Meet the VIC RAVN State Representatives
RAVN State Representatives are motivated, returned Australian volunteers who voluntarily lead RAVN networking activities in their states and territories. State Representatives also engage with Australian aid initiatives and other returned volunteers as well as support the Australian Volunteers Program and grow awareness of the impact and value of volunteering.
Miranda Guizzo volunteered in Vanuatu during 2016 and 2017 before returning to Melbourne. First at the Vanuatu Society for People with Disabilities, supporting their early intervention program for children, and then at the Vanuatu Ministry of Health as a Health Promotion Support Officer. Across both roles she assisted local staff to deliver much needed health and community services to the Ni-Vanuatu population. Miranda continues to follow her interest in community services and public health, working as a health care professional with preschool children and completing a Master of Public Health.
One of the most rewarding parts of my volunteer experience was meeting and connecting with like-minded volunteers and forming strong friendships. I see RAVN as a way to extend that positive aspect to life back in Australia and the State Representative role as a way of providing a sense of community to those who have just returned.
Carlene Frank returned to Australia from her volunteer assignment in South Africa in 2017 after 18 months volunteering for Eco Children, an organisation which focuses on whole school development and environmental education. While on assignment, Carlene volunteered as a project coordinator, supporting Eco Children in planning, implementing and reporting on local community initiatives. Carlene sees international volunteering as a life-changing experience, and an essential part of Australia’s aid program.
I believe that volunteering has been a benefit to my professional career as it’s made me more adaptable and increased my problem-solving skills. It has also been beneficial to me personally, as I’ve had to become more outgoing.
Paula Gill spent a year volunteering in Vietnam from November 2016. With a passion for the environment, Paula volunteered as an Environment Communication Officer at the Centre for Supporting Green Development where she supported staff to improve their grants writing and resource mobilisation skills.
Paula is now working as an environment and sustainability professional, utilising her volunteer experience and qualifications in international community development and environmental science.
I feel it is really important and valuable to maintain and grow the connections with other returned volunteers back home. Being part of the RAVN State Rep team for Victoria is a wonderful opportunity to be able to facilitate and support this growing network.