Volunteering is worth more than $200 billion a year to the Australian economy, outstripping revenue sources from mining, agriculture and the retail sector.
But Dr Lisel O'Dwyer who calculated the latest figures, warned that a focus on the economic value of volunteering can be dangerous, and does not show the whole picture.
“If a volunteer fire fighter saves the life of a child, what is that worth? If environmental degradation is slowed because of millions of trees planted by volunteer conservationists, what is that worth? And if an elderly person receives a hot meal five days a week, what is that worth?” she said.
More than 6.4 million people volunteer their time in Australia. The number of volunteers in Australia has doubled since 1995.Read more at University of Adelaide