In May 1976 the first Volunteer Seminar was held in Albury Wodonga. Twenty statutory and community welfare Organisations were represented at this inaugural meeting.
The meeting was generated by concern to promote the role of Volunteers as equal and essential partners in the community helping process.
There was agreement on the need for improved communication and coordination of local Organisations utilising Volunteers.
The Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau was established as a result of this meeting.
The original aims of the VRB were:
- To provide training and ongoing support opportunities for paid and Volunteer Workers.
- To provide a better coordination of welfare services in the Albury/Wodonga areas, geared towards a 24 hour availability basis.
- To improve the recruitment of manpower into community Organisations and,
- To develop a trust and understanding between all welfare personnel in the region.
VRB was operated by volunteers until 1982 when a 16 hour per week paid coordinator was appointed funded evenly by the NSW and Victoria state governments. Incorporation status was received on 17th September 1985.
The committee comprised of representatives from Organisations with volunteer programs, Volunteers and interested members of the community.
The role of the VRB at this point changed focus to concentrate more on Volunteer issues. The overall aim was to improve both the quality and quantity of Volunteer effort in the Albury Wodonga area.
The objectives were:
- Developing a range of services aimed at supporting and assisting agencies and groups which involve volunteers in their programs.
- Agencies retain control over programs but benefit from VRB input.
- Improving quality of Volunteer involvement (selection, training etc) and enlarging quantity and,
- Ancillary backup service to individuals and groups (information, support, training, consultation).
Volunteer Management Program
The Volunteer Management Program works in conjunction with the Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau Inc. to provide a service to:
1. Volunteers seeking work by:
- Maintaining a register of Volunteer options.
- Interviewing Volunteers to identify their needs.
- Matching and referring Volunteers to Organisations and,
- Providing volunteering training.
2. Non-profit community based Organisations by:
- Providing training to managers of Volunteers.
- Consulting with and assisting Organisations in planning their Volunteer programs and,
- Promoting and displaying the profile of registered Organisations.
3. The community by:
- Developing the awareness of Volunteerism and,
- Providing information and resource material on Volunteer issues.
The Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau is a member of the Association of Victorian Volunteer Resource Centres (AVVRC). A volunteer resource centre is a not for profit, independently managed, community based organisation which subscribes to a code of ethics and the principles of volunteering.
The Volunteer Resource Bureau aims to:
- Resource and support Volunteers to make informed choices about Volunteer Work.
- Maintain and make available up to date information on community agencies which involve Volunteers.
- Refer, as opposed to recommend, volunteers to a wide range of not for profit agencies across all sectors of the community
- Resource and support agencies involving volunteers
- Develop an awareness in the community by acting as an advocate for volunteering and promoting the principles of volunteering
- Work with other volunteer resource centres through the national and state centres to develop common standards of practice
- Maintain adequate funding in order to provide a comprehensive service to volunteers and the community, and
- To work with other agencies to promote best practice standards for volunteer management.
In November 2006 Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau received funding form the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to offer settlement services in the Albury area. Later the same year we moved to 596 Hume Street Albury NSW. In 2008 DIAC provided funding to run a citizenship support program aimed at supporting new migrant to successfully pass the citizenship test.
The Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau has 150 organisations listed of which a large proportion are in the welfare field, however, there are many multicultural services, sporting clubs, educational services, environmental groups and service clubs.
In 2015 the Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau continues to:
- Promote the benefits of volunteering to the community
- Provide Learn Local training in Pathways to volunteering and work
- Support community organisations with training and the Way2Go Toolkit for Volunteer Managers
- Provide CALD resources
- Assist with multicultural services, and
- Support refugees and new migrants to volunteer and gain experience in the community.
- Department of Family and Community Services NSW.
- Department of Human Services (VIC).
- Department of Planning and Community Development.
- Department of Social Services.
- Adult, Community and Further Education (VIC).