In late October, members of the Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN) gathered at the Despard Gallery of Contemporary Artin Hobart. The event celebrated the theme of education and explored the contribution that education programs are making to community development in Tasmania.
Returned Australian volunteers were invited to attend, along with local education sector networks and representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). More than 25 attended on the night.
Two local education sector professionals featured on the panel; Nick Probert from the Beacon Foundation and Libby Levett from LINC Tasmania. Both spoke passionately about their work contributing to education programs in the local community.
Nick has participated in grass-roots sporting clubs and elite level AFL coaching in Tasmania. He explained how sport can reach disengaged young learners and participating in community development programs can develop transferable skills for both participants and trainers.
Libby inspired the audience through her work with parents on literacy programs to counteract inter-generational illiteracy in the local community. There was great audience engagement in the topic and lots of thoughtful questions that made for a vibrant and inclusive panel discussion.
Just a few days later, 60 returned volunteers gathered at Oak & Vine in Melbourne to learn more about the Shared Value Project.
Between conversations and catch-ups, returned volunteers were introduced to the Shared Value Project by Helen Steel, Executive Director, Shared Value Project, and Peter McNamara, General Manager - Business and Organisational Development, Good Shepherd Microfinance. They explained how the concept of shared value helps companies address social and environmental challenges that intersect their business objectives.
The panel segment was introduced by Cameron Archer, DFAT Victoria Deputy State Director, and Ngaire Griggs, one of Melbourne’s local Returned Volunteer State Representatives.