Document Type


Publication details

Post-print of Baxter-Tomkins, A & Wallace, M 2009, 'Volunteering and remuneration: can they co-exist?', Australasian Journal of Business and Social Inquiry, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 1-11.

Peer Reviewed



Purpose of the research paper: This research focuses on recruitment and retention of volunteers within the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and their views about whether they believe they should be paid for the work they do. Volunteering has an undisputable tenet: it is unpaid. However, is this concept dated given what is required of today's emergency service volunteers? This paper argues from empirical evidence that the issue is far from clear cut. Admittedly, there are two poles in the debate about volunteers and remuneration but there is also a continuum between these positions that may justify a re-definition of remuneration in certain circumstances. Methodology: Conversational interview technique. This is consistent with an unstructured interview process and was controlled to ensure the interviewer's research interests were achieved. Findings: Many volunteers believed the real costs incurred by their action should be recompensed. Value of the paper: Our findings add to contemporary knowledge about emergency services volunteers.

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