Monday, 18 March 2024

Northern and Southern Volunteering SA Reception

I am pleased to welcome you to Government House this evening to celebrate 40 years of Northern and Southern Volunteering.

Congratulations on reaching this milestone.

South Australians have a strong sense of community, exemplified by a deeply rooted culture of volunteering.

Hundreds of thousands of South Australians volunteer each year, in a combination of formal and informal ways, service which is estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

For four decades, both Northern and Southern Volunteering have played a vital role in promoting a culture of volunteering in Adelaide.

You have assisted hundreds of organisations – from grass-roots, volunteer led, local organisations to government departments – to recruit volunteers, providing a foundation of support for their everyday tasks and services to the community.

You have connected thousands of South Australians with volunteering opportunities, carefully matched to their individual circumstances and requirements.

One of these opportunities is the Community Visitors Scheme – recently renamed the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme - for which I was pleased to host a reception in 2022, celebrating 30 years of the program.

This initiative, and others, have helped volunteers to utilise their unique skills and abilities, as well as provide social contact for both the volunteer and the people they are supporting.

I thank Northern and Southern Volunteering for contributing to creating an inclusive society, in which all South Australians have the opportunity for meaningful participation.

I thank current and previous Executive Officers and Chief Executive Officers in attendance, including Kay Hefferan, Viv Barker and Mel Kerton from Southern Volunteering and Sue Nightingale, Peter Heyworth and Donatella Amos from Northern Volunteering.

A special mention needs to be made to long serving volunteers, including Elaine Glanville, who has volunteered for 32 years, as well as Sheila Stanners, volunteer for 20 years; and John Smith, Chair of Southern Volunteering for the past 10 years.

Your commitment to your community is outstanding.


Rod and I recently met a group of our patronage organisations to enable them to share their experiences in attracting, working with, valuing and retaining volunteers.

They exchanged ideas on how to meet challenges such as an ageing volunteer base, how to encourage younger people into volunteering, how to provide volunteers with flexibility when they need it, and how best to foster the sense of purpose which inspires so many volunteers.

I was pleased to learn that Northern and Southern Volunteering are committed to improving volunteering opportunities for those facing barriers to participation.

In the last two years this has included the ‘Volunteerability’ program, supporting volunteers with disability, and the ‘Youth into Volunteering’ program, which supports young people aged 12-25 to access volunteering opportunities.

I am confident the passion, dedication, and generosity of spirit that Northern and Southern Volunteering have demonstrated during the past 40 years will stand you in good stead moving forward.

In our society, turning 40 is often associated with maturing into oneself.

The challenges of our early years have help us acquire wisdom, strength and resilience, which are assets for the next phase of our lives – as no doubt they will be for the next phase of Northern and Southern Volunteering.

Congratulations once again and I wish you all the best as you continue weaving service and connection into the very fabric of the South Australian community, for the benefit of us all.

Coming events