Who volunteers?

If you have professional skills and knowledge to share, are open to new experiences, are willing to live in a different country and committed to helping others, then you're likely to be an effective Australian volunteer.

Applications are encouraged from accross the breadth of the Australian population. Australian volunteers have come from all walks of life, from the smallest towns to large cities, from young people to older people about to retire.

The AVID program supports inclusiveness, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people with disability.

A new Indigenous Participation Framework has been introduced to increase the number of Indigenous participants in the AVID program.

One of the first outcomes as part of this new Framework has been the participation of eight Indigenous Australian volunteers in the Classic Wallabies' Exchange in South Africa in early June 2014. This initiative is delivered in partnership with DFAT, Australian Volunteers International and The Eidos Institute.

The program targets Indigenous students, providing opportunities for international student exchange and leadership development, and will create a cohort of young Indigenous Australians who have an understanding and experience of international volunteering.

Who is eligible to apply?

Australian citizens, holders of Australian permanent resident status and holders of a Special Condition Visa (SCV) for New Zealand citizens are eligible to apply.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or over.

The Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) brand was retired from 1 July 2014. However international volunteering opportunities for young Australians aged 18 to 30 continue to be available under AVID, and youth are encouraged to apply. The retirement of the AYAD brand is to consolidate volunteering into one program.

Personal attributes

In addition to the professional and technical skills of the volunteers, Australian volunteers are highly regarded by their host organisations for their personal attributes such as flexibility, adaptability, patience, proactivity, openness and the ability to learn from others.

These personal attributes are part of the toolkit required for volunteers to face the challenges they will meet along the way. Whether it be changes to their assignment objectives, limited access to technology or evacuation from a cyclone, volunteers must be able to expect and cope with the unexpected.

Skills in training and mentoring staff are also desirable. By working with staff to share their skills and knowledge, volunteers help to ensure their work can continue after they have completed their assignment.

Last Updated: 18 March 2015