The Australian National Maritime Museum, in conjunction with long-term partner Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) yesterday launched an expansion of the museum’s existing volunteer program, designed to engage Defence Force veterans.
The program was launched by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN.
Tanya Bush, Acting Director of the museum said, “The museum’s volunteers are one of our most important assets and we are pleased to be able to extend our volunteer program to even more Defence personnel to share their invaluable knowledge and experience. In partnership with CSC, the program will support Defence Force veterans, through volunteering at the museum, to transition to civilian life, retirement and/or be a stepping-stone to general employment or simply provide community connection.
“Defence personnel are dedicated, resilient and disciplined individuals, and this program is unique in its design to tailor positions to the skills, knowledge and experience of the veteran community, allowing them to gain the most benefit from participating. This includes training and professional development, mentoring and recognition. Additionally, those who have retired, who cannot work, or who are in civilian employment often miss the connection, purpose and support of military life. This program is dedicated to promote and encourage volunteering from Defence Force veterans with familiar objects in a public setting.”
Through the volunteer program, CSC will also be linking volunteers with their Vets Hub, an online community dedicated to improving financial well-being for Australian veterans and military families.
Damian Hill, CEO of CSC said, “As we celebrate our centenary this year, we are really proud to be the founding partner for the Museum’s Defence volunteer program and very excited to see it up and running.
“This initiative further builds on our strong connection to the Defence Force community and this next step in our partnership with the Museum provides us with a really practical way to support those in the Defence Forces who have proudly served our nation.”
While veterans will have the opportunity to contribute to existing positions, a range of new and diverse volunteer roles are also being developed across the museum. These positions will be matched to applicants to ensure a good fit between existing skill level, experience, interests, and preferences, as well as the potential to provide opportunity for growth and learning.
It’s hoped this exciting initiative will lead to further collaborations between like-minded organisations, which will allow the museum to further expand the program.
Currently, approximately 10% of the 500 existing museum volunteers have worked in one of the Defence Forces. While the museum works hard to find a place for everyone regardless of mental or physical limitations, there were many more in the Defence community who wanted to be involved.