1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
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Adult volunteers(a)(b)
Graph Image for Adult volunteers(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) In the 12 months prior to interview. Proportion of all people aged 18 years and over. (b) 2006 data are shown on the same basis as 1995 and 2000 data, without the four new conditions associated with the 'willingly undertaken' criterion being applied.

Source(s): ABS Voluntary Work, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4441.0)


Willingly giving time to do work for an organisation or community group on an unpaid basis can be rewarding for individuals, and it can extend and enhance their social networks. For example, volunteering may be the basis of relationships between community members who do not normally associate with one another.

Since 1995, the proportion of the adult population (aged 18 years and over) who 'volunteered' in the previous 12 months increased from 24% to 35% in 2006 (Endnote 1).


  1. In 2006, changes were made to the definition of volunteers to ensure that they undertook the voluntary work willingly. This meant that some activities, such as Work for the Dole Program or student placement, while recognised as unpaid community work, were not strictly voluntary or would not normally be seen as voluntary work, and so were excluded from the definition. The result this change had on the data for 2006 is quite small. The proportion of adults who volunteered changed from 35% to 34%, or from 5.4 million people aged 18 years and over to 5.2 million people.


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