Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP, 2022)
Population (UNFPA, 2023)
26.4 milion
Total number of volunteers (ILO, 2020)
Direct volunteering (ILO, 2020)
Organization-based (ILO, 2020)

Volunteer statistics (ILO)*

Source: ILOSTATS. The data is collected by ILO from national statistical offices. As national statistics on volunteer work are produced using a variety of approaches and tools, direct and cross-country comparisons are not recommended. For more information, visit

Total volunteering by type

Total volunteering by age group

Total volunteering by gender

Direct volunteering by gender

Organization-based volunteering by gender

Measurement work

Data source

  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
    • Social Survey
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
    • Social Survey
  • 2015
  • 2016
    • Census
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
    • Social Survey
  • 2020
    • Social Survey
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024

Laws, Policies, Schemes on Volunteering

Does the country have a piece of legislation on volunteering?


Commonwealth Volunteers Protection Act 2003

Year 2003
View source

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement

Year 2015
View source

Does the country have a national policy, scheme, plan or strategy specific to volunteering?


Name of specific policy, strategy or plan on volunteering at the national level. Year created Source link What are the relevant SDG areas/crosscutting themes of the policy, plan scheme or strategy?

National Volunteering Strategy 2011

2011 No data

National Strategy for Volunteering 2023 - 2033

2023 View source

Does the country have a sectoral and cross-sectoral policy, scheme, plan or strategy that mentions volunteering?


VNR Reporting

Report on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2018

View source

Reporting positive contribution of volunteering to the SDGs

Paragraph 1, page 3

As you will read in this Voluntary National Review, Australians of all walks of life are contributing with enthusiasm to building a more sustainable future and achieving the SDGs: from Australian businesses that have adopted the SDGs into their operations, our domestic and international volunteers, youth, community and business networks, through to national organisations like our universities, libraries and scientific institutions. Academia, business, civil society, in addition to local, state and territory government partners are deploying their expertise, investment and creativity to implementing the SDGs at the local, regional, national and international level.

Paragraph 2, page 7

The 2030 Agenda is not just for and about government initiatives and activity; it involves many national stakeholders including the business sector, civil society, the education sector, communities, families and individuals. The many Australians engaged in the care economy, in volunteer work, and through their everyday activity including their paid work are contributing to achievement of the SDGs. Through partnership with all sectors of Australian society and across borders, we are working together to implement the SDGs. Importantly, and as guided by the Addis Agenda, this requires both public and private funding.

Paragraph 3, page 8

Youth-led initiatives are motivating and mobilising young people across Australia to deliver on the SDGs at home and overseas. Examples include AIESEC in Australia sending 430 young people to volunteer in countries in Asia as part of “Youth for Global Goals” and the Australian Medical Students’ Association’s gender equity project focusing on SDG5. Youth organisations throughout Australia have come together to identify broad approaches to raising awareness about the SDGs and forming partnerships for action. Youth representatives are strong advocates and champions for the SDGs in engaging with governments, local authorities and institutions, as well as with peers and colleagues.

Paragraph 4, page 10

Our national challenge is to harness the SDGs framework to raise awareness and empower people to take action in their own communities and as individual consumers, investors, business owners, employers, volunteers and users of government services. Some organisations are already leading the way: Australia’s national postal service and eCommerce provider, Australia Post, is using the SDGs as a framework to provide and present information about sustainability to small businesses. The Australian water industry has raised awareness of SDG6 and all the SDGs in its outreach to customers, businesses and among political leaders.

Paragraph 5, page 19

Sustainability is a key feature in city planning around Australia. For example, Brisbane City Council has put sustainability at the core of its planning, with a focus on biodiversity, reducing emissions, green transport, water conservation, urban forests and parks, and waste and resource recovery. Active and engaged community groups and volunteers are all playing their part to enact this vision of a clean, green and sustainable city. The City of Fremantle’s adoption of the One Planet Fremantle Strategy, and its sustainability principles, aligns with the intent of several of the SDGs.

Paragraph 6, page 77

Around Australia, local councils are balancing the demand for housing and urban infill with the need to conserve access to green space for urban amenity and environmental services. Like in other cities around the world, development of community gardens in cities around Australia is becoming increasingly popular. Supported by grass-roots volunteer communities, schools and other community groups, these initiatives provide valuable environmental services as well as contributing to health and nutrition.

Paragraph 7, page 84

Separately, Australian Volunteers program participants work in sustainable tourism in the Philippines and Fiji, with projects including a focus on employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Paragraph 8, page 103

Australia’s many volunteers play a key role in supporting activities of community groups and institutions which are particularly important to the inclusion of the disadvantaged.

Paragraph 9, page 9

Australians are generous and engaged in the community. In 2016, Australians volunteered 932 million hours and donated $12.5 billion to charity. Many Australian companies and business-people are involved in philanthropic work and support worthwhile causes and initiatives, many of which align with the SDGs. Australian volunteers make cross-cutting contributions to all the SDGs at home and abroad, building community resilience and capacities. At home, the most common focus for volunteering is education, sports, religion, health, social services and emergency relief, with volunteer efforts making an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion. Volunteering is a way to engage communities and promote inclusion and wellbeing. Successful and innovative efforts in Australia have included the Aboriginal Volunteer Program, enabling small groups of supported young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers to work collaboratively with people in the remote South Australian community of Oodnadatta to undertake locallyidentified community development projects.

Paragraph 10, page 9

Over 13,000 Australian volunteers have worked overseas in developing countries since the 1950s through community and government-supported programs. In 2016-17, Australian Volunteers for International Development had 1,212 Australians volunteering with 754 host organisations in 25 countries in the Indo-Pacific in support of the SDGs. Eighteen per cent of volunteers focused on working with people with a disability. The Australian Volunteers program matches skilled Australians with organisations in developing countries to assist these organisations in delivering their development objectives. The program is part of the Australian Government’s people-to-people program portfolio, connecting Australians to Australia’s aid program and the region. All departing volunteers receive a briefing on the SDGs and their ongoing engagement in development activities is supported by a Returned Australian Volunteers Network.

No mention
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