Today, more than 8,280 people aged over 16 are actively involved in volunteer work in Broken Hill contributing more than $65.6M a year to our economy.
Volunteering in Broken Hill has been the platform for the sustainable development of the City since it was founded in 1883.
From the Sisters of Mercy who arrived in 1889 to provide valuable education, hospital and pastoral care, the residents of Broken Hill have always been active participants in the provision of resident support services, environmental change, community governance, economic prosperity, spiritual health, entertainment, social justice, health and active living services and political activism.
Snapshot of Broken Hill Volunteers
Total Population: 19,048
Total employed residents: 7,652
Total Volunteers: 8,281
Direct Value of Volunteer Work: 16.4M
Value-added value of volunteer work: $65.6M
Direct value of Council volunteers $394,352
Value-added value of Council volunteers: $1.6M
In Broken Hill City, 17.4% of the population aged over 15 reported doing some form of voluntary work in 20112 for an organisation or group valued at $5.2M.
More than 5,600 residents also work in areas defined as unpaid assistance and childcare. This contributes more than $11.2M to the economy.
This assessment is conservative – it assumes that volunteers work an average of 56 hours3 a year at $35.214.
It does not include the capital infrastructure or fundraising efforts by volunteer organisations invested back into the community. However, a recent study has found that for every dollar invested in volunteering, $4 in benefit is returned to the community.5 That represents a $65.6M investment per annum and makes volunteering our largest labour workforce industry by participation.
For Council, the volunteer investment is equal to $1.6M per annum. There are approximately 200 Council volunteers.
The number of volunteers working for organisations in Broken Hill City decreased by 293 people to 2,640 between 2006 and 2011. This decline reflects community concern expressed during the Community Strategic planning process in 2011 that Broken Hill’s volunteer workforce was at risk because of an ageing and declining population.
Statistical modelling indicates that 27% of the population will be over 65 in 2022 (a projected 13% increase from 2006). This will inevitably impact on the sustainability of the volunteer workforce.
This Strategy seeks to take a proactive approach to support and grow the volunteer workforce in our organisation and in the City, address the predicted decline in volunteer numbers, identify opportunities to encourage new volunteers and celebrate the achievements of our volunteer workforce.