The broad array of volunteering that takes place in Victoria is inspiring and the Awards recognise Victorians who give their time and skills to better the lives of others and their community.
More than 200 million hours are volunteered annually, providing 23 billion dollars to the economy. 1 in 3 Victorians volunteer and more than half have done so for more than 10 years.
There were 229 nominations this year for the Awards, an 87% increase since 2013.
To highlight the significant number of volunteers, and the variety and impact of volunteering effort across the State, 60 volunteers have been formally recognised for their outstanding achievements across five categories.
DIVRS proudly received a teamwork Award for our Emergency Relief service.
"The team sustain the delivery of the Emergency Relief Service at a level that cannot be matched by a paid workforce, and provide client centered, intensive support and increase ability to address the underlying causes of financial hardship.
DIVRS is designed to assist people in immediate financial crisis in a way that maintains the dignity of the individual and encourages self-reliance. This is achieved by a team of volunteers who possess a set of specialised skills in engaging clients with complex and multiple needs. These include strong relationship building skill, knowledge of referral pathways, cultural competency, needs assessments, and an understanding of the broader service sector. Their approach is supportive, confidential, consistent, client-focused and solution-focused. There is a strong emphasis on best practice principal including promoting choice and practicing in a manner that is flexible in response, empowering, strengths based, transparent and clear on ethical boundaries. As a team they possess a high level of personal attributes which include being respectful, empathetic, honest, encouraging, non-judgmental, trusting and these qualities are translated in their ability to consistently engage and produce positive outcomes for clients.
Each week our team of volunteers provide emergency relief services to a minimum of 60 clients through casework support and contribute in excess of 150 hours a week. The longest serving member has committed 17 years to DIVRS."