People volunteer for a variety of reasons, ranging from people wishing to develop skills and gain work experience, to those who want to meet people and socialise. This chapter briefly outlines some of the key issues relating to engaging volunteers in the activities of incorporated associations. 

Key points

  • Volunteers (either as members or non-members) can do and participate in a wide variety of roles within an incorporated association.
  • Incorporated associations should be aware of their rights and responsibilities when engaging volunteers.
  • Generally an incorporated association will be liable for anything a volunteer does in good faith when working for the association. 

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, revealed that in 2014 5.8million people (31%) in  Australia had undertaken voluntary work for organisations, including incorporated associations, in the previous 12 months. Many associations would not be able to function without the assistance of their volunteers.