Celebrating Australian volunteers around the world

On 5 December 2018, celebrations of International Volunteer Day were held throughout many of the 26 countries where the Australian Volunteers Program operates. Here are some of our favourite photos from events across the Indo-Pacific region.

Myanmar

In Myanmar, International Volunteer Day was celebrated at the Australian Embassy Staff Complex in Yangon. All 40 Australian volunteers currently in Myanmar, as well as their colleagues from partner organisations, representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australian Volunteer Program staff members came together for the special event.

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Australian volunteers in Myanmar celebrating International Volunteer Day 2018 in Yangon. Photo: Harjono Djoyobisono
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Dr. Pan Myat Mon, Country Program Manager for the Australian Volunteers Program at the International Volunteer Day celebration at the Australian Embassy Staff Complex. Photo: Harjono Djoyobisono

Nepal

Australian volunteers in Nepal celebrated International Volunteer Day with a whistle-stop cultural tour of the Budhanilkantha Municipality. The tour was designed by Australian volunteer Stephen Clark in his role as Tourism Development Officer at the Budhanilkantha Municipality to demonstrate how a tourism promotion activity can be planned, designed and executed.

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Australian volunteers in Nepal on International Volunteer Day 2018. Photo: Australian Embassy, Nepal
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Celebrations for International Volunteer Day 2018 in Nepal. Photo: Australian Embassy, Nepal

Fiji

In Fiji, there are 20 Australian volunteers sharing their skills and experience with 19 partner organisations across the country. To celebrate their contributions, Australia's Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji, Amy Crago, hosted a reception for the Fiji-based volunteers and their respective host organisations, thanking them for their unique contributions to their different organisations throughout the year.

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Australian volunteers celebrate International Volunteer Day in Fiji with Australia's Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji, Amy Crago. Photo: Australia High Commission, Fiji
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Volunteers marking International Volunteer Day, 5 December 2018, in Fiji. Photo: Australian High Commission, Fiji

Mongolia

To celebrate the 13 Australian volunteers currently living and working in Mongolia, the Australian Embassy and the Australian Volunteers Program hosted a luncheon to recognise their achievements.

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Australian volunteers in Mongolia celebrating International Volunteer Day on 5 December 2018. Photo: Ideree Enkhtaivan
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Australian volunteer Katrina Mattingley at the International Volunteer Day celebration in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Photo: Ideree Enkhtaivan

Indonesia

Australian volunteers celebrated International Volunteer Day in Indonesia at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, along with Australian Volunteer Program staff and program partners. 

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Australian volunteers and Australian Volunteer Program staff on International Volunteer Day, 5 December 2018. Photo: Epriliana Setyani
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Australian Volunteer Program staff at International Volunteer Day celebrations in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Epriliana Setyani

Melbourne

In Melbourne we celebrated International Volunteer Day with returned volunteers, outgoing volunteers, program partners and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade representatives.

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Returned Australian volunteers at the Australian Volunteers Program event to celebrate International Volunteer Day held at the University of Melbourne. Photo: Victoria George
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Returned and outgoing volunteers mingled with Australian Volunteer Program staff, program partners and representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to mark International Volunteer Day 2018. Photo: Victoria George

At the event, we announced the winners of the Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN)’s Go Back<>Give Back Competition. Find out more and watch the winning entrants’ show reels.

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Go Back<>Give Back competition finalists Peta Owen, Julie Harris and Blake Gardiner awaiting the announcement of competition winners at the Australian Volunteers Program International Volunteer Day 2018 event in Melbourne.
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The audience at the Australian Volunteers Program International Volunteer Day event in Melbourne eagerly awaits the announcement of the Go Back<>Give Back competition.

Everywhere

Around the world, Australian volunteers sent us creative photos of themselves with the number of days they had been on assignment.

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Australian volunteer Raina Reyes is a volunteer occupational therapist trainer for an early intervention program in Tonga. She says: ‘in this photo, our case manager Many and child child development workers, Mele and Rowland, are about to conduct a home visit to see one of our clients who lives on the island of Siasiav - only accessible by crossing a river on foot. We made the signs we are holding with the help of the children we work with, who are ages 0-4 with a variety of developmental disabilities.’
Danielle and Hugh Bhutan
‘We're returning home soon, together with our two daughters, having spent 13 wonderful months in this magical kingdom. This photograph was taken after Hugh and I had tea with the Royal Civil Service Commission of the Royal Government of Bhutan who sincerely thanked the Australian Government for our service.’ – Danielle Cole and Hugh Stahel, 396 days volunteering in Bhutan.

We shared the photos across our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. You can also take a look at all the wonderful photos on our website.

Our volunteers also featured in news articles around the world on International Volunteer Day, including articles in the Samoa Observer and Vietnamnet