eCite Digital Repository

Emergency volunteering: Leading engagement and retention


Tsai, A and Newstead, T and Lewis, G, Emergency volunteering: Leading engagement and retention, Volunteering Research Papers - Round 1, Volunteering Australia, Australia (2022) [Report Other]

Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy

Official URL:


When fires, floods, and other disasters strike, Australians around the country rely on the rapid, coordinated, and skilled services of emergency response organisations. The network of emergency response organisations covering the nation is composed, predominantly, of volunteers. For instance, there are currently around 162 thousand firefighters in Australia and 90 per cent of them are volunteers. From road crash rescues, beach patrol, firefighting, and dealing with national disasters, emergency response volunteers show up on people's worst days and provide their unpaid, professional assistance. However, against the backdrop of the increasing demand for emergency services, in 2020, the Australian General Social Survey recorded the lowest volunteering rate on record. In addition, most emergency response organisations, are facing a worsening volunteer turnover rate. Concerns that sociodemographic changes such as work-family lifestyle, rural population decline, and preference for more flexible volunteer participation, seem to be coming to fruition and amplifying the problem.

On a positive note, most emergency response organisations, scholars, and other stakeholders are aware of the challenges and continue working up possible solutions. But inevitably, tackling these challenges involves structural changes, which require comprehensive strategic planning that is long-term in nature.

Item Details

Item Type:Report Other
Keywords:volunteering, emergency volunteering, leadership, volunteer leadership
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Leadership
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Unpaid work and volunteering
UTAS Author:Tsai, A (Miss Amber CY Tsai)
UTAS Author:Newstead, T (Dr Toby Newstead)
UTAS Author:Lewis, G (Dr Gemma Lewis)
ID Code:153638
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:College Office - CoBE
Deposited On:2022-09-29
Last Modified:2022-10-12

Repository Staff Only: item control page