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Young Western Victorian to tackle poverty in the Asia-Pacific region.



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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au Web: www.davidhawker.com.au

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

23 September 2005

YOUNG WESTERN VICTORIAN TO TACKLE POVERTY IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION

Member for Wannon, David Hawker, today congratulated Nicholas Alexeyeff from Port Fairy on being selected as a youth volunteer to Papua New Guinea through the Australian Government’s overseas aid program.

“Volunteers play a vital role in the fight against poverty and it is with great pleasure that I congratulate Nicholas on his efforts through AusAID’s Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program,” Mr Hawker said.

“Nicholas is one of 150 Youth Ambassadors travelling to the Asia-Pacific region. He will be working in Papua New Guinea as a Coastcare Officer with Conservation International Papua New Guinea.”

Mr Hawker said that Nicholas will build on the work undertaken by over 1,400 Youth Ambassadors in the Asia-Pacific region since the program began in 1998.

“Youth Ambassadors, like other volunteers funded through the Australian Government’s overseas aid program, use their unique skills and knowledge to help people in developing countries build sustainable communities.

“The importance of their work in the Asia-Pacific region cannot be understated as it is home to two-thirds of the world’s poor,” he said.

Nicholas said that he is really looking forward to the experience and hopes that he can pass on some skills to the Papua New Guineans he will be working with.

“Volunteering in developing countries is not easy, living conditions are different to Australia and climates can be harsh; however the personal rewards can be immense,” Mr Hawker said.

“I commend Nicholas and wish him all the very best in his efforts to reduce poverty through this important Government program.”

Nicholas is scheduled to commence his assignment by mid October 2005.

The Australian Government expanded the AYAD program in the 2005-06 budget, taking total funding for the program to $52.5 million over four years and increasing the number of AYAD placements from 230 to 400 per year by 2006.

For further information, including how to volunteer, please visit the AusAID website at: www.ausaid.gov.au

Media contact: Jane Templeton

(03) 5572 1100