Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
First Australian Volunteers for International Development farewelled



Download PDFDownload PDF

THE HON RICHARD MARLES MP Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs  

Minister’s Office: 0466 745 623 or 02 62774330 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: 02 6261 1555

First Australian Volunteers for International Development farewelled

22 June 2011

More than 150 outstanding young Australians are about to head overseas to help reduce poverty in developing countries as youth ambassadors under the Government’s Australian Volunteers for International Development program (AVID).

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, the Hon Richard Marles MP, will farewell the first group of youth ambassadors to be deployed under the new AVID program at a function in Canberra tonight.

“These volunteers will support Australia’s aid efforts in 33 countries by sharing skills and contributing to sustainable development in roles as varied as sports coaching in Samoa, civil engineering in Solomon Islands, working on environmental biodiversity in Fiji and supporting child refugees in Thailand,” Mr Marles said.

“The AVID program brings all Australian volunteers together under the one banner and includes as a special category the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development, high-achieving Australian men and women aged between 18 and 30 who will live and work in developing countries across Asia, the Pacific and Africa.”

Twenty-three-year-old Thomas Humphries from Endeavour Hills in Victoria will work with local communities to integrate cricket into junior programs and schools in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

“It’s a pretty big contrast from my suburban life but I’m excited,” Thomas said.

“Sport is an effective but not an obvious development tool. As well as promoting the

Minister’s Office: 0466 745 623 or 02 62774330 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: 02 6261 1555 2

health benefits of exercise and eating the right foods, there is a social aspect that can bring communities together.”

The Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Primo Alui Joelianto, will join the farewell celebration at Old Parliament House and meet the 15 youth ambassadors about to be deployed to a variety of locations and roles across Indonesia.

Since the 1960s the Australian Government has supported more than 12,000 people to volunteer abroad to help reduce poverty as part of the overseas aid program.

This intake brings the number of volunteers supported to travel overseas to more than 800 in 2010-11, with another 900 expected to be deployed in 2011-12.

Media Contact: Pauline Braniff, Mr Marles’ office: 0466 745 623

Journalists interested in interviewing a volunteer from their region can contact AusAID: 0417 680 590