Victoria's army of dedicated volunteers have been formally thanked for their contribution to the State at the launch of National Volunteer Week in Melbourne today.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan officially launched volunteer week celebrations during a visit to the Royal Children's Hospital and the Red Cross Australia headquarters.
Mr Ryan said volunteers came from all walks of life and were often the lifeblood of Victorian communities.
"More than 1.5 million Victorians make a huge contribution to our local communities as volunteers, doing important work across a range of sectors such as emergency services, in health and ageing, education, social justice, heritage and culture, and sport and recreation," Mr Ryan said.
"The courageous and sensitive support of local volunteers both during and following devastating emergencies such as bushfires and floods has been particularly highlighted in recent years.
"This year's theme for National Volunteer Week is 'every volunteer counts' and there are many people in our community who know first-hand just how valuable volunteers can be, and for that we are very thankful."
Mr Ryan said volunteers often got as much out of the experience as the communities that they supported, and took the opportunity to encourage more people to volunteer.
"Volunteers participate in a range of areas and often pick up new skills, extend networks and enjoy a sense of fulfillment through helping others," Mr Ryan said.
"I'd encourage everyone to consider volunteering and have a look at the many opportunities that are available on Victoria's Volunteering Portal," Mr Ryan said.
"The volunteering portal has more than 3,500 volunteering opportunities on offer from more than 500 organisations – from fire fighting, floods recovery and lifesaving, to pre-school care, adult education, sport and recreation, health, arts, heritage, tourism and local government."
For more information visit: www.volunteer.vic.gov.au