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National Volunteer Week 2021 celebrations

A chance to thank our volunteers

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers. From Monday 17 to Sunday 23 May 2021, the Department for Education celebrated the significant contribution of over 25,000 volunteers who each year dedicate their time to help our schools, preschools and centres.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions last year, the work of volunteers was significantly reduced. This only reinforced the importance of our volunteer workforce and its contribution to the education and wellbeing of children and young people. 

Thank you to all volunteers for doing your part during the restrictions, and for continuing to follow the physical distancing requirements still in place.

As we move into reconnecting with volunteers, there is an opportunity to explore how volunteer opportunities might be reimagined and extended to include more people and more flexible roles.

It’s good to volunteer with us – maybe you could help too.


Last year we were not able to hold assemblies and in-person events to thank volunteers. This year the week-long celebrations saw schools, preschools and centres hosting a wonderful array of morning/afternoon teas and luncheons, as well as award ceremonies and assemblies where staff and students could reconnect with their volunteers and say thanks. 

We would love to hear what you did to celebrate NVW 2021. You can email us at education.volunteers [at] sa.gov.au

Here are some of the ways volunteers were recognised during National Volunteer Week 2021

Morning tea events (department sponsored)

  • Adelaide – 18 May
  • Yankalilla – 20 May

Minister’s Volunteering Award for Outstanding Service

Nominations for The Minister’s Volunteering Award for Outstanding Service were called for to be presented to volunteers during National Volunteer Week. The award aims to recognise individuals or groups who make a significant contribution to others by volunteering in our schools and preschools.

Recipients received a certificate personally signed by the Minister for Education, thanking them for their service.

You can nominate your volunteer for an award anytime of the year.

Find out more about the award.

Give a gift

Volunteers were acknowledged with a small gift of appreciation from the department. Pens, notepads, keep-cups, calico bags and more were available free to schools, preschools and centres to pass on to their volunteers. Contact us at education.volunteers [at] sa.gov.au for more details.

Get creative

We would love to hear your creative ways you said 'thank you'. You can email your ideas to Heidi Unferdorben at education.volunteers [at] sa.gov.au

Mental health and wellbeing

During these uncertain times we know the importance of everyone’s wellbeing and wanted to share some useful resources with our volunteers

About our volunteers

The department has a volunteer workforce of more than 25,000 people who give their time and share their skills to help children and young people learn and grow.

Our volunteers are diverse. They are parents, family, caregivers and people from the community. They bring their life skills, expertise, knowledge and diversity to our schools, preschools and children's centres.

Our volunteers help in so many ways. It’s good to volunteer with us – maybe you could help too.


To apply to volunteer, contact the children’s centre, preschool or school you want to volunteer with.

Phone: 8226 3795
Emaileducation.volunteers [at] sa.gov.au