunteers, gardeners, meals-on-wheels deliverers, ground keepers, raffle ticket sellers and more who keep our community thriving.
“Whether you are in a sporting club, service club, community group or organisation; this event is for you.
“I hope to see as many volunteers as possible attend a Volunteer Recognition Reception in a location close to home to help us best celebrate the people who make our shire a great place to live.”
Volunteer Recognition Receptions will be held at Casterton this Monday, 17 May at 6pm, earlier that afternoon at Nelson CFA Shed, North Nelson Road at 3pm, Portland Civic Hall on Wednesday, 19 May from 6pm and at Heywood on Thursday, 20 May from 6pm at the Community Hall.