Returned Australian Volunteer Network

The Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN) is a place for returned volunteers from all Australian Government-funded overseas volunteer programs to connect with each other and continue to tell stories and share ideas and resources, long after returning home from assignment.

RAVN and the next chapter of the Australian volunteers program

Welcome message from Megan Anderson,  Assistant Secretary NGOs and Volunteers Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

March 2018

On 12 February, we celebrated international volunteering and the commencement of the new Australian Volunteers program at Parliament House in Canberra.  The event was an opportunity for volunteers about to deploy, some returned volunteers, parliamentarians, members of the diplomatic corps, DFAT and AVI (the managing contractor of the Australian Volunteers program, in consortium with The Whitelum Group and Cardno) to meet and make connections, and re-affirms the Australian Government’s commitment to international volunteering.  The Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells delivered a passionate speech about international volunteering.  You can read the Minister’s speech and the media release.

We are excited about the new program, which builds on previous programs.  Through the new program, we will send more than 5,000 Australian volunteers from all walks-of-life to developing countries over the next five years.

We will continue to support our returned volunteers, with initiatives planned for RAVN alumni mentioned in previous e-newsletters.  We look forward to continuing to support your professional development and ongoing connection with the Australian Volunteers program.  Of course, we will continue to hold networking events around the country.  So now’s the time to sign up to RAVN LinkedIn group to connect with other returned volunteers. 

RAVN will also build stronger people-to-people links and ties across our region.  We welcome engagement with our volunteers and your input into RAVN. If you have any feedback or ideas to strengthen the network, please send us a message at [email protected].

If you are interested in making a difference in 2018, or know someone who does, I encourage you to share this e-bulletin, as well as information on the assignments currently on offer to family, friends and colleagues.  See the Minister for Foreign Affairs’ video on applying to become an Australian volunteer here

We are proud of our returned volunteers.  We look forward to continuing to share the stories of your important contributions and the exciting and enriching experiences that international volunteering provides, for our region and for Australia.  

Megan Anderson at AVP Launch

DFAT Assistant Secretary Megan Anderson (L) with DFAT Executive Officer (Health Program and Performance Section) Raha Roggero (centre) and two Australian Volunteers, Bruce Clezy (back) and Tanya Constantino (R), at the Australian Volunteers event at Parliament House on 12 February 2018. 

Photo supplied by DFAT

The inaugural RAVN conference

The inaugural Returned Australian Volunteer Network conference, Valuing Volunteers: Bridge Builders & Change Makers, took place in Melbourne on 3–4 December 2016. Missed the conference and want to find out more?

Read the wrap-up

Almost 300 returned volunteers and friends of the volunteer program came together to reconnect, hear from inspirational Australians, and share and learn from their volunteer experiences.

View the gallery

Engage with the network

Meet the returned volunteers

Since the 1960s, more than 13,000 Australian Government-funded volunteers have supported organisations and communities in over 42 countries. 

Each Australian volunteer has contributed to development efforts to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods around the world.

Read the latest stories from Australian volunteers

Attend a networking event

Each state-based event is themed around a different aid or development priority area. Panellists engage attendees in robust group discussions. And it's always a challenge to quiet the room from all the catching up! 

Today was my first RAVN event, it keeps it real. Very much appreciated.
I'm really happy I decided to come. Lots of interesting people with similar interests. I'm looking forward to attending more events.

RAVN e-newsletter

As a returned volunteer, you will receive the bi-monthly RAVN e-newsletter, full of stories from returned volunteers, updates on the program, and opportunities to stay engaged. 

Get in touch with queries or story suggestions

Storytelling Toolkit

The RAVN Storytelling Toolkit has been developed to assist returned volunteers to navigate the storytelling experience, and inspire you to find creative ways to share your stories.

Download the Storytelling Toolkit

RAVN LinkedIn Group

The RAVN LinkedIn Group is a space for returned volunteers to stay connected, engage in discussions, and find out about the latest network initiatives or professional opportunities. 

Join the RAVN LinkedIn Group