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…
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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