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Volunteering and sex
A higher proportion of females participated in unpaid voluntary work (25%) than males (18%).
Volunteering and marital status
The proportion of married people who participated in unpaid voluntary work (23%) was significantly higher than the proportion of volunteering among people who were not married (18%).
Volunteering and household/family type
Higher proportions of volunteering were found among people living in lone person households (26%) or in couple families with dependent children and/or dependent students (25%). The lowest proportion of volunteering was found in people living in one parent families with non-dependent students (14%).
Volunteering by full-time/part-time employment type
Where part-time or full-time employment type status could be established there was a significantly higher proportion of volunteering among part-time workers (26%) compared with full-time workers (20%).
Volunteering and sector of employment
Where sector of employment could be established, people in the government sector were significantly more likely to have volunteered (26%) than people in the private sector (18%). There were no significant differences in the volunteering proportions between the levels of government with 27% of commonwealth and 26% of state employees volunteering.
Volunteering and industry
The three industries with the highest proportion of people having done unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 were education and training (39%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (37%) and professional, scientific and technical services (28%). The three industries with the lowest proportion of people having done unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 were mining (14%), information media and telecommunications (13%) and transport, postal and warehousing (13%).
Volunteering and occupation
The occupations with the highest proportion of people having done unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 were professionals (29%) and managers (28%). The occupations with the lowest proportion of people having participated in unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 were technicians and trade workers (15%) and machinery operators and drivers (11%).
Types of volunteering activities
The most common unpaid voluntary activity was fundraising, with 41% of people who volunteered indicating they had participated in fundraising in the 12 months prior to October 2010. The next most popular volunteering activities were teaching, instructing, coaching or refereeing (34%) and committee work (31%).
There were differences in the types of volunteering activities undertaken by males and females. Male volunteers were significantly more likely than female volunteers to participate in repairing, maintenance or gardening and emergency or community safety. Female volunteers were significantly more likely to participate in fundraising, preparing or serving food or drink and caring for the aged, disabled or sick.
How often usually volunteered
An estimated 40% of volunteers usually volunteered at least once a week while 23% usually volunteered less than once a month. Only 3% of people volunteered every day. Results for males and females are quite similar; however, females reported volunteering more frequently than males. The proportions of females volunteering every day or at least once a week were higher than males, but the proportions of males volunteering at least once a month, or less than once a month were higher than females.
The type of voluntary activity that recorded the highest proportion of participation at least once a week was teaching, instructing, coaching or refereeing where 57% of the total unpaid voluntary work for this type of activity was provided at least once a week.
Similarly, the type of volunteering activity that recorded the highest proportion of participation at least once a month was environmental protection; 33% of the total unpaid voluntary work for this type of activity was provided at least monthly.
Whether volunteering has increased, decreased, or stayed the same
The majority of volunteers indicated their level of participation in volunteering had stayed the same in the 12 months prior to October 2010 (60%). The proportion of people who had increased their participation (20%) was almost the same as the proportion who had decreased their participation (18%). Those aged 15-24 years showed the highest proportion of people who had increased their participation in volunteering (23%) and those aged 65 years and over had the highest proportion of people whose volunteering participation had stayed the same (75%).
Volunteering and work preferences
There was no significant difference in the volunteering proportion between people who would have preferred to work fewer hours (22%), more hours (20%) or the same hours of work (19%).
Of the people who selected unpaid voluntary or community responsibilities as one of the reasons they would have preferred to work fewer hours, 65% had participated in unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010.
Volunteering and flexible working arrangements
People who had participated in unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 used more flexible working arrangements than people who did not volunteer. An estimated 64% of volunteers and 56% of non-volunteers used some type of flexible working arrangements. Volunteers recorded higher proportions of use of all flexible working arrangements than non-volunteers.
In the use of the two flexible working arrangements; working from home or alternative workplace and choosing start and finish times, there was a significant difference between volunteers and non-volunteers. In both arrangements volunteers utilised there arrangements more.
There are no significant differences in the use of flexible working arrangements between males and females who volunteer. The most commonly used flexible working arrangement was choosing when to take annual leave.
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