Results of the 'Getting to know you' 2019 RAVN Survey

Thank you for helping us understand the impact volunteering has had on your professional and personal development.

2019 RAVN Survey Results  

Every Australian volunteer's professional and personal development journey is unique. That's why we launched the first RAVN Survey - to better understand who you (returned Australian volunteers) are and how volunteering overseas has shaped your life. 

To all the returned Australian volunteers who participated in the 2019 survey - Thank you for your participation! By completing the survey you are helping us to strengthen the development outcomes of the Australian Volunteers Program and to enhance ongoing engagement and personal and professional development opportunities for returned volunteers. Ultimately, the information you shared will help us to improve the Australian Volunteers Program for all participants and to measure the success of the program.

Key Findings:

Highlights from the survey findings include:

  • 312 volunteers responded to the survey with 187 female (60%) and 112 (36%) males participants
  • The top countries respondents volunteered in were Vietnam (#17); Solomon Islands (#15) and Indonesia (#15)
  • 70% of females and 74% of males who responded to the survey completed 1 volunteer assignment
  • Most of the respondents volunteered under the AVID program (31%) followed by the Australian Volunteers Program (20%)
  • Overall 73% of female and 66% of the male respondents believe that volunteering ‘helped them a lot’ or ‘helped a little bit’ to progress their career
  • 89% of female and 86% of male respondents shared that they are maintaining their interest in aid and development after volunteering
  • 95% female and 90% male respondents strongly agreed or agreed that their interest and sense of connection to the country where they volunteered got stronger after volunteering
  • 89% each of female and male respondents strongly agreed or agreed that their understanding of global development or foreign policy issues has increased after volunteering
  • 94% of the male and female respondents believe that one of the major benefits of volunteering is that it connects Australia and Australians to people and countries in our region
  • 95% of the female and 99% of male respondents think that it is ‘very important’ or ‘fairly important’ for the Australian Government to support international volunteering
  • 96% of females who responded to the survey highly or quite value volunteering as opposed to 99% of males who highly or quite value volunteering
  • 93% female and 91% of the male who responded to the survey shared that they have recommended international volunteering to friends, family or a colleague
  • 78% of female and 75% of male respondents are still in contact with their partner/host organisation
  • 65% of females and 33% of males who responded have met or know their RAVN State representative.

If you would like a full copy of the survey results please contact

Background & Objectives

RAVN is a network of Australians who have volunteered overseas as far back as 1951 with the Volunteer Graduate Scheme in Indonesia to the current day with the Australian Volunteers Program across 26 different countries. A Returned Australian Volunteers Network Survey was carried out from 4 October 2019 – 21 November 2019.

The objectives for the 2019 RAVN Survey were:

  • To establish a baseline of demographic and geographic RAVN member data (as defined in the 2018-2022 RAVN Strategy)
  • To build the Salesforce infrastructure (survey form and report) that can be edited and used again in future years and links to contact records details
  • To enable and encourage returned volunteers to create Portal accounts and update their contact details
Kall Sugden, Australian volunteer, checking the hyperbaric chamber with ProMedical colleague George Jack in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Kall Sugden, Australian volunteer, checking the hyperbaric chamber with ProMedical colleague George Jack in Port Vila, Vanuatu.