• WASH-ing up – developing essential skills in Zambia

    Alex Conroy is one of many Australian volunteers working in the critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. She details her motivation for volunteering and a key initiative she has undertaken during her assignment.

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  • Making cancer a priority in Swaziland

    Australian volunteer Joanne Chesson has spent four years at the Swaziland Breast and Cervical Cancer Network where she has contributed to and learned from incredible progress made in breast and cervical cancer services for Swazi people.

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  • A partnership for change – Breastfeeding in Cambodia

    Australian volunteer Sandra Halliwell spent a year working as a Preceptor Midwife Coach in a Cambodian Hospital. She was involved in establishing meaningful programs in breastfeeding best practice at the hospital.

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  • Michelle Rossetto, volunteer Clinical Nurse Educator at Sanglah Hospital, Bali

    Michelle is an Australian Volunteer funded by the Australian Government as part of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program.

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Australian Volunteers for International Development

How we are helping

2013/14 Estimated Outcome:
$55.3 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate:
$56.6 million

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has been allocated an estimated budget of $39.6 million for the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program in 2015-16, a change from $56.6 million in 2014-15.

It is our first priority to ensure that volunteers currently in the field are able to complete their assignments. We are also committed to deploying volunteers who have been selected for assignments in 2014-15.

DFAT is currently exploring how the reduction may affect the number and locations of new volunteers who are able to be deployed in 2015-16. Until this is clear, DFAT has instructed the three AVID implementing partners (Scope Global, Australian Volunteers International and the Australian Red Cross) to delay the recruitment and selection of new volunteers for 2015-16. We will provide further updates as soon as we can on this website.

For information about current specific assignments or recruitment for future assignments, please visit the Australian Red Cross, Australian Volunteers International or Scope Global websites.

The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program makes a considerable contribution to the achievement of the Government’s public diplomacy objectives. Volunteers promote a positive perception of Australia in the region, and promote a positive perception of the aid program domestically. AVID also contributes to development outcomes and links the Australian community with people and organisations in developing countries.

The AVID program seeks to:

  • build understanding of Australia’s international role and commitment to integration with the Indo-Pacific region
  • increase the number of volunteers working to improve the economic livelihoods of people in developing countries, and
  • develop volunteer assignments in priority areas of governance, health, social infrastructure and services and education.

The program is funded and delivered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in partnership with the Australian Red Cross (ARC), Australian Volunteers International (AVI) and Scope Global (SG).

In 2013-14, 2006 Australian volunteers worked in 1369 host organisations including non-government organisations (NGOs), government and education institutions with the support of 288 Australian Partner Organisations (APOs). Total AVID expenditure in 2013-14 at $55 million represented one per cent of the total Australian aid budget and supported the mobilisation of Australians across 43 countries throughout Asia, the Pacific, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Ninety-three per cent of volunteers undertook assignments in the Indo-Pacific region – with 58 per cent in Asia, 27 per cent in the Pacific, and 8 per cent in Indo-Pacific African countries.

Through the AVID program, members of the Australian community have the opportunity to share skills and foster linkages with people and organisations in developing countries.

Australian volunteers mobilised through the AVID program work with a range of host organisations including:

  • non-government and civil society organisations
  • government agencies
  • educational institutions
  • humanitarian organisations
  • private sector enterprises
  • United Nations agencies.

Are you interested in volunteering? Visit the Volunteer page.

Becoming a volunteer

A wide range of professional skills are needed to contribute to development across the globe. The sectors most commonly requested by overseas partners are listed below, but can change depending on priorities and needs. Most assignments require qualifications and demonstrated professional experience.

  • Agriculture, forestry and fisheries
  • Business, marketing and tourism
  • Communications and media
  • Community and social development
  • Disaster and emergency management
  • Education and training
  • Engineering
  • Health
  • Information technology
  • Law and justice
  • Management, administration and human resources
  • Skilled trades

Host organisations

Volunteers are placed within host organisations in many developing countries. Some of these host organisations include non-governement organisationss, universities,government departments, multilateral organisations and the private companies. Volunteers work with colleagues in these host organisations throughout their assignment and contribute to building capacity within the organisation.

Host organisations provide management and support to Australian volunteers, as well as identifying the objectives of the volunteer assignment. Host organisations are responsible for:

  • providing supervision
  • identifying opportunities for skill or knowledge transfer by Australian volunteers
  • providing a safe and secure working environment with adequate workplace facilities and resources
  • ensuring that the volunteer assignment assists committing to sustainable development and capacity building.

More information about host organisations

Australian partner organisations

To encourage greater community involvement, Australian organisations can partner with host organisation. This is a great way for Australian organisations to develop new relationships with organisations overseas, or to strengthen existing links. Australian partner organisations include:

  • government departments
  • educational institutions
  • non-government organisations (NGOs), and
  • private sector enterprises.

More information for Australian partner organisations










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