The Federation Press

Volunteering Visions


Volunteering Visions is both an inspiration and a handbook.

Containing 29 interviews with key players, Volunteering Visions concentrates their experience, vision and insight into a reminder of the necessity and joy of active citizenship, and a valuable resource for those working to achieve community goals.

The interviewees include: Patrick McClure, Sandy Hollway, Robert Fitzgerald, Ian Kiernan, Dianne Cowan.

As you read these 29 interviews, it becomes clear that volunteering and non-profit work is gutsy, not nice. While many modestly discuss their work in terms of “helping out”, and “giving back”, these are people who are challenging inquity, adversity and lethargy, boldly setting out to make a difference.

The interviews demonstrate the prevalence and possibility of individual and concerted effort in all fields. These interviewees and the organisations they represent, foresee and work towards a more resilient, engaged, cohesive and happy Australia.

Volunteering Visions offers considered discussion on the challenges of non-profit organisations, addressing human resources, including recruitment, motivation, development and retention of volunteers; funding, including links with government and business; legal and safety issues; and the future of volunteering.


“Volunteering Visions, edited by Joy Noble and Fiona Johnston, gives a broad perspective on volunteering from people involved at administrative and policy levels, and from community leaders representing a wide range of fields including arts, community services, sport and education. The contributors outline their own experiences and perceptions of volunteering, and reflect on a number of broad issues, including the way in which the changing nature of volunteering gives rise to a new set of challenges and issues including the recruitment, support and protection of volunteers.
Importantly contributors outline a vision - ways in which volunteering can go beyond the provision of services and be conceptualised in creative and innovative ways to foster community strength, enhance community capacity and promote participatory democracy and civil society. ...
[The book] provides essential reading for community organisations and government departments, managers of volunteers, practitioners in the field, volunteers themselves, and students in a range of fields where their is increasing interaction with volunteers in diverse circumstances and situations.” - Australian Journal of Volunteering, 2002

Table of Contents

Joy Noble & Fiona Johnston

Human rights

Community advocacy
Robert Fitzgerald

Indigenous action
Shirley Peisley

International relations
Bill Armstrong

Human services

Innovation and community engagement
Jane Schwager

Social obligation and enterprise
Patrick McClure

Building community
Peter Bicknell

Hospital volunteers and change
Doreen Mason

Emergency services

National emergency management
David Templeman

Protecting communities
Alan Woodward


Campaigning for conservation
Michelle Grady

Clean Up Australia
Ian Kiernan

Taking account of lifestyles
Greg Were


Strategies for sport
Dianne Cowan

Lessons from the Olympics
Brendan Lynch


The community assisting students
Patricia Winter

Students assisting the community
Irene Thom

The arts

Music uniting a community
Jo Parkes

Spiritual life

Communities of faith
Margaret Reeson

Multicultural life

Greek community action
Nicky Dimitropoulos

The multicultural contribution
Malgorzata Mascribroda


Involvement at local level
Anne Dunn

State government strategies: South Australia
Iain Evans

State government strategies: New South Wales
Sandy Hollway

Federal government initiatives
Barry Smith

Creative partnerships

Community, government and business
John Murphy

Corporate links and rural activities
Jane Sandilands

A trade union perspective
Peter Christopher

Service clubs
Kevin Howard

Volunteering Australia
Sha Cordingly

Volunteering: Perceptions and possibilities
Joy Noble & Fiona Johnston


Of interest...