Wellbeing Project

Volunteer Wellbeing

Our disaster recovery work in Australian communities relies on the hard work and wellbeing of our people – our volunteers.

The DRA Tribe is made up of selfless individuals ready to serve vulnerable communities reeling from the impacts of overwhelming disasters. Our volunteer’s contribution of hard work, a friendly face and a helping hand is often the first time an impacted resident feels like there is hope.

We hear from our members that the volunteering experience is also giving them something back, in some cases volunteers report that being involved in DRA’s volunteering program has literally saved their life.

Our volunteers give selflessly and getting something back is not the reason why they volunteer, but they know that somehow, they are better for it.

We want a deeper understanding of the benefits of DRA’s volunteering program so we can help more people.

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Volunteering helps volunteers

Disaster Relief Australia knows our volunteering program helps people and saves lives and we want to verify this through the “Wellbeing Pulse Check”.

This will help us to:

  1. Improve our volunteer program
  2. Make the experience better for our volunteers
  3. Grow our Tribe within a supportive culture that enables us to best act in service to each other and communities in need.

Assessing DRA’s volunteering program

DRA has partnered with Movember (who have funded the project) and SAHMRI (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) to allow us to assess our volunteering program through a Wellbeing Pulse Check, consisting of online surveys and informal interviews at regular intervals over a 12-month period.

The Wellbeing Pulse Check consist of 3 main components:

  1. Wellbeing Snapshot Surveys – short surveys conducted around specific volunteer touchpoints.
  2. Wellbeing Long-Term Surveys – in-depth surveys completed every 3 months for 1 year.
  3. Wellbeing Chat Sessions (informal interviews) – in order to gain more in-depth insights into the impact of DRA’s volunteering program, one on one interviews will be held with volunteers upon return from deployments.

For more information, please contact Cindy Wadsworth, the Project Manager for the Wellbeing Project at cindy.wadsworth@disasterreliefaus.org.


Why is DRA doing an assessment of its volunteering program?
DRA receives a lot of feedback from volunteers to show that participating in our volunteering program is beneficial for volunteer wellbeing. We want to understand that more so we’re partnering with Movember (our funding partner) and SAHMRI (our research partner) to take further steps to better understand the benefits our volunteers get from participating in our volunteering program, so we can support future growth of our tribe and improve the program where needed.
Do all volunteers have to participate?
No. Participation in the assessment of our volunteering program is optional.
How will the volunteering program be assessed?
The volunteering program will be assessed through our Wellbeing Pulse Check which consists of three main components being:

1. Wellbeing Snapshot Surveys

2. Wellbeing Long-Term Surveys

3. Wellbeing Chat Sessions (informal interviews)

SAHMRI will use standardised and substantiated questions, that have been used in a number of Australian wellbeing studies, as the basis for the assessment of DRA’s volunteering program.

I’ve still got more questions – who do I talk to?
If you have further questions, please contact Cindy via email at cindy.wadsworth@disasterreliefaus.org.
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