Page 1

Welcome to the July 2009 quarter edition of Exchange Magazine. The goal of the AYAD Program is to strengthen mutual understanding between Australia and our partner countries, and to make a positive contribution to development. How do we, as Program managers, participants and stakeholders, know whether we are achieving this goal? The Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) Program aims to strengthen mutual understanding between Australia and the countries of the Asia Pacific region and make a positive contribution to development. The Program achieves these aims by placing skilled young Australian (18-30) on short-term assignments in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region. AYAD volunteers work with local counterparts in Host Organisations to achieve sustainable development outcomes through capacity building, skills exchange and institutional strengthening. The AYAD Program provides support to AYADs including living and accommodation allowances, flights, pre-departure training, in-country management, insurance, medicals and debrief on return.

Examples of how the AYAD Program strengthens mutual understanding jump out of the pages of this magazine. The sharing of knowledge, skills and cultures occurs at all levels: between volunteers and their counterparts; between host organisations and Australian partner organisations; and between the Australian and partner governments. On this last point, we at Austraining were honoured by a recent visit to our office in Adelaide by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Tupouto’aLavaka, High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Tonga, during which HRH expressed gratitude for the contribution made by AYADs. We were also pleased that the Australian Foreign Minster the Hon Stephen Smith MP made time in his busy schedule to meet with the AYAD and VIDA volunteers in Samoa when he visited last month; see page 15 for photos.

The AYAD Program is an Australian Government, AusAID initiative and is fully funded by the Australian Government’s overseas aid agency, AusAID. AYAD is managed by Austraining International, a South Australian international project management company.

As well as strengthening mutual understanding, the AYAD Program aims to make a positive contribution to development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The aid effectiveness

agenda, enshrined in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and more recently through the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), commits development practitioners and programs to manage for results, and capture and report on development impacts. Austraining is at the forefront of efforts to evaluate the development impact of volunteer programs, having recently launched the introduction of a Results-Based Management (RBM) framework for the AYAD and VIDA Programs in three pilot countries (Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines). The RBM pilot is being implemented in collaboration with our Canadian partners CECI/WUSC, who manage the Canadian Government’s Uniterra Volunteer Program. The introduction of an RBM Framework will result in stronger alignment of volunteer assignments in priority development sectors and more effective tracking of partner capacitybuilding results, and will demonstrate VIDA and AYAD contribution to development outcomes at the sector, country and program levels. I look forward to sharing the outcomes of our RBM pilot with you over the next year. Until the next edition, Anthony Rologas AYAD Program Director

4 Giving Back Sight 6 Maps and Mosquitoes


July - September, 2009


Orit Bierenboim

Sub Editor

Erin Green


Agency of New Design


Robert Dashwood

Ramon ShinkField

Jason Bower

Stephanie Walters

12 Anything is Possible!

Sarah Miller

Danny Connery

14 AYAD Photo Gallery

Cayla Dengate

10 A Spoonful of Sugar

16 New Life in a New Home

Photo credits:

18 Big Designs for the Future

Contents Page – Robert Dashwood

20 Blogging for Development

Cover - Danny Connery

Giving Back Sight - Robert Dashwood Maps and Mosquitoes - Ramon ShinkField

22 Australian Partner Organisations

A Spoonful of Sugar - Jason Bower

23 Calendar

New Life in a New Home - Sarah Miller

Anything is Possible! - Stephanie Walters

Big Designs for the Future - Danny Connery Blogging for Development - Matthew Fallon

Cover : Danny Connery’s AYAD assignment as a graphic designer with Newsline, a Samoan newspaper, has taken him on many adventures throughout Samoa, including this recent media visit to a school in the remote village of Suvaii for the unveiling of a new classroom. To find more about Danny’s time with Newsline go to page 18. Left : A Nepalese man waits for his post eye operation medications at an outreach clinic being run by Tilganga Eye Centre. To find out more about the great work being done by the Tilganga Eye Centre in Nepal turn to page 4.

All Content and Images are

AYAD 2009

Exchange Magazine welcomes submissions from AYADs and alumni (RAYADs), Host Organisations and Australian Partner Organisations. Please contact the AYAD Marketing Manager, Orit Bierenboim at for further information.

Exchange is printed on recycled paper.

AYAD Robert Dashwood has been

Leaving at 7am on Saturday, we had all the

for corrective lenses but on this particular

working as a Research Officer at the

equipment to set up a remote operating

camp we were looking for cataracts.

Tilganga Eye Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal

theatre, rice and potatoes included - the

Cataract patients would receive surgery the

since July 2008. Through the support of

staple of the Nepali diet. On arrival, we

following day in Banepa – for free.

The Fred Hollows Foundation, Australia,

unloaded the equipment and it was time for

the Tilganga Eye Centre are performing

breakfast. I love Nepali breakfast, curried soy

After finishing morning tea, the boys got

fantastic work, giving people back

beans and oily deep fried bread and tea with

straight into it. Every patient needs to have

their sight and reducing the economic

4 or 5 tonnes of sugar dropped in it. From

their visual acuity measured, get screened

burdens blindness places on everyday

there we spilt up to go to our respective

for disease and those with cataracts need to

Nepali families…

screening camp locations. The team that

go to ‘counselling’ before they are carted off

adopted me were bound for Dolalghat,

to Banepa for surgery the next day.

The first time I saw surgery I was almost

about 50 kilometres north of Banepa.

physically ill - the skin peeled back, a chisel

Being my second ever screening camp, I

pulled out and some bone chipped away.

With Nepali roads and traffic rules it took us

was about as useful as a canoe in a drought

I’ve seen videos of cataract and other eye

some time to get there. On arrival, we set

but was put in the counselling room to collect

surgeries being performed as part of my

up our equipment, observed the numbers of

patient details. It was Luson’s (the brother)

AYAD assignment that I would liken to a

patients already waiting for registration and

and my job to explain to the patients that

game of billiards. But in Banepa, a small

then promptly left for morning tea. Starting

required surgery what was going to happen

trading town on the road to Tibet, in a

to wonder when the work would be done, I

and collect their details.

makeshift operating theatre inside a school

looked out from the school we were based

classroom, Dr Sanduk Ruit made cataract

at to the river below where many Kathmandu

Remember your last visit to the optometrist?

surgery look like an art form – 67 times.

families come on weekends to get out of the

At a minimum it probably took you 20


minutes. He had lots of lines and colours and

On one weekend in February, I was in

gadgets, he could flick a switch and turn off

Banepa in the Kavre district 50km east of

Our team consisted of two trained ophthalmic

all the lights, directing your attention to the

Kathmandu on an Outreach Microsurgical

assistants (OAs), two students, an army of

eye chart lit up on the wall. The walls would

Eye Clinic (OMEC) being conducted by my

willing volunteers and the brother of one

be adorned with his children’s pre-school

host organization Tilganga Eye Centre.

of the guys who had come along because

art and you would casually banter about the

he felt like it. On more detailed screening

weather that week.

camps, the OAs will also give prescriptions

Far Left : A patient shows his delight after seeing the results of his eye surgery. Left : Mr Tamang, a previously blind and mute man laughs as one of the ophthalmic assistants tests his vision. Right : A thirteen year old boy with bilateral cataract after his first surgery.

Inside the space of 5 hours, the Tilganga

(on the back of a ute) and were waiting to

every day. This is a result of no rain for the

was all he could do to identify his shoes and

and post-op follow up. Tuesday, as our last

crew had been through more than 300

have their biometry tests done. A cataract

hydro power plants, politics, 12 years of civil

put them on. His son had to help with almost

day, saw everything packed up and loaded

patients with a few stragglers to go (that’s

is a pathological opacification of the eye’s

conflict and, ironically, flooding late last year.

everything. He could not communicate his

back on the bus. The patients had their

about 1 patient per minute). Not having

natural lens and occurs in all kinds of people

thoughts but was obviously anxious about

post-op visual acuity measured, and I have

lunch until everything was finished at about

as they get older. Cataract surgery involves



spending so much time waiting. Kept calm

to admit to being slightly jealous that some

3 o’clock, I finally understood why we had

replacing that lens with a man-made one.

circumstances that I believe many western

by the amazingly stoic patients waiting

could see better than me.

stopped for so much to eat and drink in

Biometry tells us what kind of lens the

healthcare professionals would refuse to

alongside, he eventually got through his

the morning. They had not stopped talking,

patient will need during their surgery. When

accept. No running water, school desks as

surgery, but coming out of the OT he was

My work in the Research Department keeps

explaining and running around after patients

the day was finally done, the patients were

operating tables, bits of cardboard covering

still as blind as he was the day before. Then

me detached from actual patient care in

since they started. After lunch, 5 exhausted

setup in a neighbouring hall and we retired

the windows, patients waiting calmly in

Monday happened. His eye-patch was

the day-to-day. However the chance to

boys and our driver traded jokes and used

to our guesthouse for food prepared by the

stairwells for hours and surgical timeframes

removed and Khem-daai pointed up the

experience an OMEC for the first time

my tall, white ‘bideshi-ness’ to get the

multitalented sherpa, Nigma.

making the 5 minute Trapdoor episodes I

stairs where his son was waving and holding

reminds me how important the work both

watched as a kid look like epic movies. By

up 2 fingers. Mr Tamang was beside himself

my host organisation and my partner

attention of the girls buying fruit across the





road at the local market. For them, this was

Surgical cataract removal can be done in a

the end of the day they had done more than

with excitement and smiled for the first

organisation (The Fred Hollows Foundations)

just any old average week.

few different ways. What I watched Dr Ruit

70 surgeries. It’s hardly your average run of


really is.

do was the method of phacoemulsification.

the mill week for me.

Twenty-two patients had been lined up for

Through small incisions in the patient’s eye,

‘eye cleaning’. Most of our patients are 60+

the opacified lens is broken up into tiny

Monday was a shorter surgical day, but

in life where you feel the way I did in that

and lack a formal education. Mentioning

pieces that are then sucked out through

also involved post-op checkups on our

single moment. I could not help but giggle

the word surgery conjures up myths of evil

a tool rather like a very expensive vacuum

patients from Sunday’s surgery. This is the

as a wave of welcome happiness rushed

doctors with twirlable moustaches removing


time where you take off the patient’s eye

through my entire body. All the patients

Tilganga Eye Centre

patch and wave your hands in front of their

around him started to hold up their fingers

Gaushala, Bagmati Pul

the patient’s eyes, rubbing them on a dirty

I don’t know that there are many points Your kind donation can help save someone’s sight.

towel and then putting the eye back in.

As I was watching Dr Ruit work, the power

face. As I watched on, I could isolate the

for him to count and he started to copy

Kathmandu, NEPAL

‘Cleaning eyes’ is the best way the staff have

cut out and the entire operating theatre was

exact moment of recognition that they were

them. Khem, the manager of the Outreach

found to explain the procedure that doesn’t

enveloped in darkness. He just put down his

no longer blind. Some people had not had

department has been on tens of eye camps

end in the patient running for the hills.

scalpel and waited patiently with his hands

functional use of their eyes for years.

and still obviously felt the excitement of that

The Fred Hollows Foundation


4 Mitchell Street, Enfield

resting on the table while Pemba-daai ran

NSW 2136 Australia

Returning to Banepa the work was not over.

around madly trying to get the power going

We had one patient, bilaterally blind and

The patients, having been given some time

again. Currently, Nepal is plagued by power

mute, Chandraman Tamang. He was a very

Throughout Monday the surgeries continued,

to collect their things, had been delivered

cuts, usually for more than 16 hours per day,

sorry looking gentleman in a yellow jacket. It

along with more screening of new patients

Donation Line: 1800 352 352


7 Controlling Dengue in Southern Vietnam The sun sets again on Thanh Tri, spreading its orange glow across the

and by using maps to visualise the problem they can better communicate

2000 household commune situated in the Mekong Delta in southern

with village health workers and the community.

Vietnam. At the same time, the 52 village health workers from the community based Dengue Control Program (DCP) reflect on their

Ramon Shinkfield, an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development

remarkable achievements in practically eliminating the dengue mosquito

(AYAD) with specialist skills in GIS, is working with the Thanh Tri community

from their commune (99.26% reduction). Through the village health

and the project partners, and sharing in their success. Hosted by the

workers’ monthly visits and with support from community groups, the

Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific (AFAP)

householders have been armed with the tools and knowledge to prevent

and partnered by the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR),

dengue mosquitoes from breeding in their water storage containers.

Ramon has also been working closely with the Vietnamese Ministry of Health and associated Institutions to build much needed GIS support into

While the success of the DCP is largely attributed to the fact that it relies

the health and water sectors. These specialist GIS tools have formed a

on “low tech” and affordable solutions, including the community’s use of a

vital component in the surveillance of dengue fever and monitoring the

naturally occurring mosquito control agent (Mesocyclops), health workers

prevalence of the dengue mosquito.

are also utilising new “high tech” tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to improve the uptake and reach of the DCP methodology.

Commencing in 1998, the Dengue Control Program has improved health

GIS incorporates advanced data management and spatial analysis tools

by providing access to water which is safe from the dengue mosquito.

to provide powerful visualization and mapping capabilities. Health workers

It encourages affected communities to adopt evidence-based methods,

now have the ability to identify “hot spots” of dengue mosquito breeding,

practices and new institutional arrangements to help prevent water supply

From Left to Right: Mapping products for decision support Mapping the incidence of dengue fever GPS and GIS technology for disease surveillance Training workshop for GIS and analysis methods

related dengue risk. A key component of the program is community based

Mekong Delta, providing protection to over 20,000 households from the

Dr Peter Ryan of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research is a partner

behavioural change and social mobilization, involving the community to

threat of dengue fever.

on the project. He says:

monitor and report on their own water supplies giving them ownership and knowledge of the risks and responses. However, an equally

The success of the program relies on the village health workers, who

“Very few community based health projects have been able to utilise new

important component is the implementation of a biological control called

monitor the presence of Mesocyclops and the dengue mosquito at the

technologies such as GIS in any meaningful way. The fact that Vietnamese


household level across the entire commune. The 40 to 50 village health

scientists and program managers can now map community data down to

workers assigned to each commune are the program champions, providing

the household level, analyse results and distribute resources according to

the critical interface between the program initiatives and the community.

priority and need, represents a very practical use of GIS in a public health

The Mesocyclops is a small crustacean that exists in nearly every fresh water habitat and loves to feed on mosquito larvae. A high degree of co-


habitation exists between humans and the dengue mosquito, which breeds

So what role does GIS play in the DCP? A vital part in monitoring the

readily in manmade water containers. Hence, introducing the Mesocyclops

dengue program is the use of GIS to map and analyse the survey data to

In December 2008, Assoc Prof Vu Sinh Nam, Deputy Director of the

into these manmade water containers provides an aggressive predator to

determine the effectiveness of the collaborators and the biological control.

Vietnam Administration of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health

dengue mosquito larvae. So far the Mesocyclops has been implemented in

Monthly survey data is collected on the presence of mosquito larvae,

convened a five day workshop for 30 participants from the Ministry of

28 communes across Vietnam, offering protection from dengue for nearly

Mesocyclops and potential breeding sites for the mosquito, such as water

Health, to provide specialist training in GIS and analysis methods. Ramon

500,000 people.

storage containers. The data is analysed to determine the significance of

was charged with the task of facilitating the workshop and delivering

any mosquito larvae present, and thematically mapped to highlight areas

focused training in data management, geographical concepts and the use

A big advantage of the Mesocyclops is that it is possible to teach everyone

where the collaborators are performing well or need additional assistance.

of specialist software to equip personnel to monitor the DCP. The workshop

in the community, from commune leaders to school children, how to

Over time, these maps provide a story book of patterns and trends that

was highly successful in strengthening the local institutions in developing

recognize and collect them, which enables the communities themselves to

enable the program leaders to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of

systems to transfer program data into meaningful geographical information,

perform sustainable mosquito control. A horizontal and vertical approach

the program. On a wide scale of implementation, where there are hundreds

analysing the data using contemporary spatial analytical methods, and

is at the heart of the dengue control program, which fosters a participatory

of active health workers gathering monthly data, management tools like GIS

promoting current technology in the DCP as well as for the surveillance of

partnership with the national and local government, right down to the

become vital to the success of the program.

other infectious diseases. He is enthusiastic about the outcomes of the

commune level. The program is currently working in 12 communes in the


“The development of enabling technologies such as GIS and their application in the areas of preventive medicine and public health is a major priority in Viet Nam. Through AusAID’s Dengue Control Project and the skilled volunteers that we have been able to utilise through the AYAD Program, we have been able to train a new generation of public health workers in GIS and spatial analysis. These skills are not only important for management of dengue, but also for the range of emerging infectious diseases for which policy makers require reliable information to plan and manage surveillance and intervention activities” The DCP demonstrates that participatory approach and innovative solutions combined with smart technology like GIS can provide a powerful outcome for sustainable change. As a new day dawns, the people of Thanh Tri can be sure that a few “high tech” tools will be helping them in the fight against the little mosquito that can cause such big problems.

More information on the DCP can be found at


Ever wondered how medicines get

try to provide the best possible quality

In Kiribati, there is only one pharmacist in

In terms of quality, with costs of medicines

to your local pharmacy? How about

healthcare service, at the lowest possible

the entire country, and she is responsible


when there are over 100 pharmacies

cost. For the Republic of Kiribati, whose

not only for ensuring that medicines are

unaffordable, developing countries tend to

spread over 33 islands scattered across

financial resources are particularly scarce

used appropriately, but also guaranteeing

rely on the extensive but largely unregulated

the Pacific Ocean and a developing

and where rates of disease are among the

that they are available in the right quantities

global generic manufacturing industry.

country health budget suffering from

highest in the Pacific, this issue couldn’t be

in all clinics across the 33 islands of the

the global financial crisis? AYAD Jason

more important.

country. Whether or not this is achievable

Everyone is now aware of the very serious

also depends on very careful management

problem of substandard and fake medicines,

Bower spent a year working with the





Department of Pharmacy in the Pacific

As an AYAD carrying out an assignment

of the procurement of medicines. Therefore

and the implications of not carefully selecting

nation of Kiribati to address these

as a pharmacist, people would usually

when Jason Bower began his assignment

where supplies are sourced. Many good,

challenges and more.

expect the focus of the assignment to

as an Essential Medicines Pharmacist for

reliable manufacturers exist, but knowing

be on the training of other pharmacists,

the Kiribati Ministry of Health, one of his key

which ones have the highest standards

In the current climate of the global financial

the delivery of good medicine advice and,

assignment objectives was developing a plan

is very difficult to determine – particularly

crisis, all the attention tends to be on

of course, teaching people to count pills

to guide the procurement of medicines.

when you consider that inspection visits

the highly market-dependant developed

more efficiently! However, pharmacists in

countries. But for developing countries, they

developing countries are all too often few

The main aim of medicines procurement

are a rather unlikely prospect for the small

too are seeing proportionate reductions

and far-between, and therefore clinical

is to get good quality medicines, in the

Department of Pharmacy in Kiribati!

in their economies, and so the pressure

services can be forced to take a backseat to

right quantities, at the best possible price.

is really on to spend their significantly

simply ensuring that good quality medicines

However, many complexities exist which

By making suppliers go through a formal

smaller government budgets as carefully as

are available in appropriate levels in all areas

make this goal very difficult to achieve in the

qualification process and provide relevant

possible. One key area of spending is health

where they are needed.

small, very easy-going country of Kiribati.

documentation for all unverifiable products,

care, where resource-limited governments

to manufacturing sites in India and Europe

and through making use of existing networks

Jason working on the new distribution system Jason at a traditional Kiribati celebration (Botaki)

alongside the pharmacy staff members

of drug quality evaluation, the Department

and record the movement of all items in



budget out each year! But it’s great to see –

the same challenges, in the true spirit of the

of Pharmacy has been able to set up some

the pharmacy – has made it possible to

suppliers who could provide a much better

it’s a real reward for the efforts that everyone

Pacific Islands.

good standards which should be sustainable,

reasonably forecast those needs and keep

service – reliably providing quality medicines

has put in over the year” says Jason.

and, equally importantly, are sensitive to the

track of supplies.

at excellent prices. Kiribati had traditionally

limitations of the Department’s resources.





“The last year has been one of the most

paid relatively high prices for medicines from

Another positive to working in the Pacific is

personally and professionally rewarding

“Stock management and distribution was

often unreliable suppliers, and therefore at

that ideas that come out of the Department

times of my life so far,” says Jason.

Ensuring you are ordering and keeping

what we all worked on every single day, so

a time when every dollar is critical, these

of Pharmacy don’t have to be confined to

“I-Kiribati are some of the friendliest people

the right quantities of medicines depends

many trainings!” laughs Jason. “But it was

new relationships along with more targeted

Kiribati. There has always been a strong

you will ever meet, and walking into a work

on understanding the needs of all centres

heaps of fun – they were a pretty young and

purchasing are now likely to save the Ministry



environment where everyone would greet

providing medical care across the country.

enthusiastic staff, and as long as we mixed

of Health well over AU$1 million annually.

the Pacific Island countries – sharing and

you each morning with such a genuinely

In a place like Kiribati, which consists of over

in the serious stuff with the joking around,

exchange is in everyone’s blood. In late July

positive attitude, really gives you no option

100 different clinics and small hospitals on

we all learnt a lot together but enjoyed it at

Over the course of the year, each new

2009, a regional procurement workshop will

but to get passionate about the place and

33 islands stretched out over thousands of

the same time. The Pharmacy was a real



be hosted by the World Health Organisation

the work that you do here.”

kilometres of ocean, knowing what is going

family and we all became much closer in the

procedures, so that the final Procurement

in partnership with the Macfarlane Burnet

on in each clinic and the logistics of getting


Policy and Procedures document wasn’t

Institute for Medical Research & Public

just a wish-list, but rather was a compilation

Health in Melbourne, which will bring together

the right amount of supplies to each of those






clinics is no easy feat. But over the course

As with new staff in any workplace, AYADs

of all the procedures that were already being

pharmacists from all Pacific Island countries.

of Jason’s assignment, new initiatives which

can contribute a huge amount by bringing a

routinely carried out.

The workshop will be a great opportunity for

the Department of Pharmacy introduced –

fresh outside perspective and encouraging

such as a national Essential Medicines List,

people to explore new ideas. In the case of

“The Pharmacy are finally back in the good

in Kiribati to present their new procurement

standardised imprest lists for all clinics, and

Jason’s assignment, large improvements

books with the Ministry of Health, no longer

procedures and share experiences with

pharmacy management software to manage

in managing the drug budget were made

the department that keeps blowing the

other Pacific Island countries experiencing

the local staff of the Department of Pharmacy

9 1

Anything is Possible!

RAYAD Stephanie Walters spent twelve months in the Solomon

In-Country Manager. We climbed into the back of a mid-sized truck driven by

and after avoiding the taxis, crossing the river and waving goodbye to my

Islands working with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health,

the son of a provincial chief, and travelled along roads lined with people and

housemate, I was at the door of the Ministry of Health, Health Promotion

UNICEF and the World Health Organisation but breaking in to

framed with an ocean backdrop. We passed numerous ‘roadside’ leaf-huts

Department, a little portable flanked by the double story World Health

the development field in Australia on her return was another big

selling beetle nut, BBQ fish and coconut, (the BBQ fish later became the

Organisation offices and a big old mango tree. This is where the ‘anything

challenge. Here she tells how an AYAD Development Internship

Melbourne equivalent to a late night kebab) and we took a detour through

is possible’ feeling always kicked in. In what other circumstance, except

helped get her back on track and provided her with that extra

the burnt-out China Town area, past remnants of troubled times in the

as an AYAD in a small Pacific country, would I ever, with just a few years


Solomon Islands. We veered up a long steep hill, driving dangerously close

of experience, be working in a national level position in collaboration with

to the sheer drop and a couple of stray dogs, and arrived home, to a stilt

UNICEF and the WHO?

Twelve months on from my return to Australia, and with a Melbourne winter

house on the Honiara ‘Skyline’ - the experience had begun.

fast approaching, it is somewhat hard to recall the consistently humid

The contrast between the openness and professional opportunity I had had

30 degree Solomon Island heat, however what’s not hard to recall is the

The Solomon Islands is a country unlike any other place I have ever visited,

in the Solomon’s, and the pressure and obligation I found upon returning

immense feeling of elation I had when I first set foot ‘in-country’ - I was

it’s a place which immediately assails your senses with brightness and hope.

to Australia, was stark. The novelty of being able to consume ‘Western

beginning to feel like a career in international development was possible!

The feeling that anything is possible is hard to escape. This, and the warmth

style’ soon wore off, and after a month and a half of receiving letters

and friendliness of the Solomon Islanders was epitomized by my daily walk

which commenced with, “the quality of your application was high however

Flying to the Solomon Islands from Australia for the first time is a surreal

to work, where, after making it down from Skyline via the arduous jungle like

unfortunately”, telling people that I was, ‘concentrating on my studies’ was

experience. It’s just a short three-hour flight from Brisbane to Honiara, but

goat track, we were greeted by the local kids, perched on rusty old cars,

getting a little tiresome. It felt somewhat like my dream of a high-flying career

when you step off the plane, the heat hits you, and it feels like a different

and they never failed to give a grin and excitedly exclaim ‘hello white-man’.

in international development was never going to become a reality. So thank

world. Upon arrival, myself and my two fellow AYADs were picked up by our

Every morning the same beetle nut sellers would offer a ‘morning misses’,

goodness for the AYAD Program’s Development Internship idea!

3 Upon my return to Australia I had used my Solomon Island network to get

Pack also provides templates for use by partners in project work. The pack

with opportunities to apply what I have learnt in a number of contexts and

in touch with the Pacific Unit at Oxfam Australia, and had written an email

needed to be culturally relevant and that’s where my experiences could

also to meet a greater number of the transient and internationally based staff.

to them about the possibility of doing a Development Internship. Of course,

come into play to ensure that the pack would be a useful (and used) tool for

Also, having come from a government based AYAD assignment, the RAYAD

Murphy’s Law, after a month and a half of nothing except rapidly increasing

Oxfam and their partners.

internship has allowed me to add ‘NGO experience’ to my resume, a fact I

disillusionment, I got offered a full time job and received an email from Oxfam

believe will make me more employable within the NGO sector in the future.

with an internship opportunity all in the same week! I got in touch with the

Through the development of this pack I have had the opportunity to learn

AYAD Program staff and negotiated with Oxfam and my new employer to do

about Oxfam’s program management processes and also Oxfam’s ‘ways of

I believe that the Development Internship program provides a unique

the internship approximately four hours a week over 20 weeks.

working’ with local communities in the field. I have conducted consultation

opportunity to build relationships within the development community

with local Pacific Oxfam staff and gained exposure to other Oxfam

in Australia. It gives you a point of difference from which to approach

The Development Internship that was developed for me by Oxfam’s

programmatic areas. Despite the anxiety of waiting for an opportunity to

organisations, many of whom may receive a large volume of intern and

Pacific Program Officer, Andrea Watters, enabled me to utilize the cultural

become available, I am grateful that my supervisor took the time to develop

volunteer applications, and also, depending on your internship choice, can

knowledge I had gained during my placement in the Solomon Islands to

an internship project that would have tangible results for the organisation;

provide you with an opportunity to build on the work you commenced as

develop a Pacific Partner Pack for Oxfam partner organisations working in

as I now have a sense of having contributed something to an organisation

an AYAD. For me, the RAYAD internship provided the next step in my career

the Pacific.

which I admire greatly.

plan and got me back to that ‘anything is possible’ frame of mind.

The pack details ways of working with Oxfam Australia, how to develop

Having the opportunity to schedule the Development Internship around paid

If you’re a Returned AYAD and you’re interested in applying for a RAYAD Development

a project, how to write a project proposal, how to monitor a project and

work over a longer period of time has resulted in the ability to develop more

Internship, check out the Development Internship Guidelines and Application form online at

evaluate it, and who at Oxfam assesses projects for support. The Partner

sustained working relationships with the staff at Oxfam. It has provided me

Welcome to the AYAD Photo Gallery, a chance for AYADs and alumni (RAYADs) to share photos of their experiences in-country. Want to share your photo? Simply email the photo with a caption to By submitting your photos to the AYAD Program you are giving consent for these images to be used for promotional purposes by the AYAD Program (including website, promotional materials and Exchange) so don’t forget to get consent from the people in the photos. From top to bottom, left to right: The local children of Mele, Vanuatu enjoying the limelight. Photo by Jackie Trieu. AYAD Jessie Bynon enjoying an adventurous ride on the back of a Ute in North Efate, Vanuatu. Photo by Jackie Trieu. AYADs Pia, Bronwyn, Elizabeth and Nathalie enjoying some time off from their assignments in Thailand. Photo by Nathalie Mann. A form of transport in Bangladesh. Photo by Dean Saffron AYAD Alice Moffett captures a stunning shot of a bee in Aceh, Indonesia. Photo by Alice Moffett. The spectacular landscape of a volcano eruption in Tonga Photos by Mr. Lotar Salam and Mr. G.P. Orbassano The beautiful colours of a Cambodian market-place. Photo by Dean Saffron. The Hon Stephan Smith Minister for Foreign Affairs with some of our AYADs during a recent visit to Samoa Photos by Lou Anderson

5 9

In Cambodia, you are considered an ‘orphan’ even

staff of the FDCC, Sarah has seen the impact of poverty

if you still have one parent alive, mainly because it is

and HIV/AIDs on communities and particularly on orphan

next to impossible to be a single parent. There are no

children and the changes wrought in these children’s

childcare options if you have no immediate family, and

lives when they are given access to good nutrition and

surviving through subsistence farming is a full-time job.


Realistically, if a parent is looking after a young child alone, they are not able to work, which means they are

One experience Sarah will never forget was going out

unable to grow enough food to survive.

to the villages to pick up one of the new children who required the support of FDCC. This was a sobering

Prey Veng Town is situated 91 km’s southeast of the

experience for Sarah but one that put everything

capital Phnom Penh and is the capital of Prey Veng

in perspective in terms of what FDCC do and what

Province, one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia.

opportunities they are offering the children they support.

With around 91% of the economy based in agriculture,

Sarah and her counterpart drove about 40 minutes

the province experiences problems related to urban

northeast of Prey Veng Town to a small village which

migration, where male family members move to the

consisted of wooden stilt houses or shacks lining the

capital to find work and the women try to support their

main road. This area was rice field country with tall palms

families through working the fields. The spread of HIV/

dotted across the horizon and buffaloes grazing - a very

AIDs in this area is prevalent due to its proximity to the

familiar scene in rural Cambodia.

city and an increase in migrant workers returning to their villages with the disease.

They arrived at the house where the child was living, yet it wasn’t really her house. The wooden stilt house was that

AYAD Sarah Miller has just finished her assignment as

of her cousin and she had been living with her mother in

a Project Development Officer with the Foundation for

the makeshift shack next to the house on her cousin’s

Developing Cambodian Communities (FDCC) whose

property. She was a stunning little girl, smiling ear to

main project is Mekhala House, an orphanage for 45

ear, confidently “sompeahing” (Khmer greeting) them

children. During her time working with the dedicated

one by one. Sarah had not expected her to be so warm


towards them however, the girl gave every indication

be adopted out to Australians and was assured that ‘no’,

have increased the organisation’s professionalism

that she had been looking forward to the opportunity

the FDCC does not allow the children to be adopted and

in terms of building a strategic plan, developing and

to go to Mekhala House where she could attend school

they work on the premise of preparing the children to live

implementing policies and procedures, as well as

and have 3 meals a day and her own bed.

a sustainable and independent life within Khmer culture.

gaining funding to expand FDCC’s reach across new

FDCC provides education such as life skills, computer

community development projects in Prey Veng Province,

The girl’s mother was very ill with HIV/AIDs and her father

skills, English skills -an education which they hope will


had died of the same disease 4 years earlier. Already the

bring the children a good job and secure future.

girl’s brother had been given to her uncle’s family to be

Throughout Sarah’s year at FDCC in Cambodia she has

brought up and now the mother was unable to look after

The mother accompanied them back to the orphanage

felt very lucky to be working with such dedicated staff

her daughter any more.

so she could see for herself how the orphanage was run

who show great pride in their work and great care for the

and how happy the children are. Sarah believes this is an

children that they support. It really does feel like one, very

The arrival of Sarah and her counterpart attracted quite

important step as it is much harder when a family can’t

big, happy family. While she has only been involved in a

a crowd, mostly relatives but also some villagers who

even picture where their child is living. The other children

small, grassroots project, Sarah can see the big picture,

stood watching from afar. They sat outside on the

from Mekhala House were immediately warm to the

that the children at the Mekhala House Orphanage are

wooden slat beds which are always kept under Khmer

newcomer and the older children showed great maturity

becoming the educated leaders of the future and she

stilt houses for such gatherings. The mother asked lots

in approaching the mother and speaking to her about

has been so touched by her work with the FDCC that

of questions and they wondered if she’d got “cold feet”.

their lives at FDCC, soothing her doubts and fears.

she will be returning to the organisation for a further 18

As you can imagine it is a big decision for a Khmer family

months with the Australian Government’s Volunteering

to contact an orphanage and ask for help as they have

The Foundation for Developing Cambodian Communities

for International Development from Australia (VIDA)

a strong family bond. In this case the mother knew

(FDCC) has been operating in Cambodia for the past 3


that she could no longer provide the support and care

years. FDCC’s relationship with the AYAD Program is

necessary to ensure her daughter a happy future.

strengthening with the third AYAD candidate beginning

FDCC operates the Mekhala House Orphanage which began operation

her assignment in early 2009. The benefits that the

in October 2005 based on an identified need to provide assistance to

The mother asked Sarah to explain how FDCC works and

organisation has gained through this relationship has

orphan and under-privileged girls in the region. They rely on donations

how the organisation is funded which she did through a

enabled FDCC to build capacity within its staff base,

to help them raise adequate funds to operate their projects. Please

translator. She asked Sarah whether the children would

undergo organisational development programs which

email them on for further details.


Only 18 months ago the independent Samoan newspaper, Newsline, was a quickly growing business, sharing news and current affairs across the Pacific island nation. One of only three newspapers servicing Samoa, Newsline was a privately owned publication known for its good writing and unbiased reporting. Then – disaster – the entire operation burnt down leaving nothing behind. From the building to equipment and including all its archives, everything was destroyed. Without insurance and with next to nothing salvageable from the blaze it seemed likely that the paper would fold leaving staff out of work and Samoa without one of its best and brightest sources of information. Against this backdrop, editor-in-chief Pio Sioa was defiant and determined to rebuild the paper from scratch. To help him, and the paper, with the difficult task ahead the AYAD Program recruited Danny Connery, an experienced young graphic design consultant, to work with Newsline and help them as they grew from the ashes of disaster.

Danny’s counterpart burning plates for the next issue of ‘Newsline’

Here Danny talks about the many and varied experiences that come from working in such a vibrant environment where determination and change are often coupled with a relaxed attitude and sunny islander smile.

Back home in Adelaide I run a design consulting business and I often come across new clients who know they need a designer, but aren’t exactly sure how or what I can do to help. Little did I know that my previous experiences dealing with this situation would be the first I would draw upon when I arrived in Samoa! Between finishing AYAD pre-departure training in Canberra and arriving at Newsline in Samoa the supervisor for my assignment, the editor who had requested an AYAD graphic designer, resigned from her role. My new supervisor didn’t have a design background and it was plain to see he was unsure of my role and how I could be used to help Newsline grow and improve. Together we sat down and went through the outcomes listed in my assignment description, discussing how these could be achieved and what kind of impact they could have. Some of the outcomes were pretty straightforward like training my counterparts in newspaper layout but already, even this early in my time there, I could tell that there would be lots of other opportunities where my previous experience in Australia coupled with my counterparts experience in Samoa could make a difference not only to the look and feel of the paper but to how the organisation ran as a whole. There was lots of good work to be done and I

quickly rolled up my sleeves and got down to it. When I first started at Newsline there seemed to be no official schedule of what and when things needed to be completed. So one of the first tasks I gave myself was to organise a time line of actions that dictated - by way of deadlines what was required of staff members. I pinned this time-line up in the office but it barely registered a glance, no one was taking any notice of it at all! This was when I had my first lesson in how things get done in Samoa and it took a pressroom full of journalists and a Samoan hip-hop star to show me my mistake. I don’t know how pressrooms normally work in Australia when a famous hip hop star gives a conference but my experience in Samoa taught me some invaluable lessons. Savage, possibly the most famous Samoan hip hop star, was giving a press conference and I went along to see how it was done as part of learning all aspects of the work that goes on at Newsline. The press conference consisted of representatives from all aspects of the Samoan media - print, television and radio - all gathered together in one room to interview the subject. Naturally, Savage was asked a lot of questions on all kinds of subjects but it was the attitude of the representatives in the room that gave me my first clue as to why my deadline list was receiving absolutely no attention back at the

office. Together they were all laughing, chatting with each other and generally treating this time as a good opportunity to catch up and have a laugh. This informal attitude is reflected in all elements of the industry in Samoa and seemed to be the currency for getting things done and it works - things do get done. My (very Australian) urge to make a list of deadlines would never work in this environment and instead I went back to work very thoughtful as to how to have an impact in a work culture unlike any I’d worked in before. With the press conference in mind I decided to try a different approach. Melani and Arnold, my designing counterparts, were already quite capable at layout and instead of organizing formal ‘trainings’ it was easier (and more effective) to pass on tips in general design theory or simple pre-press solutions and software shortcuts in a relaxed and informal way. Because of this informal structure I became less a teacher and more one of the guys, forming friendships that make my time at Newsline much more rewarding. It was pleasing to see the designers respond enthusiastically to ideas and informal training but it has also been great to see how much my supervisor, Pio Sioa, has gained from my appointment and how many great experiences I am getting from working closely with him.

Pio has big plans for the paper and has opened up his whole operation for feedback. Instead of just being there to concentrate on the design of the paper and the training of counterparts, I am consulted when all decisions are made, weaving me slowly into the fabric of Newsline. One of the great things about being a part of all aspects of the paper is that I often find my day interrupted by someone saying “Danny Famolymoly” (Samoan for please) followed by an unexpected request. I have begun to keenly anticipate these random adventures out with the other reporters and have often found myself in surprising situations – often doing things I would never have the chance to do in Australia. One such moment was when, as official photographer for Newsline, I was up on the rugby pitch during the Pacific Cup while the All-Blacks did their famous Haka (and then saw myself there again that night in the televised replay!). That’s something I’ll never forget. My role at Newsline is a balance of substance and laughter and I couldn’t ask for a better mix. Through persistence, resourcefulness and a sense of humour, Pio, with the help of his staff and newly appointed AYAD (me!), is slowly restoring his paper and together we have big designs for the future.


AYAD Cayla Dengate, working as a journalism

how to storm an inter-galactic space station, and

My students were quick to show me that they

I started with small steps, asking students to contribute

lecturer in the Philippines, is turning her students’

he understands the ins and outs of Facebook and

understood the advantages of the internet but agreed

to one news site which allowed readers to leave a

passion for online games into a new avenue for

Friendster, but what about the more valuable aspects of

that they just don’t use it to its full potential.

comment at the end of an article and contribute their

self-expression and discovery. Here Cayla tells us

the internet?


thoughts. The next week, the class was alive with “The internet could undoubtedly cause far-reaching

conversations about debates they’d had with people all

Are people in developing nations like the Philippines

improvements when it comes to information

over the world.

The explosion was deafening. Gino Paje, 18, looked

using the internet to learn about the world around them,

dissemination in Philippine society, for both the public

behind him and realised he was all alone. He knew he

or simply to play games?

and private sectors,” Gino says. “Still most young people

“I learned to appreciate that I can express my political

only use it to look at Plurk, Twitter, Facebook, Multiply

ideas online,” Gino says. “What I write here and publish

and Friendster.”

online can be viewed and read by my peers on the

couldn’t lose it now, not when he was so close to the end. He took a deep breath, reloaded, and ran blind

I arrived in Bicol – the poorest region of the Philippines

through the flames, shooting at enemy forces mounting

– seven months ago with the hopes of bringing

in the smoky haze.

developmental journalism to Bicol University. I’d left my

Fellow student Ralph Sarza, 20 agrees. “I usually use

post as fashion editor at The Canberra Times to pursue

the computer to check out who’s grabbing the fame on

He stormed through the crumbling building when a bullet

more meaningful aspects of journalism in the developing

YouTube,” he said. Ralph regularly updates his Facebook

But I took it one step further: through a popular blogging

pierced through his protective armour, his vision went

world and was keen to introduce students to the wide

and Friendster pages and says he takes up to five online

website, I tasked all students with creating their own

blurry and suddenly, his ears were filled with the sound

world of the web.

quizzes a day.

newsblog. They were allowed to pick their own topic,

My old newsroom was abuzz with email, YouTube,

As a journalism teacher, I needed to find a way to get my

Wikipedia and blog websites. My new classroom didn’t

students to look beyond online networking websites and

have the internet, let alone a working computer.

games to open up the world of international journalism.

Slowly, the blogs started filtering in and most students

Through reading articles from the New York Times, The

didn’t stop at three entries. They wrote about everything

The university sits at the base of Mt Mayon. This eternally

Guardian and The Australian, students could not only

from democracy in the coming national election to

Gino is not a soldier, rather, he’s a Filipino university

smouldering volcano dominates the landscape, looking

gain a greater understanding of news writing but also

women’s issues and the rights of “bakla” (a Filipino word

student with a penchant for online games. Like

over the lazy rice fields, wallowing carabao bulls and the

contribute to online global debates.

for flamboyantly gay men).

many young people in the Philippines, Gino knows

buzzing town centre.

other side of the world, in a matter of minutes, or even

of cheers. “You almost won!” His friend said in Tagalog.


as long as they included three articles – one with an

“I’ve never seen anyone finish level 10,” another chimed.

interview, one with statistics and one opinion piece.



Previous Page : Mt Mayon Right : Cayla with her students at Bicol University

“It was the first blogspot I had ever written and I loved

Through online resources, young journalists can arm

The AYAD Program works with a diverse range of

• Aceh Research Training Institute

it,” Gino says. “As more and more Filipinos learn how

themselves with statistics and knowledge to interview

Australian Partner Organisations who provide support,

• Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia

to write and publish weblogs, traditional barriers such

people effectively and understand their place in the

enthusiasm and expertise to projects in all our partner

• AIDS Council of NSW (ACON)

as distance and time zones matter less and less. I can



• Asia Pacific Business Coalition on AIDS (APBCA)

somebody in the United States can be informed about

Can the internet improve the Philippines? Ralph thinks

Australian Partner Organisations (APOs) are

• Attorney-General’s Department

it even if they’re thousands of miles away in another


Australian government departments, non-government

• Austcare

organisations (NGOs), educational institutions and

• Australian Broadcasting Corporation

“A third-world country like the Philippines needs to

private companies that have or wish to establish links

• Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

stay up-to-date for its development. And one way of

with organisations working in development in the Asia

Ralph also continues to maintain his blog and plans to

achieving that is to know what’s happening around the

Pacific region.

work in online news when he graduates. He said the

globe. And the fastest and most convenient way to

internet allowed people around the world to understand

know the latest is by surfing the net. It might have a lot

The benefits of being an Australian Partner

• Australian Human Rights Centre

Filipinos and discover the real Philippines.

of stuff online that isn’t useful but once you learn how to

Organisation are many and varied including building

• Australian Mekong Resource Centre

use it, the world wide web is your oyster.”

new partnerships in our region, providing an amazing

• Australian National University

These small projects allowed these young Filipinos to

professional development opportunity for staff and

• Australian Red Cross

broadcast their news and opinions to the world, but it

making a positive contribution to development.

• Australian Rugby Union

write about an event that happened today here, and

• Asia Pacific Journalism Centre (APJC)

time zone. In effect, they will learn about something that happened tomorrow in their time zone.”


• Australian Football League - Oceania • Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific

also provided an introduction to the greater world of

• Australian Sports Commission

the internet and the many facets that make up online

If you are interested in learning more about partnering

• Australian Youth Climate Coalition


with the AYAD Program please contact the AYAD

• Ba Futuru Australia

Partnerships Team at

• Bahay Tuluyan Philippines Australia

or (freecall) 1800 225 592.

• Baptist World Aid Australia • Be A Hero Australia

The AYAD Program would like to thank our current

• Birds Australia

active APOs for their involvement and support:

• Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation (Australia) • Box Hill Institute of TAFE • Brisbane Institute of Strength Based Practice • Burnet Institute • CARE Australia

July S

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• Caritas Australia

• Foundation for Developing Cambodian Communities

• Murdoch University

• Transparency International Australia


• CBM Australia

• Foundation for Development Cooperation

• Netball Australia

• Triathlon Australia

18-19 RAYAD State Representative Workshop

• CBM Australia - Nossal Institute Partnership

• Friends of Venilale

• Oceania Athletics Association


• Central Queensland University

• George Institute for International Health

• Opportunity International Australia

• UNHCR Canberra


Debrief (Melbourne)

• Centre for Refugee Research UNSW

• GHD Pty Ltd

• OT Australia

• UNICEF Australia


Alice Springs and Towsnville Information Sessions

• Charles Darwin University

• GK Ancop Australia

• Oxfam Australia

• UNIFEM Australia


Bunbury Information Session

• Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA


Hobart Information Session


Melbourne Information Session


Adelaide Information Session


Perth Information Sessions

• Charles Sturt University

• Griffith University, Griffith Film School

• Pacific Asia Tourism Pty Ltd


• ChildFund Australia

• Habitat for Humanity Australia

• Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

• UniQuest Pty Ltd

• CLAN (Caring and Living as Neighbours)

• Hassall and Associates

• Philippines Australia Studies Centre (PASC)

• UnitingWorld

• Commonwealth Ombudsman

• Health Communication Resources Inc.

• Plan International Australia

• University of Adelaide


Brisbane Information Session

• Constitutional Centre of Western Australia

• HOPE Worldwide (Australia)

• Public Interest Law Clearing House Inc. (PILCH)

• University of Melbourne


Canberra Information Session

• University of New South Wales


Sydney Information Session


Darwin Information Session


APO/RAYAD Networking Event (Canberra)


Intake 27 assignments online

• CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems • Deakin University, School of International and Political

• Humane Society International

• Queensland Institute of Medical Research

• iEARN Australia

• Reef Check Australia

• University of Queensland

• Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy

• Riverine Landscapes Research Lab

• University of South Australia

• Department of Agriculture and Food (WA)

• International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE)

• Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW

• University of Tasmania

• Department of Education, Employment and Workplace

• International Cricket Council East Asia Pacific

• Royal Australasian College of Physicians

• University of Technology Sydney


• International Development Law Organisation

• Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

• University of Western Australia

13-18 Intake 26 PDT

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship

• International Fund for Animal Welfare

• Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC)

• University of Western Sydney

• Department of Primary Industries (NSW)

• International Rugby Board

• Royal Life Saving Society Australia

• URS Sustainable Development

• Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (QLD)

• International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics

• Save the Children Australia

• Vets Beyond Borders

• Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and

• International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA)

• Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association

• Victoria University


• Interplast Australia & New Zealand

• Scouts Australia

• Wetlands International – Oceania

21-22 Debrief (Sydney)

• Earth Systems Pty Ltd

• Interserve Australia

• Southern Cross University

• Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)

• Engineers Without Borders

• James Cook University

• Speech Language & Learning: Educational Therapy

• World Bank Group

• Environmental Defender’s Office New South Wales (Ltd)

• Jane Goodall Institute of Australia

• World Vision Australia

These details are correct at time of printing. Please

• Federal Court of Australia

• Land Equity International Pty Ltd

• Susila Dharma Australia Inc.

• World Youth International Australia

check for the latest information.

• FIBA Oceania (Oceania Basketball Confederation)

• Luminaide Pty Ltd



• Flinders University

• Manly-Manado Inc.


• WWF - Australia

• Football Federation Victoria

• Marie Stopes International Australia

• The Fred Hollows Foundation

• Youth Challenge Australia



the Arts


October 6

APO/RAYAD Networking Event (Melbourne)

DO YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR CONTRIBUTING TO DEVELOPMENT? au Australia Freecall : 1800 225 592 Telephone : +61 (8) 8364 8500 Email : Managed by Austraining International Pty Ltd Level 1, 41 Dequetteville Tce, Kent Town SA 5067