International Volunteer Day 2019

Celebrated on 5 December, International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to celebrate the Australian volunteers striving to support positive change in our region. This year, the Australian Volunteers Program celebrated the day with over 30 events across 20 countries. 

Returned volunteers kicked off celebrations with Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN) events held across each Australian capital city.

On the eve of International Volunteer Day, Senator Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, was joined by Members of Parliament, Senators, diplomatic corps, Australia Awards recipients, and DFAT and program staff for a breakfast reception at Parliament House. 

Celebrations flowed across 20 countries, as embassies, volunteers, partner organisations and program staff gathered to recognise the day in a diverse array of events, including a special event for departing volunteers who were farewelled by returned volunteers and staff in Melbourne.

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Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, presenting at Parliament House.
Some of the Workreadiness Alumni 002 South Africa
QuadPara Western Cape hosted an event for volunteers, partner staff and beneficiaries to recognise the power of collaboration
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Senator the Hon Marise Payne with returned volunteer Fiona Moore and her daughter Josephine
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Returned volunteers celebrating in Melbourne
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Australian volunteers celebrating with a picnic in Bhutan
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A presentation on International Volunteer Day in the Philippines
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Returned volunteers gathering to celebrate International Volunteer Day in Alice Springs
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Australian Ambassador to Nepal, His Excellency Peter Budd hosted Australian volunteers at the Embassy in Kathmandu
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Returned volunteers celebrating in Western Australia
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The Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, His Excellency David Holly, joined by Embassy staff and Australian volunteers
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Returned volunteers celebrating in Queensland
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Volunteers celebrating International Volunteer Day in Kiribati
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Australian volunteers, Australian Embassy staff, program staff and staff from partner organisation, Botshabelo, celebrated in South Africa
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International Volunteer Day celebrations in Honiara, Solomon Islands

The Australian Volunteers Program produced a video especially for the day, which was shared widely by Members of Parliament, Senators, current and returned volunteers, and many more. 

International Volunteer Day also broke the internet with hundreds of people posting and thousands of people engaging in the amazing stories of Australian volunteers supporting their partner organisations.

Current and returned volunteers, partner organisations, Embassies, Members of Parliament and Senators all got involved with hundreds of posts across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and over 60,000 people celebrating International Volunteer Day via social media.

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Partner organisation, Buk Bilong Pikini's Instagram post for International Volunteer Day
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Twitter post by departing volunteers on International Volunteer Day

In Australia, the RAVN state representatives also marked the day by sending letters to the editor recognising the contribution of Australian volunteers to their local papers, which resulted in the publication of letters in over 20 newspapers across Australia. Australian volunteers also made the TV news in Mongolia and the newspapers in Bhutan and Papua New Guinea.