Volunteering Victoria has made a submission to Emergency Management Victoria Resilient Recovery Discussion Paper.
This submission highlights the important work that Volunteering Victoria’s HelpOUT service has done to build and contribute to resilient recovery within disaster affected communities. Volunteering and the HelpOUT service significantly contribute to strengthening the emergency management sector and building resilience of local communities by:
- Increasing volunteer participation in emergency related events;
- Providing broader, more inclusive participation across, between and within local communities before, during and after emergencies;
- Supporting the development of a robust and sustainable emergency management sector;
- Providing flexible options and choices for volunteer participation;
- Developing infrastructure and programs that effectively meet the needs of disaster affected communities.
Volunteering Victoria believes that there are currently four key issues related to volunteering which impact resilient recovery in communities:
- A sustainable service to train, deploy and supervise managers of spontaneous emergency volunteers before, during and after emergencies.
- A sustainable service which registers, matches and deploys spontaneous emergency volunteers to disaster affected communities.
- Under-representation of diverse communities in the emergency management sector with opportunities to provide a pathway via volunteering opportunities.
- Markedly low engagement of spontaneous and short term volunteering opportunities in the emergency management sector, which provide avenues to build resilient recovery within communities.
VCOSS have also made a submission which further highlights the importance of volunteers and providing funding to community organisations to support building resilience within communities. The need to fund and support the infrastructure for volunteering in the emergency management sector is essential at a time when natural disasters and emergencies are on the increase.