Australian Volunteers Program
Coffee, clothes and democracy: supporting Timor-Leste through Trade
How Australian volunteers are helping to boost Timor-Leste’s economy by supporting small businesses to grow and expand their markets.
Making connections and friendships through the Australian Volunteers Program
Here is the story of their relationship, and how Michael’s volunteer experience also led to the development of the Tupaia.
Australian Volunteers with the Australian Health Security Corps committed to people-centred public health in Cambodia
Stephanie Wheeler and Yasmin Lisson reflect upon their assignments in the Cambodian public health system.
The highest priority of the Australian Volunteers Program is the safety and security of volunteers.
The Australian Volunteers Program is only mobilising volunteers in COVID-19 essential roles. We encourage Australians who do want to contribute their skills and experience to consider remote volunteering – there are new remote assignments being advertised on the Australian Volunteers Program website.
How we are helping
2020-21 Budget Estimate: $19.8 million
The Australian Volunteers Program has been significantly impacted by COVD-19. While the opportunity for volunteers to travel has been reduced, the program will continue to contribute to the Australian Government's development cooperation program by:
- supporting up to 69 volunteers in-country in COVID-19 essential roles
- supporting up to 328 volunteers to volunteer remotely
- piloting new approaches to volunteering through the Innovation Fund – with a particular focus on supporting local volunteering
- empowering volunteers to tell their stories through a range of digital platforms, encouraging a broader group of Australians to volunteer and to raise awareness of the program.
In 2019-20, the program expenditure was $36.5 million
- The program supported 933 volunteer assignments in 26 countries
- The program linked 572 organisations across our region with skilled Australian volunteers
- 84% of partner organisations who received help from volunteers reported good or excellent progress against their objectives
- In March and April of 2020, the program repatriated 464 program participants due to COVID-19
- Australian Volunteers Program brochure
- Global Program Strategy
- Current volunteering opportunities
To continue to receive monthly updates and job alerts of current volunteer opportunities, please subscribe to the Australian Volunteers Program mailing list.
About the Australian Volunteers Program
The Australian Volunteers Program matches skilled Australians with organisations in developing countries to help these organisations to deliver on their own objectives. The program uses international volunteering as a people-centred approach to capacity development. The Australian Volunteers Program is part of the Australian Government's people-to-people program portfolio, connecting Australians to Australia's development cooperation program and the region.
The Australian Volunteers Program aims to:
- support partner organisations to achieve their own development objectives
- enable Australian volunteers gain professionally and personally
- demonstrate the value of volunteering to the public and governments in Australia and overseas.
The Australian Volunteers Program works in Bhutan, Cambodia, Eswatini, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Indonesia, Laos, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Nepal, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
Learn more about the Australian Volunteers Program and each country where volunteers are currently working: the Australian Volunteers Program at a glance
Are you interested in volunteering? Visit the Australian Volunteers Program website.
Follow the Australian Volunteers Program digital channels:
Becoming a volunteer
While COVID-19 impacts the ability for Australians to travel overseas, a wide range of professional skills are still needed to contribute to development. If you are interested in volunteering remotely, please look at the program website. Most volunteer assignments require qualifications and demonstrated professional experience.
Advice on responsible volunteering is available on Smartraveller.
Volunteers are placed within partner organisations and work with counterparts and colleagues to contribute to building capacity within the organisation.
Australian volunteers work with a range of partner organisations including non-government organisations (NGOs), civil society and humanitarian organisations, government agencies, educational institutions, private sector enterprises and United Nations agencies.
Australian partner organisations
To encourage greater community involvement, Australian-based organisations can participate in the Australian Volunteers Program by joining with partner organisations. This is a great way for Australian organisations to develop new relationships with organisations overseas, or to strengthen existing links, while contributing to international development. Australian partner organisations include government departments, educational institutions, NGOs and private sector enterprises.
If you are looking to volunteer through other programs, advice is available under Smart Volunteering on our website. Thoroughly research the organisation that you plan to work with, particularly when working with children.