UTAS

Community volunteer course commences, ahead of Australian Masters Games

A unique, fully-accredited course designed and developed by the University of Tasmania to train volunteers of the 16th Australian Masters Games is officially underway.

The Community Volunteer Program short course, a joint initiative between the University and the Games, went live on Monday, 21 August, and will remain open for three weeks.

Combining online modules with face-to-face sessions, it allows participants to learn about areas of volunteerism and this major sporting event, covering topics that include volunteering by definition, a history of the Games, work health and safety, social etiquette, effective communication and teamwork.

The volunteers are assessed by undertaking a short quiz after studying each module, with the total course duration estimated between six and eight hours.

Dr Jen Evans, course co-developer from the Institute for Regional Development, said the program would up-skill existing volunteers while educating a new cohort.

“We recognise our community is already full of wonderful and highly competent volunteers, so it is exciting to be offering a short course that will positively affirm their skills in line with contemporary standards,” Dr Evans said.

“The program also provides new and continuing volunteers with an awareness of potential issues in today’s events environment, while focusing heavily on the knowledge and expertise they will need while assisting at the Australian Masters Games.”

Professor David Adams, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community, Partnerships and Regional Development), said it was pleasing to see the institution’s partnership with the Australian Masters Games already having an impact.

“This partnership goes beyond the online training course. At the heart of it is our desire to give back to our communities, in this case through working in partnership to strengthen volunteerism," Professor Adams said.

“It has also created new research opportunities which our academics will lead during the Games, exploring why people choose to volunteer as well as the benefits of volunteering activity, and we expect this will uncover some invaluable and important local insights.

Dee-Anne Kapene, Volunteer Workforce Coordinator from the Australian Masters Games, said there had already been a strong uptake in the lead up to the short course commencing.

“More than 700 volunteers have enrolled, and there is still a large cohort of students from colleges across the region yet to sign up, along with other organisations such as service clubs and visitor centres which will be registering multiple members.

“After our volunteers have completed the course, face-to-face sessions will be held to provide them with specific role and venue training.

“It is fantastic to see our local workforce taking shape and the Games gaining momentum."

The Community Volunteer Program training short course was also developed with assistance from Jillian Brandsema from the Faculty of Education.

For more information about the Games or to register, visit:http://www.australianmastersgames.com/

Pictured: from left, General Manager, Australian University Sport, Tony Jermyn; University of Tasmania course co-developer Jen Evans and Australian Masters Games Volunteer Workforce Coordinator Dee-Anne Kapene.

Published on: 25 Aug 2017 2:17pm