Australia has a long and proud history of international volunteering through the Australian Government's aid program.
Since the 1960s, the Australian Government has, through its aid program, supported Australians to undertake voluntary work in developing countries. International volunteering promotes cultural understanding through people-to-people linkages and is a means of promoting both public diplomacy and development outcomes.
Over the years, the Australian Government has supported a variety of volunteer programs, the most recent being the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program.
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 AVID program is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and implemented through two partners: Scope Global and AVI.
In 2014-15, a total of 1,906 volunteers were supported and 92 per cent of the volunteers were on assignment in the Asia Pacific region.