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Healthy ageing in Australia's rural places: the contribution of older volunteers

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Drawing on case studies of two ageing rural communities in north-east Victoria, Australia, this article explores how older volunteers both contribute to, and are supported by, third sector activities and services within rural environments. As such, volunteer activities build healthy ageing in rural settings, and contribute to community viability. However, further analyses suggest that reliance on third sector voluntarism also presents serious challenges for the future. This is particularly the case in relation to the sustainability of healthy ageing in rural settings where public sector resources are being rationalised. Our findings show that there are risks associated with an over-reliance on volunteers in rural communities and with the excessive regulation of volunteers unless appropriate infrastructure and support are provided.
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Keywords: AUSTRALIA; COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY; OLDER VOLUNTEERS; RURAL

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: July, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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