Kanyana won both the State and national awards in the NATIONAL BANK VOLUNTEER AWARDS 2005.
The following is a speech made by Lynn Fisher, CEO of Volunteering WA at a special ceremony held at Kanyana on the 4th of November 2005.
"It is a great pleasure to be involved in this special ceremony to acknowledge Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Kanyana is the winner on at a National Level in the Environment and Wildlife Category of the National Australia Bank Volunteer Awards.
I represent Volunteering Western Australia, which is the peak body working on behalf of all community groups that use volunteers. Volunteering WA set up the judging panels in this state for the Volunteer Awards. We gathered a team of volunteers who gave many hundreds of hours of time to reading the WA applications and conferring on the shortlist for the WA nominees. We sent this shortlist through to the national judging panel who made the final decisions. I would like to publicly thank this team of WA volunteers who worked on the short list.
One of the main goals of Volunteering WA is to help our community groups to manage their volunteer workforce better. Volunteering WA wants volunteers to be treated well and to be valued.
Our goal ties in with the National Australia Bank Volunteer Awards program. These awards are specifically to recognise and reward volunteer groups across Australia that demonstrate 'best practice' in the management of volunteers.
I would like to tell you why Kanyana has won this prestigious award.
One of the ways that best practice volunteering can be demonstrated is by the adoption of a systematic approach to managing volunteers.
Kanyana does this extremely well. Kanyana's recruitment processes are fair and transparent and volunteers receive a thorough induction to the organisation and its work.
All volunteers are provided with good training including written notes. New volunteers work with a buddy which means they have on-going training. The buddy assigned to a new volunteer can change from shift to shift, so the new volunteer gets variety in social contact and social support. This strategy also serves to build a broad team spirit.
Volunteers are rostered well ahead of time, so they know when, what and where they will be working.
Kanyana's system may seem like an obvious way to organise your volunteer workforce, but in fact it is not obvious to some community organisations.
At Volunteering WA we hear of volunteers who are requested to turn up for work and when they arrive there is no one there to greet them, to explain what their work will be or to give them encouragement. Some volunteers report that they spend ther day at a community group simply chatting with other volunteers or reading a newspaper.
Another way of showing best practice in managing volunteers is take an approach that aims to meet the needs of volunteers.
Kanyana does this superbly well. At Kanyana there is a career progression available to volunteers. Most volunteers start with clearing and feeding the animals but if the volunteers wish to take on more training there are more challenging jobs to learn. There was an in-house bird forum held recently with all volunteers invited to attend.
If volunteers are willing to take on more responsibility they can progress to a supervisory role.
And supervisors are well supported with monthly meetings to network and discuss issues of concern.
The system for managing volunteers is regularly reviewed at Kanyana, with monthly meetings of the Executive Committee as well as the Supervisors monthly meeting.
Kanyana has clear policies and procedures in place for managing volunteers and the volunteers work in a healthy and safe environment.
The volunteers work is recognised. The volunteer staff and their partners will soon enjoy a Post-Christmas BBQ Party. Each year one volunteer is funded to attend the National Wildlife Conference. This really is extraordinary support for volunteers.
Congratulations to all the team members at Kanyana on setting the standard in volunteer management. You have created a community organisation of exemplary excellence.
Thank you to the National Australia Bank for its support of this volunteer recognition program. This is a really well funded award program, both in the cash prizes to the winners and also in terms of the on-costs in administering the program.
I understand Kanyana will soon move to new premises at Paxwold in Lesmurdie. I know this site very well and must comment that this is excellent news.
Congratulations to the State Government and the Shire of Kalamunda for acknowledging the National Significance of the work done by Kanyana in making this move to Paxwold a reality.
Winning both the Paxwold site and the National Bank Volunteer Award in one year is a fantastic outcome for the future of Kanyana. "