Harnessing the capacities of spontaneous volunteers: application and adaptation of the Queensland model
|Title||Harnessing the capacities of spontaneous volunteers: application and adaptation of the Queensland model|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||McLennan, BJ, Molloy, J, Whittaker, J, Handmer, J|
|Publisher||Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC|
Spontaneous volunteers are defined in Australia as: ‘those who seek to contribute on impulse—people who offer assistance following a disaster and who are not previously affiliated with recognised volunteer agencies and may or may not have relevant training, skills or experience’ (Australian Red Cross 2010; Cottrell 2010). Spontaneous volunteering by unaffiliated members of the public following a disaster event is certainly not a new occurrence (Whittaker et al. 2015). Known in the sociological disaster literature as convergence, it is recognised as an inevitable and normal response to — particularly large-scale — disasters (Drabek and McEntire 2003; Sharon 2004). A related term that is not commonly used in Australian emergency management is ‘emergent volunteerism’. This ‘involves new forms of volunteering that occur in response to unmet needs, whether perceived or real’ (Whittaker et al., 2015, p.363).