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  • Marika Kontellis

Volunteers are the New Black

The drivers of reform across Australia’s health and social care sector are pushing a sector to change not only how it does things, but also how it thinks about things.

The “professionalisation” of Australia’s care saw the growing demarcation of work and power between clients, staff, and volunteers. By the 1990’s double degrees, topped up with a post graduate qualification would impress interview panels for many front line roles. A decade or so earlier, volunteers or informal care givers, were the likely providers of this frontline care and support.

We lost a lot of (social capital) ground by 2010 with many organisations recruiting volunteers but limiting their input in planning and delivery of care.

“Volunteers are the new black” and social care organisations who do not know how to meaningfully engage volunteering effort will struggle to engage customers and build community of support around their work.

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