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Happy International Volunteer Day from the Volunteers team at DFAT

Happy International Volunteer day!

In this combined edition of the AVID and RAVN e-newsletter we hear from the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, as well as returned volunteer and now Australian Partner Organisation, Climates, co-founder Jarrod Troutbeck. We also commend volunteer Sara Denby, who was named CARE International's 'Best Newcomer' for her work in Cambodia, and hear about how the life of Midwife Educator Tania Paxton and her family has changed through their volunteering experience in Indonesia. Returned volunteer Brad Timms also reflects on his volunteer experience in South Africa and talks about his return to his host organisation, Eco Children.

Recently, the Australian Government released the Foreign Policy White Paper, the first comprehensive review of Australia's international engagement for 14 years. The Australian Volunteers program closely aligns with most of the five overarching objectives outlined in the Foreign Policy White Paper:

  • Working to keep our Indo-Pacific region peaceful and prosperous
  • Maximising opportunities for Australian businesses by keeping markets open and trade and investment flowing
  • Ensuring Australians remain safe, secure and free in the face of threats like terrorism
  • Promoting a world with fair rules and strong cooperation
  • Stepping up support for a more resilient Pacific.

The supporting website, Foreign Policy in Action features case studies on two of our volunteers, Stephanie Wheeler who is on assignment in Cambodia with the World Health Organization, and Krissy Wilhelmsen, a physiotherapist who completed her assignment in Myanmar.

As the new Australian Volunteers program commences in January 2018, this will be the last edition of the AVID e-newsletter.

Through the AVID program we supported around 9,000 volunteers across 46 countries. This could not have been achieved without the dedication, professionalism and passion of the staff from Scope Global, AVI, the Australian Red Cross and Australian Business Volunteers. Thank you for your support over the years to deliver this program and making it so successful.

We're looking forward to building on the successes of AVID in the new Australian Volunteers program, which commences on 1 January 2018.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you take a moment to stop and reflect on your volunteer assignment and what you achieved, as well as the long-lasting friendships you made.

Have a wonderful International Volunteer Day and a happy and safe festive season.

Julie McCallum

Director, Australian Volunteers Section, DFAT

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