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Australian volunteers share experiences
24 November 2004

Victoria: On International Volunteer Day (IVD), Australian Volunteer International (AVI) is recognizing the impact of volunteers in helping reduce poverty in developing countries.

Australian communities and workplaces will embrace the volunteer spirit by participating in events organized by AVI returned volunteer network for IVD, 5 December and the week leading up to the day.

Events will include a screening a 25-minute documentary about about a couple’s volunteering effort in Eritrea in Lawrence, New South Wales; a Zimbabwe volunteer assignment will be promoted in the “Out of Africa” exhibition of memorabilia at Casuarina Library in Darwin; in regional Victoria, a volunteer will speak about her HIV/AIDs work in India at the Rural Transaction Centre in Newstead; at the St Mary’s Community Health Centre in Tasmania the Nursing in Developing Countries exhibition will display memorabilia from volunteer placements in the Solomon Islands and Pakistan; and at ‘the GABBA’ a 75-year-old Queenslander will hold a volunteer display about her time in Laos and Thailand.

AVI Chief Executive Officer Dimity Fifer said AVI’s International Volunteer Day celebrations will demonstrate how Australians can get involved in Australia’s international aid program and change the lives of people in developing communities across the globe.

“To also mark the significance of International Volunteer Day, Australian Volunteers International will launch a major recruitment drive for skilled Australians willing to contribute to overseas development,” she said. “The skills of Australian Volunteers are highly regarded by AVI’s partner organisations in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Middle East. Many of our partners are now seeking skilled Australian Volunteers to work in their communities as project managers, financial and legal advisers, information technology managers, and health and education trainers.”

By sharing their knowledge and expertise, Australian Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds strengthen linkages between global communities and partner organisations and contribute to poverty alleviation, sustainable livelihoods and protecting the environment.

“All volunteer jobs respond to the needs expressed by local communities. Our volunteers are committed to helping communities achieve their vision,” Ms Fifer said.

AusAID, Australia’s international aid agency provides significant support to AVI’s volunteer program.

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From: Australian Volunteer International