Above: Monica Smyrek, AAMoV Chair
Presidents report AGM 2016
The 2015/2016 year has been a very busy one for Board members and AAMoV.
Last year in 2015 on International Volunteer Managers Day, AAMoV announced the winners of our annual Volunteer Manager Award of Excellence. The team winners were Communities@work in Canberra and Jasmine Lister in Adelaide. The 2016 winners were announced on the AAMoV Facebook page earlier this month.
AAMoV have a number of partnerships and we seek to grow benefits for members. These may come in the form of discounts for professional training and other activities relevant to the profession.
This year members have been notified of discount offers with an online training group based in New Zealand called Xperts. Volunteering Gifts Australia have been supportive of AAMoV and we are keen to see how we may offer benefits to members and their respective organisations. This year’s AAMoV Awards were supplied through Volunteering Gifts Australia.
AAMoV have been speaking with the new CEO of Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) and a VNZ Board member about ways in leveraging the relationship and MOU between the two organisations. AAMoV were invited to distribute promotional flyers at the VNZ conference held in late October.
AAMoV had a presence at a stand shared with Northern Volunteering Education and Training Services (NVETS) at the Canberra National Conference in April this year. This provided an opportunity to promote AAMoV to potential members. NVETS and AAMoV are working on an MOU to leverage mutually beneficial outcomes for both organisations.
AAMoV held a number of workshops as a pilot to gauge the interest of members in regular workshops to build on relevant professional skills. These were run in Melbourne by a member, Nathan Brown, who volunteered his facilitator skills and time. Rob Jackson Consulting also ran a successful workshop. The Board will review the pilot and consider next steps.
I would like to acknowledge the contribution of all those who served on the Board this past year. While juggling work and busy family lives, Board members have voluntarily taken on the additional responsibilities of a Board and committee member in service to the members of AAMoV. The association is run completely by volunteers and in the typical spirit of volunteering are people who give their time, talents and passion to helping make a difference to others.
Thank you to
Stephen Rollings who resigned as a co-opted Board member in August to take on a new job in Abu Dhabi.
Alison Marshall (Co-opted Board member)
Tony Ross (Co-opted Board member)
In addition to the Board I would like to thank;
Nathan Brown has been our wonderful member volunteer workshop facilitator in Victoria.
Tamara Bezu for helping with a communications project as a member volunteer.
Karen Buenger who provides support through her previous Board member experience.
Andy Fryer and Better Impact which AAMoV use to manage the membership database.
Peter Heyworth and NVETS for supporting AAMoV.
With new Board members joining the Board and plans to introduce state chapters to engage with our members more readily, I look forward to a challenging but rewarding year ahead in 2017.
AAMoV President's Letter – 21 April 2015
Dear Managers of Volunteers
Introduction from the acting President
Firstly I would like to acknowledge the dedication of all the AAMoV Board members who take time from very busy work and personal lives to contribute to an Association that aims to support you, our members and our professional colleagues. While we are undertaking some change in terms of roles, the Board continues to deliver on achieving the undertakings given at the last Planning Weekend.
As an introduction, I thought I might share a little about myself. I am based in Melbourne and have been working in the volunteer management space for nearly five years after making a career transition from a corporate background. I have always enjoyed working with people, developing and helping people achieve their goals. I love helping volunteers find that perfect volunteer role for them and I love how they contribute to the programs we deliver. I find this for me, to be reflective of the true sense of community. I was elected onto the Board of AAMoV in October 2014 and in that time, I have been impressed by the time and dedication given by Board members (who are all volunteers themselves) in promoting, managing and performing all sorts of roles to support the Association.
One of the key questions I have been asked since joining the Board is how AAMoV is different to the state and national peak bodies. Our international colleagues have such representation and for me it’s about a focus and investment on you as a professional rather than focusing, as we so very often do, outwardly in supporting and leading volunteers. The two are in many ways intrinsically linked but I see how AAMoV provides mutual support, recognition, and appreciation while championing volunteer managers inclusively, no matter what field, discipline and sector across Australasia.
We are a small Board so there is a lot of work to do in support of our goals. As the year progresses, I would like to encourage you to consider how any of our current financial members may like to exercise their membership. We can always do with ‘more hands to make light work’ through involvement in committees, short term flexible virtual projects, helping host a network event or join as a Board member.
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men
I am available to answer any questions you may have.
Acting President, AAMoV
Above: AAMoV Board members (from top left): Tony McArthur, Grant Morgan, Mel White, Karen Buenger (from bottom left): Monica Smyrek, Marg Joiner, Megan Cassar, Ali Marshall, Lucy Camp and Vanita Schwarz
Reflection from the acting President
Monica Smyrek reflects on the significant impact volunteer managers have on other people by doing their job well.
Some days I ask myself why I am doing this job. I know I am passionate about volunteers, volunteering and those we help. I know that I love working with people, developing them and helping them realise their own passions and aspirations. I know it’s not always easy and there are frustrating and challenging times. I know I can get caught up in the process and day to day grind of juggling a busy timetable. Then every now and then I really know why I choose to be a manager of volunteers.
Recently we placed a young adult volunteer in one of our programs who has some learning difficulties. At the interview they were shy and struggled to maintain eye contact and articulate themselves. The program managers and I took the time to understand the volunteer and their needs, we ensured they were well supported and wanted to provide the best volunteer experience we could. That was a few months ago. I recently saw the volunteer when visiting the program and was blown away by the stark difference. I now saw a person who was confident, smiling and engaging. Chalk and cheese in just a few short months. They are now an integral part of the team. We value all our volunteers, but I do delight in having contributed to the change in confidence so evident for this one person.
So on the days when I wonder what it’s all about, I think of the positive impact my role has in making a difference to people. My role has an impact beyond recruitment, beyond placing a volunteer in a program. My impact makes a difference to each volunteer, each user of our services and to every staff member. My role purpose, my satisfaction, my profession has a more far reaching impact then we recognise at times. When we open up our mind we have the opportunity to acknowledge the impact we make. This is what gives me my energy and feeds my passion, it gets me up in the morning ready for another day.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~William Arthur Ward
AAMoV President's Report - January 2015
Happy New Year!
I hope you are all doing well, enjoyed some time off during the holiday season and are now raring to take on a New Year.
As managers of volunteers, we are faced with professional challenges daily and these are made that much easier to resolve when we can call on others for their experiences and knowledge. To that end, the AAMoV board met for an annual strategic planning weekend at the end of 2014. This meeting allowed us to analyse our member’s survey results, as well as other feedback and suggestions (thank you to everyone that participated in this process) and we identified what we will be doing in the year ahead to meet your needs.
The key challenges that were identified include:
connecting better with members through our Facebook page, website and email newsletters;
involving members in AAMoV activities to progress our profession further;
building partnership with other volunteering networks and organisations and signing MOU's to formalise our shared direction. A number of key MOU’s are already being finalised including one looking at professional development opportunities;
creating more avenues and opportunities for members to network with each other. Events and local meetings are already being developed in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia; and
develop funding avenues for our activities that doesn't rely solely on your membership fees. We recognise that to progress our profession to where it needs to go we need to explore stable income streams that enable us to engage paid staff in supporting AAMoV to deliver valuable services and resources to members. We see this as a vision for the next 5 years, but a vital key to taking AAMoV from being a small volunteer run board, to the driving force we all want.
Our next steps are to identify how we are going to meet these challenges and undertake the work needed to do so. If anyone would like to assist us with these activities, please contact us and we will gratefully involve you in the activities we are developing.
AAMoV is currently run by a board whose members individually volunteer between 2-15 hours each month. We work hard trying to make a difference to others, in this case it’s for our current and future members. We will continue to focus on growing an Australasian association that not only has a growing membership, but one where members are actively involved and gain a genuine benefit from their professional representative body.
Till next time,