William Angliss Institute

Volunteer researchers recognised

Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney from William Angliss Institute and her collaborator Associate Professor Kirsten Holmes from Curtin University were recent recipients of the Thought Leadership Award at the 2016 Volunteering Victoria State Awards held at State Parliament.

From left to right: Dr Annette Maher, Professor Melanie Oppenheimer, Associate Professor Kirsten Holmes, Professor Lucas Meijs, Christel Mex (PhD Candidate), Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney and Dr Faith Ong.

The Award recognises research that significantly advances knowledge and the study of volunteering. This study made a new contribution by exploring the important topic of volunteer stress and burnout from the perspective of volunteer-involving organisations.

“The study identified the main causes of volunteer stress and burnout, together with effective ways for organisations to support their volunteers,” said Associate Professor Lockstone-Binney.
First presented at a national volunteering conference, the study has since been published in a leading volunteering journal, with the findings further disseminated at various sector events and reported in practitioner publications in New Zealand and the US.
In addition to the recent award, Associate Professor Lockstone-Binney and Associate Professor Holmes collaborate on a larger project led by Associate Professor Holmes and funded by the highly competitive Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects Scheme.
That project aims to understand better what motivates people to volunteer, what prevents some from doing so and what can be done to help more people start to volunteer in a range of sectors including tourism and events.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has funded the project from 2015-2017 and the project team also includes  Associate Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal (Macquarie University)Professor Melanie Oppenheimer (Flinders University) and Professor Lucas Meijs (Erasmus University, Rotterdam). William Angliss Institute  also contributes partner funding to the project, together with Volunteering  South Australia/NT, Volunteering Victoria, Volunteering WA and the WA Department of Local Government and Communities.
“Volunteering is essential to many organisations, communities and societal well-being across Australia. Yet, national statistics show that volunteering is on the decline in Australia and as such, some services cannot be delivered,” Associate Professor Lockstone- Binney said.
Associate Professor Holmes also presented to William Angliss Institute staff on a recently completed volunteering project, the Volunteering to Learn study, with which she was involved. The study examined stakeholder perspectives in student volunteering: students, universities, program managers, host organisations and voluntary sector peak bodies. Funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, the project identified eight different models of student volunteering across Australia’s 39 universities, which provide insights into trends in student volunteering.
Published on The Conversation.

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