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  • One in three Australians volunteer, yielding a 450% return for every dollar invested
  • Six million formal volunteers contribute a staggering $290 billion in economic and social good
  • This year marks 30 years of National Volunteer Week, Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers
  • During National Volunteer Week (20-26 May), and ahead of WOW Day (22 May), we acknowledge and celebrate how volunteers are “Making a World of Difference” and wear orange to say #ThankYouSES during #NVW2019

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contributions of Australia’s volunteers, and recognise how volunteers are “Making a World of Difference” in communities at a local and global level. This year also marks 30 years of National Volunteer Week, now Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Australia.

A key example of volunteers making a world of difference is when a natural disaster strikes, or an emergency unfolds. The 40,000 State Emergency Services (SES) volunteers dedicate their time and endure the elements to provide emergency assistance to our communities 24 hours a day.

In the past 12 months alone, Australia has experienced 40 declared disasters[1]. Largely comprised of volunteers, the SES volunteers put their community safety before themselves. They give their time to train and gain valuable skills to respond to emergencies such as: search operations, storm response, evacuations, and flood rescues.

Two-thirds of volunteers (64%) report helping others, or the community, as the primary reason they volunteer. With half of all volunteers giving a helping hand for more than 10 years, our communities are stronger together[2].

Over 6 million formal volunteers are making a world of difference across Australia, contributing a staggering $290 billion in economic and social good[3]. From the arts, sporting sector, education, health, disability, aged care, and emergency services, volunteers are indispensable in our society, providing vital services, mobilising community action and engaging in grassroots efforts.

From 20-26 May, thousands of events will be held across the country in celebration of National Volunteer Week, and to say thank you to the one in three Australians who volunteer their time in various sectors, organisations and communities across the country. On the 22 May, the SES is encouraging everyone to put on a little orange for Wear Orange Wednesday (22 May), take a selfie and post with #ThankYouSES and #NVW2019and show their support for volunteers and the extraordinary work they do.

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