Public lecture explores why people volunteer

Professor Karen Smith explored why people volunteer and how organisations can enhance the volunteer experience in her inaugural Professorial lecture.

Professor Bob Buckle, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce, Professor Karen Smith, and Professor Frazer Allan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
(L-R) Professor Bob Buckle, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce, Victoria Business School, Professor Karen Smith, and Professor Frazer Allan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement)

Volunteers make an important contribution to the tourism and event sectors, and Professor Karen Smith has spent two decades researching tourist attractions and events including museums, zoos, cultural festivals, World Cups and Olympic Games.

Professor Smith is a Professor in Tourism Management and Discipline Head of Tourism Management at the School of Management, and 'Volunteering Matters!' was the topic of her inaugural Professorial lecture on Tuesday 21 February.

In her lecture Professor Smith explored why people volunteer, and how organisations can enhance the volunteer experience and the impact of volunteering.

Much of her research concerns volunteers and their management in the tourism and events sectors, and more broadly in non-profit organisations in areas as diverse as health, emergency management, and conservation.

She is interested in why and how people give time to support a range of causes, and how organisations in the community and voluntary sector (and beyond) respond to and maximise the impact of these donations of time.

Victoria University's public lecture series offers an opportunity to engage with the latest thinking on the world's major issues. Professor Smith's lecture can be viewed online, via the link below.