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Australian Volunteers

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.

  • Coffee, clothes and democracy: supporting Timor-Leste through Trade

  • Making connections and friendships through the Australian Volunteers Program

  • Australian Volunteers with the Australian Health Security Corps committed to people-centred public health in Cambodia


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

2021-22 budget estimate: $24.5 million

2020-21 expenditure: $16.2 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

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.

Partner organisations

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.

Smart volunteering

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.

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