Grey Nomad Volunteers: New partnerships between grey nomads and rural towns in Australia

17 January 2010

This report sets out the issues and challenges facing Grey Nomad Volunteer projects but also the successes. There is clearly untapped potential for the development of mutually beneficial relationships between Grey Nomads and isolated rural
communities through voluntary programs.

Theoretically the research for this project brought together several strands of theoretical and empirical work that have not been brought together before, which has led to new insights (see Discussion Section of this Report). Specifically, it brought together work on rural development, the potentially central role of volunteering and productive ageing of Australian retirees. Additionally, the notion of the status of Grey Nomad volunteers was considered, in terms of the ambiguous status of Grey Nomads, who may be regarded as neither ‘outsiders’ nor ‘insiders’. Linked with this ambiguous status were notions of trust, hospitality and gift exchange. However, the over-riding link between these disparate topics is the concept of social capital.

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