All community engagement is volunteering, however not all volunteering is community engagement.
ACU defines ‘community engagement’ as activities that build capacity and affirm human dignity through sustainable and reciprocal collaborations with communities who experience disadvantage or marginalisation. Examples include:
- Providing support and mentoring to children from low socio-economic or disadvantaged background.
- Preparing and serving meals at a community kitchen.
- Spending time with elderly residents of an aged care facility to support their social and emotional wellbeing.
Volunteering is unpaid work, where you share your skills and time to help others in the community. Volunteers Australia defines volunteering as time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain. It is a form of civic participation which enriches the wellbeing of the overall community and the lives of the volunteers participating. Volunteering opportunities are varied and can involve community engagement.