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Australian Volunteers for International Development

How we are helping

2018-19 Budget Estimate:
$42.6 million

The Australian Volunteers program provides opportunities for skilled Australians to contribute to the Australian Government's aid program.

The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program concluded on 31 December 2017 and was replaced by the new Australian Volunteers program. Together, these programs were allocated a total budget of $42.6 million for 2017-18.

In 2017-18, AVID and the Australian Volunteers program will:

  • support 1,000 volunteers in 26 countries
  • place 97 per cent of volunteers in the Indo-Pacific region, and
  • expand the Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN).

In 2016-17, the AVID program supported 1,212 volunteers across 25 countries, including 665 new volunteers.

AVID 2016-17 infographic

To continue to receive monthly updates and job alerts of current volunteer opportunities, please subscribe to the Australian Volunteers program mailing list.

The new Australian Volunteers program

The contract for the delivery of the new Australian Volunteers program was signed on 13 July 2017 between DFAT and AVI, in consortium with Cardno and The Whitelum Group. The Australian Volunteers program replaced the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, which concluded on 31 December 2017.

The Australian Volunteers program builds on the Australian Government's investment in international volunteers over the past 60 years. The program is retaining and enhancing a number of core elements developed under AVID and the Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN). The Australian Volunteers program will build on the development and public diplomacy outcomes of the AVID program, and foster innovation, flexibility and collaboration.

DFAT thanks AVID delivery partner, Scope Global, for the significant contributions that they made to Australian Government international volunteering programs over the past 17 years. DFAT also thanks Australian Business Volunteers and the Australian Red Cross for their contribution to Australian Government international volunteering programs. Without the dedication, ideas and passion of all partners, the AVID program would not have been as successful and effective as it was.

Questions on the new program can be emailed to volunteers@dfat.gov.au.

About the Australian Volunteers program

The Australian Volunteers program matches skilled Australians from all walks of life with organisations in developing countries to help these organisations to deliver on their own objectives. The program uses international volunteering as a people-centered approach to capacity development. The Australian Volunteers program is part of the Australian Government's people-to-people program portfolio, connecting Australians to Australia's aid program and the region.

Over the next five years, the Australian Volunteers program will aim to achieve the following outcomes:

  • partner organisations are supported by Australia to achieve their own development objectives
  • Australian volunteers gain professionally and personally
  • the public and governments in Australia and overseas better appreciate the value of volunteering.

Volunteering opportunities are available in Bhutan, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Indonesia, Laos, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Nepal, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Are you interested in volunteering? Visit the Australian Volunteers program website.

Becoming a volunteer

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

The sectors most commonly requested by partner organisations include:

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

Advice on responsible volunteering is available on Smartraveller.

Partner organisations

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

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

More information about partner organisations

Australian partner organisations

To encourage greater community involvement, Australian-based organisations can participate in the Australian Volunteers program by joining with partner organisations. This is a great way for Australian organisations to develop new relationships with organisations overseas, or to strengthen existing links, while contributing to international development. Australian partner organisations include government departments, educational institutions, NGOs and private sector enterprises.

More information about Australian partner organisations

Responsible volunteering

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

Last Updated: 8 May 2018

Smart volunteering

If you are looking to volunteer through other programs, advice is available on smart 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 (RAVN) brings together all Australian Government-funded returned volunteers since the 1960s, providing networking, engagement and professional development opportunities.