One of the great things about living in Australia is the level of volunteering across all aspects of society. According to Volunteering Australia around 35% of the adult population is involved in some sort of volunteering activity. In 2010 the value of formal volunteering across Australia was over $25B with a further $60B in more informal volunteering! That is a lot of people putting in a lot of time to help make society a better place. A similar survey had over 95% of them satisfied or very satisfied with their volunteering!
We are just about to fill out the latest census survey, and in it you will find questions about volunteering. When I filled out the last census I had to think carefully about whether I volunteered, but didn’t take long to realise that I did in both my home and professional life.
Like many parents all across the country I helped out with a local sports team; in my case coaching one of my sons’ cricket team for a number of years. This brought me great satisfaction from seeing a group of boys improve their skills year on year and have a lot of fun along the way. The boys are now too good for me, so I have passed that role onto someone with greater experience to continue that role. However, I am still actively involved with the club, playing in one of the low grade senior teams, help our juniors adapt to playing senior cricket, having fun and occasionally even scoring a few runs myself!
In my professional life I was volunteering for KCA, at that point as Vice Chair, responsible for professional development. KCA has put a lot of effort into improving the professional development opportunities for members, from developing and running courses, being a founder member of the Association of Technology Transfer Professionals to the recent skills framework that we have developed for the profession that is getting plenty of attention worldwide. None of this would have been possible without the help of a whole range of volunteers. From those who developed the courses, and those in KCA and outside who helped deliver them; the people who have been involved with ATTP committees and review panels; and everyone who helped out in the work that led to the delivery of the framework. A big thank you to all of you.
However, we still need more help. KCA is a small organisation run by a small team of volunteers brought together by our one full time staff member and general all round superwoman, Mel Geue. The more volunteers that we have though, and the more they can contribute, the more we can deliver for you, our members. Whatever your level of experience, there is a role that you can play in helping to shape our community and build capacity here in Australia. In helping your profession and your peers, you will also be helping yourself by helping to develop your career. It is no surprise that those who volunteer in professional bodies such as KCA are often those who advance their careers the fastest and furthest. You learn and develop by getting involved, so don’t just see it as time spent on something outside of your role, but it is something that is essential to develop you in your role. You will meet and work with other thought leaders in the commercialisation arena and play a role in developing the profession.
To find out more about how you could help KCA and help yourself develop professionally then contact either myself or Mel. We can help you work out how you can volunteer and provide the support to make it a success, whatever your level of experience. The right attitude is all you need, we can help with the rest.
Areas that might be of interest:
- Course development
- Course delivery
- Annual Conference planning and organisation
- KCA Exec (not just for CEOs/Directors)
- Local events
- Policy and advocacy
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Brisbane (and the start of the cricket season….)
Dr Alastair Hick
Director, Monash Innovation, Monash University
KCA Chair and Volunteer