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4441.0 - Voluntary Work, Australia, 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/06/2001   
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INTRODUCTION

1 This publication contains results from the Survey of Voluntary Work conducted throughout Australia in 2000 using the Population Survey Monitor (PSM), a quarterly household-based collection. The major aim of the survey was to collect data on rates of participation in voluntary work, characteristics of people who volunteer, the types of organisations they work for, and the kinds of activities they undertake. Information on whether people made monetary donations to organisations was also collected.


SCOPE AND COVERAGE

2 All usual residents in private dwellings are included in the PSM. The survey covers rural and urban areas across all States and Territories of Australia, except sparsely settled and Indigenous areas, which account for approximately 85,000 persons aged 18 years and over. The exclusion of these persons will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual States and Territories, with the exception of the Northern Territory where such persons account for approximately 19% of the population. All persons living in non-private dwellings are excluded.


SAMPLE DESIGN

3 For each quarterly survey, multi-stage area sampling techniques were used to select a sample of private dwellings. In each dwelling, one adult (aged 18 years or over) member was then randomly selected for interview. The Survey of Voluntary Work was conducted in each of the four quarters of 2000 and information was obtained from 12,900 persons. This corresponds to a response rate of 88%.


DATA COLLECTION

4 Information was obtained by personal interviews conducted by trained ABS interviewers who have extensive experience in conducting household surveys.

5 The willing cooperation of selected households is sought. Measures taken to encourage cooperation and maximise response include:

  • advice to selected households by letter, accompanied by an information brochure explaining that their dwelling has been selected for the survey, the purposes of the survey, its official nature and the confidentiality of the information collected;
  • call-backs and follow-up to ensure that every effort is made to contact the occupants of each selected dwelling, and to conduct the survey in those dwellings.


DATA INTERPRETATION

6 A previous Survey of Voluntary Work was conducted in June 1995 as a supplementary topic to the Monthly Population Survey (MPS). The two survey methodologies differ and results from the 1995 survey have been recalculated to achieve greater comparability (see Technical Note 2: Reprocessing of 1995 Data).

7 Volunteers may work for more than one organisation and may undertake more than one type of activity for each organisation. During the interview, volunteers were asked to provide information on their work in the previous 12 months for up to three organisations. If they had worked for more than three organisations, questions about the types of organisations and activities undertaken were restricted to the three organisations for which they had worked the most hours. In tables showing type of organisation, a volunteer may therefore be counted up to three times. For example, if a volunteer worked for two sport/recreation organisations and one community/welfare organisation, that volunteer would be counted twice under sport/recreation and once under community/welfare. In tables showing type of voluntary activity, a volunteer may be counted multiple times through undertaking several types of activity for one organisation, one type of activity for up to three organisations or several activities for up to three organisations.

8 The survey provided an estimate of 4.4 million volunteers. In aggregate they had 6.5 million involvements with organisations, undertook 15.7 million activities and contributed 704.1 million hours of voluntary work. Where volunteer involvement or activity rates are shown in tables, the denominator used is total volunteers.


SYDNEY 2000 OLYMPIC VOLUNTEERS

9 During the survey development phase it was recognised that the expected large volunteer work force for the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games could impact on the survey results and affect comparability with the 1995 results. Any voluntary work for the Sydney Organising Committee of the Olympic Games or for the Olympic Road Transport Authority has been excluded from the survey estimates.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

10 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:
    How Australians Use Their Time, 1997 (Cat. no. 4153.0)
    Unpaid Work and the Australian Economy,1997 (Cat. no. 5240.0)
    Involvement in Sport, Australia, 1997 (Cat. no. 6285.0)
    Work in Selected Culture/Leisure Activities, Australia, 1998-99 (Cat. no. 6281.0)

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