DFAT welcome message on storytelling

Storytelling is the oldest form of art. It is a magical craft that is profoundly powerful and connects us all. A story has the potential to inspire and move its audience through a wave of emotions. It has been nurtured in each culture, shared across countries and is innate in all human interaction.

In this edition we explore the spirit of storytelling. Working in the Volunteers Section at DFAT I am extremely fortunate to have numerous stories flood my desk. Volunteers go through incredible experiences and I adore sifting through the vibrancy of each volunteer’s tale and learning valuable lessons along the way.

This month we are pleased to launch the Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN) Storytelling Toolkit. This toolkit has been designed to assist our returned volunteers to navigate the storytelling experience. We hope this toolkit will inspire you to find creative ways to share your stories – whether it is speaking to a local community group, writing a piece for the RAVN LinkedIn group or simply reminiscing about your experiences with your fellow returned volunteers.

What is extraordinary is each one of us has something unique to impart, our journey, our choices, our adventures and encounters all form our individual stories. As a returned volunteer you would have had some fantastic experiences. Sharing these may spur others to embark on their own volunteer journey and give them the courage to take those (possibly daunting) first steps. It may cultivate an understanding of the wonders, complexity and richness of the cultures you came in contact with. It could provide the comfort needed for newly returned volunteers to readjust to life back home in Australia. There is enormous value in sharing your thoughts and your journey.

This edition has been developed to inspire your inner storyteller! Escape in some beautiful stories from returned volunteers who recount their time in-country and learn new ways to enhance and spread your own legend. We hope you enjoy this edition.

We welcome your feedback and contributions to this e-newsletter via email to the DFAT Volunteers Section via volunteers@dfat.gov.au.

Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern
Volunteers Section
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade