WACSSO selected as Volunteering WA 2022-23 Research Grant Program Recipient

22 February 2023

WACSSO is pleased to announce that our application to the competitive Volunteering WA Research Grant Program, made in partnership with Murdoch University, has been successful.

Through this grant, WACSSO and Murdoch will investigate ‘Volunteer Engagement – Building Parent Participation in P&Cs across WA’.

The project will include engagement with our affiliates through a survey and a series of interviews, with the aim being to workshop initial findings at WACSSO Conference 2023.

The final project outcome will be the publication of a set of implementable strategies, directed at P&Cs, to encourage parent volunteering. It is anticipated that these strategies will be applicable to other organisations seeking to involve parents as volunteers.

The research project will seek to answer three questions:

  1. What does and does not work to recruit and retain parent volunteers to P&Cs across WA?
  2. What can be done to increase participation in P&C activities?
  3. How can P&Cs support the participation and inclusion of a more diverse range of parents?

“WACSSO is excited about this important research project. On behalf of our P&C affiliates, WACSSO State Councillors, and staff I want to acknowledge and thank both Volunteering Western Australia for their support and Murdoch University for bringing their research expertise to this important piece of work”, said WACSSO President, Pania Turner.

“Every year, affiliates ask us how they can grow their volunteer base. It is a recurrent theme in the FAQs we develop and in the training we give. We are really looking forward to seeing this research take shape and working together with our affiliates and with Murdoch University to build parent participation in P&Cs across WA,” she added.

Dr Katherine Sugars from Murdoch University said she was delighted to be working with her mentor Dr Megan Paull on a project that connects education, volunteering and community organising: “three things I value right down to my bones,” she said.

“My goal is to make sure we come out of it with a mix of proven strategies and new insights to apply to the age-old question of how we can engage volunteers - strategies and insights that are: flexible, multiple, doable – and work.”

For over a century, WACSSO has worked passionately with school organisations across this State to improve the public education system. This is why we work every day to build the individual capacity of all of our affiliates – empowering them through a number of support services, knowledge-sharing and learning opportunities. We anticipate this project will be an important contribution to the WACSSO knowledge base and we hope it will ultimately provide essential tools to support our incredible P&Cs.