The social and economic sustainability of WA’s rural volunteer workforce
Volunteering is critical to the survival and success of rural communities in WA. The past two decades have seen an increase in the community services delivered by volunteers and demand on the volunteer workforce has intensified. Yet, over the same period there has been a decline in volunteer participation across Australia resulting in a shortage of volunteer labour. This study uses sequential mixed methods to investigate the role of volunteering in creating a sense of community wellbeing and delivering essential services in rural areas, and identifies the strategies volunteers and voluntary organisations are using to sustain the rural volunteer workforce.