Volunteer projects for ‘Grey Nomads’ with skilled trades
Over the next two years Volunteering Australia (VA) is carrying out a national research program promoting the development of Volunteer projects in outback towns for Grey Nomads.
What is a Grey Nomad? People over 50 who travel around Australia, visiting many outback towns.
Why focus on Grey Nomads?
Grey Nomads make a substantial economic contribution to rural communities. They have a wide range of skilled trades that could be of use to people in isolated rural communities on a volunteer basis.
Most try to experience all that an area has to offer before moving on, extending their stay if there are activities of interest. They are enthusiastic about experiencing and learning about the outback. They value the information provided by locals.
Volunteering Australia says there has been much documented about the decline of rural towns. The research will explore the untapped potential for the development of mutually beneficial relationships between Grey Nomads and isolated rural communities through voluntary programs.
A Partnership & a Grant
VA has formed a partnership with Professor Jenny Onyx (University of Western Sydney) and Associate Professor Rosemary Leonard with funding from a Commonwealth ARC Grant to carry out the project.
The research will have two components:
1. Surveying the needs and interests of Grey Nomads as potential volunteers – an online survey is being conducted through the VA website and is being distributed in hard copy form through selected networks.
2. Visiting, and working with selected outback towns to develop volunteer programs that would be of interest to Grey Nomads.
This will involve:
Which towns will be involved?
Towns for the project will be progressively identified and negotiated with interested parties. Barcaldine and Winton in Queensland are among the early participants.
The research is expected to be completed in late 2007. It is planned to produce a report of the project and a guide book to volunteering for Grey Nomads.
How can you participate, if you are a grey nomad?
You can complete an online survey about your interests and experiences and encourage your friends and fellow grey nomads to do likewise. If you think you’ve got a potentially inspiring story to tell, the details would be appreciated so please e-mail VA.
How can NonProfit organisations in outback towns participate?
Tell VA the name of your town and where it is located and what your interest is. Email: email@example.com so they can contact you to find out more.
Are you or your town interested? Are you planning to be involved?
If so, PWF would love to hear from you.