Volunteering Victoria is committed to actively hearing from and understanding the diversity of experiences and perspectives on volunteering and community giving.1
We aim to strengthen and create an equitable and accessible volunteering sector that ensures everyone has equal opportunity to participate in volunteering, in all its forms and definitions.
Concrete actions at the core of our State Conference
For Volunteering Victoria, our State Conference is a clear opportunity to translate our good intentions into concrete actions. Thanks to the guidance of our Conference Advisory Panel, we have taken numerous steps to make our conference diverse and inclusive:
We recognise that diversity should never focus solely on gender alone. Accordingly, our program was developed through a wide lens on diversity. Our main goal is to foster an environment where everyone is invited to speak and share their experience, both by being on the stage and in the crowd.
We acknowledge that inclusivity needs to be built into the conference planning and logistics from the outset:
- Pronouns: We will provide pronoun stickers to all participants to ensure attendees’ preference is visible and shared.
- Cost: Thanks to a partnership with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, we are providing 5 scholarship tickets to ensure that cost barriers do not prevent people with more limited financial means to join us and contribute their wealth of experience during the conference.
- Access: We have chosen a beautiful venue with everything in place to assist people with low mobility, low vision or in need of wheelchair access. We invite all attendees to let us know if we can do anything else to ensure that their own needs are met.
We have adopted alternate formats (keynote addresses, workshops, breakout sessions, panel discussion, Great Debate, networking function, masterclasses) throughout the conference to create a more inclusive environment conducive to sharing knowledge, generating new ideas and offering a safe place to create new partnerships and collaborations.
Some attendees may not be comfortable or want to express their views publicly, so we are using the Slido app to allow people to share their questions and ideas and make suggestions at any time during the conference.
Online user experience:
We always aim to communicate in an inclusive manner by notably following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. We acknowledge that we may not get everything right in this space, so we invite you to let us know if we can take further steps to increase accessibility.
Despite our best intentions, we recognise that incidents of discrimination and harassment may still happen during the conference. While we will intervene immediately should we witness inappropriate behaviours, we strongly encourage attendees to promptly inform any Volunteering Victoria staff members of any incidents during the conference.
At the end of the conference, we will send all attendees a short survey. This will be the opportunity to let us know what we did well and where there is still room for improvement.
To help us achieve our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the lead up to the conference, we invite you to send us your comments or suggestions at [email protected].
Thank you for joining us for our State Conference and we look forward to Building Bridges to the Future alongside you.
1 Refer to our EDI Position Statement from October 2021.