Volunteer Futures Forum

On Friday February 13th, the University of Wollongong and Palms Australia hosted the “Volunteering Futures Forum” in Wollongong.

Presenters from the University’s Centre for Asia-Pacific Social Transformation Studies (CAPSTRANS), Palms and Indigo Foundation shared their research, insights and experiences of the state of global volunteering for development today, and outlined their visions of future directions.

Papers presented included:

  • ” Conceptualising Development: What Volunteers Think and What They Do”
  • “Overseas Volunteering: Profession, Jobs Or Opportunity for Cultural and Regional Engagement”
  • “Embracing Volunteer Vulnerability in an Age of Fear”
  • “Neoliberal Development in Asia: Challenges for Volunteers”
  • “Who Benefits From Global Volunteering? Does It Always Work?”
  • “Development Volunteering: Is It Becoming Too Institutionalised?”

The forum was well attended by academics and other parties interested in global volunteering. The presentations were interesting and challenging and provoked much discussion.

The papers will be published and available for general reading soon.

This was the second such forum co-hosted by Palms and the University of Wollongong, following an initial forum held in November 2005. The University and Palms Australia have been partnering on a three-year study into cross-cultural volunteering funded by the Australian Research Council.