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Image by Matt Chesin

Emergency Services
New Volunteer Experience Project

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We are looking at improving the experience of new volunteers

Image by Spencer Davis

Volunteers’ socialisation – their first experiences with the organisation – significantly influences their engagement, motivation, and intentions to stay or withdraw from an organisation. Failure to socialise newcomers is known to lead to lower levels of commitment and premature departure from organisations – leading to an organisation not capitalising on their recruitment and training investments. Essentially, poor socialisation is financially and reputationally costly for an organisation. On the other hand, effective socialisation can lead to members feeling engaged, competent, and socially integrated with others in the organisation.


Therefore, it is important to optimise the socialisation process. DFES is partnering with Curtin University on research looking at improving the experience of new volunteers in the Volunteer Emergency Services. We are working to identify the most effective ways and biggest challenges to on-board and train new volunteers.

Key research goals

The purpose of this research is to develop tools, resources, and approaches that can help volunteer leaders improve the experience for new volunteers. With volunteers’ first hand input, we can identify important strategies to make sure future emergency service volunteers have a positive experience.

Join our project

If you have recently joined the Emergency Services, we would like to invite you to join the New Volunteer Research Project. As a new volunteer your perspective is invaluable to us. Your involvement will be confidential and include completion of four short surveys over your first year as a volunteer. The research team will provide you with feedback and updates throughout the year. To register to participate please click on the link below:

Register to participate

Project Leads


Jane Chong

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Marylene Gagne

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Patrick Dunlop

Djurre Holtrop

(from Tilburg University)

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