Volunteering, paying it forward, and rural community: A study of Bridgetown, Western Australia

Document Type

Journal Article




School of Business and Law / Faculty of Regional Professional Studies




Originally published as : Duarte Alonso, Abel (07.2016). "Volunteering, paying it forward, and rural community: A study of Bridgetown, Western Australia". Community development (Columbus, Ohio) (1557-5330), 47 (4), p. 481-495. Available here


Academic studies have highlighted the importance of volunteering for different communities, as a foundation of their cultural life or as an instrument to develop tourism. However, various knowledge gaps are still acknowledged, both from a practical and theoretical perspective. Using the case of Bridgetown, Western Australia, and incorporating the theory of volunteer work, this study seeks to contribute to the extant body of research in these two areas, studying the importance, ways, and management of volunteering. Data were collected among local residents via face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Various elements of the theory, including productive activity, collective action, and the relation between various types of volunteering were confirmed. Importantly, paying it forward, an element instilled in the local community, which refers to giving without any expectations of returns or rewards, emerged as a significant finding. The implications of the findings for community development are discussed, and future research directions suggested. © 2016 Community Development Society



Access Rights

Not open access