By AMANDA ATLEE
I remember what it was like.
Savouring your ration of udon noodles and soy sauce. Trying to answer the phone correctly depending on which of the three jobs you are currently at. Oh and uni! Don’t forget uni! However will you fit in all of those readings?
Life as a young volunteer or intern is hectic. Hectic and poor.
There are many reasons why we drag ourselves out of bed and it is definitely not for the money or for the glory. For some, it’s the feeling that you’re doing something good in the world; that you’re giving back to the community. For others it is trying to learn more, develop skills and establish networks in the hope that someday, somewhere you will be able to get paid for doing this work that you love so much. But above all, you have to believe in what you are doing. And that is why so many people continue to volunteer long past university.
6.4 million peoplethroughout Australia believe in volunteering and most of these are actually already engaged in paid work. Many work full time jobs, support a family and still manage to give up some hours a week to invest in their community. People aged between 45 and 54 years reported the highest rate of volunteering.
While it contributes more to the Australian economy than mining, the true impact of volunteering is immeasurable. Without volunteers in our community needy people wouldn’t receive meals, there would be homes burned to the ground, sport teams would collapse, children would have to dash across the pedestrian crossing without a lollipop lady/man and organisations that rely on the support and donations raised by volunteers would cease to exist. Quite frankly without Australian volunteers, there would be chaos which would reach around the world. Injustice and abuse would not be exposed, political prisoners and people in crises would be unheard and alone.