Managers of Spontaneous Emergency Volunteers

Disasters can strike anywhere and at anytime. And whether we plan for it or not, spontaneous volunteers will come forward with offers of assistance.

While these volunteers can be an invaluable workforce to help with relief and recovery efforts, recent disasters, especially the 2009 Victorian bushfires, highlight that most communities are not able to cope with a large  influx of spontaneous volunteers and a lack of coordination and management represents a risk to volunteers and the community.

The challenges posed for emergency management by spontaneous volunteers was acknowledged in the Victorian Emergency Management Reform White Paper, which recommended the development of “strategies to manage spontaneous volunteers during relief and recovery efforts.”

When disasters do occur it is essential to have access to appropriately trained volunteer managers who can be quickly and flexibly deployed to manage and support spontaneous emergency volunteers. This will help to ensure the volunteers are used effectively and to minimise negative impact and risk to volunteers, communities impacted by a disaster and other individuals and organisations involved in relief and recovery efforts.

The MSEV program is part of the HelpOUT service and aims to recruit, train, support, deploy & debrief a workforce of skilled volunteer managers to help community organisations manage with the management of spontaneous emergency volunteers during disaster relief and recovery.

Volunteering Victoria is pleased to announce that our next round of MSEV training will be offered in:

Interested Volunteer Managers and members of the public will need to register to attend the information training session which runs from 9.00am-3.00pm.

The MSEV program is a collaboration between Volunteering Victoria, Volunteering Geelong, local councils, emergency management agencies and Australian Red Cross.

For more information about the program, call Marijke Fotia, HelpOUT Project Manager on 03 8327 8501,  or email

Volunteering Victoria acknowledges the support of the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments through the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme and Red Cross. 

Volunteering Victoria acknowledges the support of the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust.

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