• Empowering Cambodian women to build their businesses

    SHE (Support Her Enterprise) Investments was set up a couple of years ago by two young Aussies, Celia Boyd and James Wilson.

    Read more
  • Supporting sport in Solomon Islands

    Kiemi Lai kicked off her 2016 Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) assignment at an exciting time for sport in Solomon Islands.

    Read more
  • Return to Namibia

    David Whitcombe returned to Namibia with his family last year, 16 years after his life-changing experience as an Australian volunteer.

    Read more
  • Bringing books to rural Laos

    Karlee Taylor, returned Australian volunteer and founder of Creative Literacy Laos, gained a unique perspective of the literacy gap in central Laos

    Read more

Australian Volunteers for International Development

How we are helping

2016-17 Budget Estimate:
$39.6 million

The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program provides opportunities for skilled Australians to contribute to the Australian Government’s aid program. The AVID program has been allocated a budget of $39.6 million for 2016-17.

In 2016-17 the AVID program will:

  • support approximately 1,200 volunteers in 24 countries
  • place 95 per cent of volunteers in the Indo-Pacific region, and
  • expand the recently launched Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN).

Current volunteering opportunities

The AVID program supports the deployment of Australians to undertake volunteer assignments aimed at improving the capacity of host organisations in sectors of high priority to Australian and partner governments. Volunteers also promote positive people-to-people links between individuals, organisations and communities in developing countries and in Australia.

The goal of the AVID program is to contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction and advance Australia’s reputation and relationships in partner countries.

The objectives of the AVID program are:

  • to support the capacity of host organisations to deliver effective and sustainable development outcomes focused on economic growth and poverty reduction, and
  • to promote a positive perception of Australia in the Indo-Pacific region.

In 2015-16, the AVID program supported 1,345 volunteers across 29 countries, including 567 new volunteers.

Since 2015-16, the AVID program has had a greater focus on the Indo-Pacific region. Volunteering opportunities are available in Bhutan, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Indonesia, Laos, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Nepal, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

The AVID program is delivered by DFAT in partnership with AVI and Scope Global.

Are you interested in volunteering? Visit the Volunteer page.

Becoming a volunteer

A wide range of professional skills are needed to contribute to development. Most assignments require qualifications and demonstrated professional experience.

The sectors most commonly requested by overseas partners include:

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

Advice on responsible volunteering is available on Smart Traveller.

Host organisations

Volunteers are placed within host organisations and work with counterparts and colleagues to contribute to building capacity within the organisation.

Australian volunteers mobilised through the AVID program work with a range of host organisations including non-government organisations (NGOs), civil society and humanitarian organisations, government agencies, educational institutions, private sector enterprises and United Nations agencies.

Host organisations provide management and support to Australian volunteers and identify 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, and
  • 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 organisations. 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, NGOs and private sector enterprises.

More information for Australian partner organisations

Last Updated: 1 February 2017

Responsible volunteering

If you are looking to volunteer through other programs, advice is available on Smart Traveller about responsible volunteering. Thoroughly research the organisation that you plan to work with, particularly when working with children.

Returned Australian Volunteer Network

The Returned Australian Volunteer Network brings together Australian Government-funded returned volunteers since the 1960s, providing networking, engagement and professional development opportunities.

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Delivery partners

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