International Volunteer Managers Day – One Job, many hats!
A reflection and thank you from Jacqui Bell, Member & Volunteer Engagement TeamWhen we identified that there was an ‘international’ day for acknowledging volunteer managers around the world I was unsure of whether to put time and resources in celebrating the day. You know the drill: ‘time is scarce; resources are limited’ – we’d just be patting ourselves on the back!
However, as I reflected on my immediate reaction I came to realise that it is vital that we raise awareness about the important role that the ‘Leaders/Enablers of our Volunteers’ play within EWB Australia in supporting positive, meaningful, purposeful and life changing volunteering experiences for our members across all of our programs.
This year’s theme ‘one job, many hats’ rings true for many of our staff and chapter leadership. For staff, the delivery of a program may be their ‘job’, but a passion and duty to engage our membership means there is a significant emphasis and time spent engaging volunteers and wearing the many hats required to do so. In our chapter leadership also, consisting of Presidents, Treasurers, Secretaries, Member Engagement, Hub coordinators, Local Partnership coordinators (just to name a few) the job is to lead a group of passionate members in active and strategic participation with EWB, but involves so much more than just assigning tasks or jobs. Chapter leaders often act as mentors, pastoral care support, career advisors, energisers, conflict resolvers, strategists, recruiters and the list of ‘hats’ could go on. These individuals, EWB Australia’s volunteer leaders or enablers (I could go into ‘what’s in a name’, but I will save that for another time!), often come to EWB to do just that. Others find, that they fall into their role by chance, not knowing that it will involve wearing these ‘many hats’ but by bringing inherent skills and qualities to their job they are able to create environments in which volunteers flourish.
Facilitating positive, meaningful volunteer engagement opportunities which foster two-way knowledge sharing and capacity building is one of the instrumental ways in which EWB will achieve its strategic aim of building a movement of humanitarian engineers and professionals. To do this is no mean feat and takes a significant amount of passion, spirit and stamina.
So today on International Volunteer Managers Day, I would like to take the time to not only recognise, but celebrate the ever amazing group of individuals standing behind our community of volunteers, who are turning people’s passion into effective action that builds our movement of humanitarian leaders.
Thank you to EWB Australia Staff, Chapter Executives, initiative coordinators, past and present!
We truly appreciate your commitment to EWB Australia!