New funding to support our volunteers

Applications for the Gillard Government’s Volunteer Grants program are now open and Federal Labor candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, is encouraging Central Victorian community organisations to apply for funding.

Ms Chesters said organisations can apply for grants of up to $5,000 for a variety of purposes, including buying much needed equipment or helping volunteers with fuel costs, training courses and compulsory background checks.

"Our volunteers and their organisations do a great job in creating a sense of belonging and social inclusion and building stronger local communities.”

“I know from talking to many of these organisations, and their volunteers, the pride and pleasure they get from contributing towards building and supporting a strong, inclusive and vibrant community.”

“Across Central Victoria, our volunteers really are unsung heroes of our communities and these grants will help them to continue their vital work,” Ms Chesters said.

In 2012, the Gillard Government provided volunteer grants to 4,800 community organisations, which helped more than 166,000 of their volunteers, and this year another $16 million is available under the program.

“The Gillard Government is continuing its strong commitment to supporting the nation’s volunteers and the thousands of community organisations that provide the foundation for volunteering,” Ms Chesters said.

“More than six million Australians volunteer each year and they also play a critical role in emergencies, supporting their fellow Australians on the disaster frontline and helping to rebuild local communities.”

Applications for Volunteer Grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 are open from 15 March
until 24 April. For more information go to www.fahcsia.gov.au.