This year’s theme is “Volunteers Build Resilient Communities” and celebrates volunteers who contribute to making their communities more resilient against natural disasters, economic stresses and political shocks.

An Australian volunteer (L) support Vietnamese staff

“I am proud of Australian volunteers, not only because they have contributed to the success of Vietnamese organizations, but also more broadly to Vietnamese development in general and because they are great ambassadors who create strong people to people links between Australia and Vietnam” said HE Mr Craig Chittick, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam.

More than 1,000 Australian volunteers have worked in Vietnam since 1973. Australia’s Volunteer program matches Australian volunteers’ expertise and experience with Vietnam’s priority development needs. Australian volunteers work in diverse fields – education and training, community development, private sector, agriculture, gender equality and health. Their contributions have assisted partner organizations in Vietnam build capacity to effectively deliver their development objectives.

The Executive Director of REACH, an Australian Volunteers program partner and local NGO said: “From a small not-for-profit entity in 2008 to an internationally recognized organization, REACH’s growth story is a result of millions of volunteering hours. Australian volunteers have played a significant role across various functional areas and have helped REACH support and enhance the lives of disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. We at REACH, thank you for your dedication, passion for the REACH cause and contribution to our growth story. Without you we would not have reached where we are today”.

The Australian Government has been supporting Australian volunteers to undertake international work overseas for more than 60 years. A new Australian Volunteers program, which demonstrates the continuous commitment of the Australian Government for international volunteering, was launched in February this year. Vietnam receives the fifth largest contingent of Australian volunteers with over 40 Australian volunteers placed in Vietnam each year.    

Reported by Viet Anh