Without volunteers, many of the wonderful organisations, not-for-profits clubs we engage with and events we enjoy simply could not thrive, and some may even cease to exist.

It’s well known that for RSL Victoria, volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation.

As part of National Volunteer Week (NVW), RSL Victoria wants to thank and highlight the work of its vast and vital network of volunteers.

The theme of this year’s NVW is “Something for Everyone”, which aims to recognise the diverse passions and talents everyone brings to volunteering.

Last year, there were over 7,000 volunteers registered with RSL Victoria who completed over 308,000 hours of work.

These hours comprised of volunteer efforts towards the annual ANZAC and Poppy Appeals, administration and management, commemorative projects, wellbeing support for veterans and compensation advocacy service.

Kerry Burns, RSL Victoria’s Manager of Volunteer Services, says the volunteers include a broad spectrum of individuals who fill diverse roles to deliver high-quality services and activities.

Some have ex-service backgrounds and are keen to continue ‘serving’ in another capacity.

Megan Homburg served in the Royal Australian Air Force from 2007 to 2018 and has been volunteering with the RSL for several years.

"It allows me to be involved in the community again. When you’re in Defence, you’re part of a big family and once you’re in the RSL, it’s a similar feeling."

Megan Homburg

She believes her own lived experience is valuable to veterans.

“I understand how they feel, what they went through and any issues they’re facing. It’s a job with a purpose.”

Not only has Megan brought her own skills to the volunteer position, but she said it’s been an opportunity to gain others.

“You develop skills as you go. I’ve been involved in lots of different roles and events, helping out with whatever they need.”

Other volunteers, like retiree Marie Flewellen, don’t have military service backgrounds.

She volunteers in an administration role for RSL Victoria.

"I wanted to give back to an area I feel quite passionate about, so the RSL was that for me."

Marie Flewellen

She’s able to put her computer skills to use and enjoys conversing with people and said it’s added another dimension to her life.

“Since I stopped working, I lost contact with a lot of people, so being here has enabled me to make new friends, meet new people and actually feel like I’m part of a team.”

Kerry Burns believes volunteering is a powerful tool.

“It opens opportunity for change – both for the lives of the volunteer and those they help. Let’s not forget the benefits to one’s wellbeing when it comes to doing, giving and helping.”

RSL Victoria President, Dr Robert Webster OAM, said volunteers are an asset to the organisation.

“Without these dedicated individuals who generously give of their time, RSL Victoria would not be able to achieve much of its great work in supporting our veteran community.”

Learn More

Visit the National Volunteer Week website to learn more about this week and the importance of volunteering.