24 August 2023

New matchmaking service to play crucial role in helping groups and volunteers find each other

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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four female volunteers sorting food at a food bank

In June, the Jobs Riverina Murray website became a one-stop shop for connecting volunteers and organisations in the Riverina. Photo: SolStock.

The Riverina now has a matchmaking service for volunteers and organisations.

The Regional Development Australia Riverina (RDA Riverina) Jobs Riverina Murray website now allows organisations to list volunteering opportunities and volunteers to seek roles as they become available.

Temora Shire Council economic and community development officer Shontayne Ward, working the volunteer space in Temora, found organisations were trying to recruit but struggle to find helpers.

“I started thinking about a database internally [in Temora] where we could capture what groups are after volunteers and the roles that would be available to anyone that wants to volunteer,” Ms Ward said.

“Then we remembered RDA Riverina had Jobs Riverina Murray [job portal].

“I asked them [RDA Riverina] if it would be possible to add in a volunteer job search.

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“They looked into that for me and quickly turned that around, saying they could do that.”

Ms Ward said volunteer groups looking to recruit someone could sign in and post the positions, just as companies did when looking for potential employees.

“If you’re a volunteer seeker, just as you look for a job, you can search for opportunities,” she said.

According to Census data, Temora Shire has one of the highest volunteer rates in the country.

Ms Ward said the Temora community thrived on volunteering.

“We are fortunate but the problem we’re having, like everyone else in Australia, is that we’ve got an ageing population,” she said.

“We’re finding that as people retire from their volunteering roles, there is not as much uptake from the younger generations coming through.

“People have fallen short and we have seen a couple of volunteer groups have had to close because of no interest.”

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Ms Ward said the council was working with the local high school students to encourage volunteering.

“Hopefully, they continue as they get older.”

The volunteer matchmaking service is free and available on the Jobs Riverina Murray website. To list or search for volunteering opportunities, click here.

Anyone who would like help using the Jobs Riverina Murray website, or has questions about volunteering, should contact Ms Ward on 0492 203 457 or at [email protected].

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