Australian Embassy

Media Release - 04/12/2014

Australia joins global celebration of volunteerism


5 December is recognised by the United Nations as International Volunteer Day, a global celebration of volunteerism. On International Volunteer Day 2014 (IVD 2014), we not only celebrate volunteerism, but also pay special tribute to people’s participation in making positive changes locally, nationally and globally.

IVD 2014 highlights the contribution of volunteers in engaging people from the grass-roots in decision-making processes, ultimately creating space for participation that leads to stronger governance, social cohesion, peace and sustainable development.

The Australian Government has a long history of supporting international volunteering, beginning almost fifty years ago. “Australian volunteers are contributing to the understanding of Australia’s role and commitment in the region, and fostering people-to-people and cross-cultural links”, says Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Mr Hugh Borrowman.

“Many Australians have chosen Vietnam as a destination for their voluntary work, and I would like to acknowledge the high spirit and professional expertise that our Australian volunteers have brought here to contribute to the country’s development.”

Over 1,000 Australians have worked in a wide range of volunteer assignments in Vietnam since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1973. There are currently 90 Australian volunteers working in Vietnam in both short and long-term assignments to support non-government organisations, research institutions, universities, government organisations and the private sector.

More broadly, in 2013-14, Australian volunteers completed assignments in more than 1300 host organisations in over 40 countries throughout Asia, the Pacific, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Over 2,000 volunteers were supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program. Of these, 83 per cent undertook assignments in the Indo-Pacific region.

Today, on International Volunteer Day, the Australian Embassy Hanoi will introduce a series of videos and stories on our Facebook page <at> to highlight some of the Australian volunteers who are contributing to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, and the cross-cultural links between the people of our two nations.

Media contact: Mr. Tran Nam Anh, Tel: 84-4 37740211, email: [email protected].