International Volunteers

Walking into a room full of young Australian volunteers preparing for deployment is a great lesson in tempering preconceptions and avoiding stereotypes.  It’s easy to imagine all volunteers being of the same ilk; ultra-progressive, left wing, vegetarian…

The author getting stuck into work with a Bangladeshi community.

I am joking of course, but I wouldn’t be surprised if readers were nodding in agreement as I said that.  I admit that I had that image firmly planted in my head as I walked in to my first major briefing session, wondering frantically if I would fit in with the group that was already there. 

This, after all, was my first real encounter with the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) Program, which places passionate young Australians (18-30) on short-term assignments in developing countries in Asia, the Pacific and Africa.

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  • TomZ says:

    11:57am | 14/08/11

    Stephen, looked at your other post and have nothing but admiration for yourself and the author. I am a volunteer for meals on wheels, Baptist Community Services and Rotary but I think your own efforts put me to shame. I could not help noticing the dearth of posters that were… Read more »

  • John says:

    10:42am | 14/08/11

    The only reason why people have jobs is because others don’t. The job market is competitive environment and those without the skills and capacity get left out to dry. This cause’s rapid decline in their self esteem and their skills. The way these people are treated is utter disrespectful, the… Read more »


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