Australians are actually pretty good when it comes to helping each other out. The most recent ABS stats show in 2014 there were 5.8 million people in Australia (31 per cent) who had volunteered in the previous 12 months.
The highest rates came from our teenagers. Some 42 per cent of those aged 15-17 pitched in, most often for sport and recreation organisations.
All up, volunteers contributed 743 million hours to the community. That’s close to $30 billion based on the average wage.
On Saturday in Australia, it’s International Volunteer Day – a day set aside to recognise the efforts of those who keep our daily lives ticking over.
Happify, a website and app that uses games and tasks based on positive psychology to increase people’s happiness, has released this graphic to show how those who do volunteer tend to live longer and say it enriches their sense of purpose in life.
It’s got some US statistics in there, but the message is clear – volunteering benefits everyone.