October RAVN e-newsletter – DFAT Welcome

It’s an exciting time to be involved in the Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN) as we approach the next phase of Australian Government-supported international volunteering through the new Australian Volunteers program.

Since its launch, RAVN has experienced a tremendous amount of growth. More than 7,000 returned Australian Government-funded volunteers receive the RAVN e-newsletter, almost 300 attended the inaugural RAVN conference last year and over 1,070 members have joined the RAVN LinkedIn group. Through the new program, we intend to offer more professional development and networking activities for those involved in RAVN and further build this inclusive and dynamic cohort.

If you know of any returned volunteers who are yet to join this network, now is the time to encourage them to do so. Scope Global and ABV returned volunteers have recently been invited to confirm their engagement with RAVN. I hope you all take up the opportunity and remain connected. If you have any questions in regards to this process, I invite you to email volunteers@dfat.gov.au

The initiatives we have planned for RAVN include a mentoring program, communities of practice, online volunteering and innovation workshops, amongst other activities. We will continue to hold networking events across the country and distribute RAVN e-newsletters to showcase your stories.
In this edition we feature some inspiring stories including reflections from RAVN Host Organisation Revisited Prize winner, Brad Timms, and triple J journalist and Australia's first blind newsreader, Nastasia Campanella, who volunteered as part of the Disability Empowerment Skills Exchange (DESE) to Fiji. Also included is a profile on Dr James Kang who volunteered in Ethiopia with the Organization for Women in Self Employment, and Chris Hindes who helped Vietnamese not-for-profit REACH to communicate their fantastic work.

As you read this edition, I hope you to take a moment to reflect on RAVN and your involvement in the network. We invite you to email any ideas you may have to improve RAVN to volunteers@dfat.gov.au.

I would like to thank you for your active participation in RAVN. We look forward to your continued engagement in the new Australian Volunteers program.

I would also like to thank our current AVID delivery partners, Scope Global, ABV and AVI for their assistance in launching and supporting RAVN over the years.


Julie McCallum
Director Volunteers Section
NGOs and Volunteers Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade