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Voluntary work for an organisation or group (VOLWP)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable records people who spent time doing unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group in the twelve months prior to Census night.

Unpaid voluntary work can include:

  • assisting at organised events and with sports organisations
  • helping with organised school events and activities
  • assisting in churches, hospitals, nursing homes and charities
  • other kinds of volunteer work (e.g. emergency services, serving on a committee for a club, etc.).

Organisations or groups can include:

  • sporting teams
  • youth groups
  • schools
  • religious organisations.

Unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group excludes work done:

  • as part of paid employment
  • in a family business
  • to qualify for a government benefit
  • to obtain an educational qualification
  • due to a community or court order.

Scope

Persons aged 15 years and over

Categories

CodeCategory

1

Not a volunteer

2

Volunteer

&

Not stated

@

Not applicable

V

Overseas visitor

Number of categories: 5

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • Persons aged under 15 years

Question(s) from the Census form

In the last twelve months did the person spend any time doing unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group?

    In the last twelve months did the person spend any time doing unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group?
    In the last twelve months did Person 1 spend any time doing unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group?

    Include voluntary work for sporting teams, youth groups, schools or religious organisations.

    Exclude work in a family business or paid employment.

    Exclude work to qualify for a government benefit, to obtain an educational qualification or due to a community/court order.

    More information

    No, did not do any voluntary work

    Yes, did voluntary work

      More information

      Additional information relating to the question on: In the last twelve months did Person 1 spend any time doing unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group?

      More information

      In the last twelve months did Person 1 spend any time doing unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group?

      Include voluntary work for sporting teams, youth groups, schools or religious organisations.

      Exclude work in a family business or paid employment.

      Exclude work to qualify for a government benefit, to obtain an educational qualification or due to a community/court order.

      More information

      Only include help willingly given, in the form of time, service or skills, to a club, organisation or association.

      Unpaid voluntary work can include:
      • assisting at organised events and with sports organisations
      • helping with organised school events and activities
      • assisting in churches, hospitals, nursing homes and charities
      • school students participating in student government within their schools
      • other kinds of volunteer work (for example, emergency services, serving on a committee for a club or community group).

      How this variable is created

      The variable is recorded directly from the voluntary work question on the Census form. The responses to this question are recorded automatically from mark box responses, so the risk of errors during data processing are minimal. If both responses are recorded, the ‘Yes’ is accepted. The ‘No’ response will be rejected.

      History and changes

      The question on voluntary work for an organisation or group was first asked in 2006.

      No changes have been made for 2021.

      Data use considerations

      Unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group may include care of a child or care of a person with disability, a long-term illness or problems with old age. Unpaid child care (CHCAREP) and Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, health condition or due to old age (UNCAREP) both exclude unpaid voluntary work for an organisation or group.

      Care should be taken when comparing Census data on Voluntary work for an organisation or group with information from other surveys and publications. Definitions can differ between different statistical collections and may therefore not be comparable.

      Related variables and glossary terms

      • Unpaid child care (CHCAREP)
      • Unpaid domestic work: number of hours (DOMP)
      • Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, health condition or due to old age (UNCAREP)

      Other ABS sources