Publication Details

Berry, Y. & Jones, M. (2018). Disclosing volunteers as 'human capital': analysing annual reports of Australian emergency services organisations. The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 33 (4), 41-49.


Annual reports of 11 volunteer-based emergency services organisations were analysed to determine how volunteers are valued in terms of human capital. A simple method was designed to enable comparison between agencies on nine categories of human capital being volunteer numbers, gender, age, length of service, diversity (three types), training and awards. The results were compared to the disclosure of the same categories pertaining to paid staff. Results showed that narratives of annual reports gave recognition and praise to volunteers but human resources sections reported primarily on paid staff. Data on volunteer numbers and diversity are poorly reported in many annual reports. It was found that human capital, if applied to both paid staff and volunteers, could be a suitable tool to validate volunteers in an annual report.

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