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Largest consultation with Australian charities has commenced

New data indicates that Australians are volunteering less than they were two years ago. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission estimates that the number of volunteers in Australia dropped from 3.3 million in 2020 to 2.9 million in 2021.

This week the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Dr Andrew Leigh MP, announced the nation’s largest consultation with Australian charities had commenced, with sector representatives meeting to discuss how to reverse the collapse in community life.

According to a media statement from Dr Leigh, over the past generation, Australia’s community bonds have frayed as people have become less likely to join, volunteer and participate in community activities.

Dr Leigh said the charity sector is critical in reconnecting people but is facing unprecedented pressure. In recent years, charity staff and volunteers have helped millions of Australians rebuild their lives after floods and fires and have kept communities together in the face of falling volunteer numbers and a decline in donations.

The Albanese Government is committed to being a true partner to charities, and has pledged to fix fundraising laws, double philanthropy by 2030, and support charitable advocacy.

As the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Dr Leigh will meet with Australian charity leaders to discuss policies and collaborate on how to repair the sector through a series of ‘Building Community’ Town Hall meetings which began this week in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. They will then head to Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra and Darwin.

Events will also be organised for regional and remote areas. All registered charities in each state have been invited to attend.

Associations Forum is thrilled that Dr Leigh will give a video presentation to open the 2022 Association Leaders Symposium on Monday 5 September at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. He will talk about the role of associations in education, training and research to increase productivity and hence support a more competitive Australian economy.

The Symposium is an opportunity to discuss amongst your peers the topics that are often reserved for the Board and most senior levels of staff. Delegates will learn how to transform and grow their association whilst building stronger CEO and Chair and senior management partnership. For more information about the Symposium visit the Association Leaders Symposium Website.

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