Australian Volunteers International Magazine Edition One 2012
The right to be heard > Rights for Lebanon’s domestic workers
“To be forgotten is to die a little. It is to lose some of the links that anchor us to the rest of humanity.” – Aung San Suu Kyi
> Lifting the education status of Indonesia’s women > Partnerships supporting human rights action > Breaking down barriers through film
» Contents A right to be heard 05 > Volunteering: a way of life By the Hon Michael Kirby.
23 > Tennis legend becomes AVI Patron AVI welcomes Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
07 > Beyond the courtroom AVI reviews its contribution to the global legal and justice sector.
24 > A strong voice in the Afar Desert Twenty-year-old Afar woman, Karera Dawud, shares her story of empowerment.
11 > A window to equal opportunity in Samoa PACTAM giving a greater voice to Samoa’s female leaders.
26 > Resourcing the vision of overseas partners The Community Grant Scheme, developed through the AVI/Planet Wheeler Foundation partnership, supports more than 60 overseas partner projects.
12 > Giving a voice to Lebanon’s domestic workers Advocating for the rights of a vulnerable community. 13 > A virtual contribution PACE International’s learning approach provides remote learning opportunities for students. 14 > A right to learn Macquarie University students committed to global law and justice projects.
29 > Volunteers share inspirational stories AVID Volunteer Stories kicks off in July and will showcase returned volunteers to communities all over Australia.
AVI enables Australians to join in global efforts to reduce poverty; promote human rights, good governance and gender equality; enhance health and education services; and protect the environment. AVI is a member of the International FORUM on Development Service and the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).
16 > Defending women’s rights in Indonesia A conversation with Komnas Perempuan’s Commissioner Andy Yentriyani from Indonesia and current AVID volunteer Nat Kitingan. 18 > ANZ Super Regional Volunteers A super regional success.
03 > CEO’s Comment 04 > In brief 29 > Dates to remember 30 > Fundraising appeal 31 > Photo Gallery AVI’s global commitment.
20 > AVI’s global celebrations From Hobart to Honiara, AVI shares its 60 year milestone celebrations with the global community. 22 > “Help us achieve what we want to achieve” The Community Volunteer Program takes volunteering to Oodnadatta.
24 Page 22 > The road to Oodnadatta. Photo > Kylie Harrington / AVI Page 24 > Afar Pastoralist Development Association
Australian Volunteers International connects people and organisations internationally to learn from each other and achieve shared goals.
Community Health Worker Karera Dawud.
Photo > Fran Noonan / AVI
Australian Volunteer is AVI’s free magazine, published twice a year. Contributions and good quality photographs are encouraged. Send enquiries and submissions to: The Editor, Australian Volunteer, PO Box 350, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065, Australia. Email > firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions > If this copy was not mailed personally to you, sign up as a member at our website: www.australianvolunteers.com and choose to receive new issues. Unsubscribe at email@example.com Editors > Christine Crosby, Fran Noonan Sub-editors > Dan Sybaczynkyj, Elmarie Pareezer, Liam White, Kylie Harrington Graphic Design > Bree Manley, Tim Allan Printing > David Alexander (printed on recycled paper) Distribution > Complete Mailing (posted in biodegradable plastic wrap) Advertising enquiries > firstname.lastname@example.org Cover > AVID volunteer Fundraising and Program Officer - Community Education Project, Pip Crooks, pictured outside her workplace in Thohoyandou, South Africa. The Munna Ndi Nnyi centre promotes and supports health issues through outreach training, education and front-line home and community based care programs. Photo > Matthew Willman
Our Board Justice Richard Refshauge (Chair) Ms Alison Crook AO (Deputy Chair) Mr Robert McLean (Deputy Chair) Mr Kurt Fearnley OAM Ms Jenny McGregor Ms Sam Mostyn Mr Greg Thompson
Our President Ms Margaret Jackson AC
Our Life Members Mr Bill Armstrong AO Mrs Betty Feith Dr Bob Meyenn Mr Hugh O’Neill
or many of us poverty means there is no food on the table or no money to buy the basic necessities. Poverty is also disempowerment. It stifles the individuals’, families’ and communities’ right to be active participants in society. It harbours a life of discrimination that offers limited or no access to basic freedoms. Poverty ultimately stifles an individual’s potential to flourish and live a life of dignity, equality and freedom. It is an existence without basic human and legal rights. In this issue of AV Magazine, we look at past and present work in promoting human rights and how effecting change in the legal space can achieve this.
In celebrating AVI’s recent 60th anniversary milestone in Brisbane, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, a proud patron of AVI, noted the importance of positive action in the legal and justice sector and how it can protect and promote human rights in the global community. Over the years these words have been echoed through the actions of many of our dedicated legal volunteers and program participants. This includes the former Member of Parliament and Queensland AttorneyGeneral, Cameron Dick, who previously held the position of acting Attorney-General of Tuvalu under the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM), an AusAID initiative managed by AVI. Since the 1960s more than 250 AVI volunteers have worked on law and justice assignments in 36 countries. Initially, most volunteers contributing to the law and justice sector were based in legal agencies or institutions. Over time this contribution has expanded to encompass non-government organisations in the areas of advocacy, education and communications; an approach aimed at strengthening the voice of civil society. At a recent Lawyers Beyond Borders networking event, AVID returned volunteer, Lyma Nguyen, inspired us with her story about working with Legal Aid Cambodia. She undertook factual analysis, evidentiary assessments and drafted legal submissions to support victims of Khmer Rouge policies. Volunteer Lawyer, Anusha Goonetilleke, also shared her experiences empowering local communities in Vanuatu through legal training, mentoring and supervision of legal
Our Patrons officers and staff from the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre, run by Transparency International Vanuatu. These are efforts that strengthen the solidarity in communities. A necessary outcome that was highlighted in United Nations Volunteers State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2011, was to create greater opportunities to participate in society. The report stated that: “At no point in history has the potential been greater for people to be primary actors, rather than passive bystanders, in their communities, to affect the course of events that shape their destiny.” This sentiment is at the heart of AVI’s vision, that all individuals, communities and organisations across the globe have the right to use their voices, share their vision, and take action so they can have the life they desire and deserve. Earlier this year AVI with Anglican Overseas Aid (formerly Anglicord) and the Nossal Institute, were fortunate to host three special guests, Sister Florence Nderitu and James Senjure from the Mothers’ Union Kenya and Val Browning from the Afar Pastoralist Development Association in Ethiopia. In their conversations with us and a range of Australian audiences they emphasised the power of literacy as a means to reduce poverty and improve access to child and maternal health. For Val Browning literacy is one of the key indicators to empowerment, she said: “We have seen that time and time again becoming literate works for helping women, it works for helping men, and it works for helping children. It works for reducing the effects of harmful traditional birthing practices. Accessing literacy is a huge one in terms of reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of the Afar people of Ethiopia.” The essence of the work of Val, Florence and James to empower women and children, is a strong focus of the global alliance, The White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood (WRA). As president of this movement in Australia, I am pleased to acknowledge The Universal Rights of Child Bearing Women, a charter launched in 2011. An initiative of WRA, this is a platform to foster respectful maternity care, and one which goes beyond the prevention of
Evonne Goolagong Cawley AO, MBE Hon Elizabeth Evatt AC Hon Peter Howson CMG Hon Michael Kirby AC, CMG Sir Gustav Nossal AC, CBE Prof Lowitja O’Donoghue AC, CBE Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC Hon E G Whitlam AC, QC
Our Programs > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) AVI / ANZ Partnership AVI / VSO Partnership AVI Worldwide Cambodian Midwives Project Community Volunteer Program - Oodnadatta Children of the Rainbow Serpent Documentary Project Friends of AVI Hamlin Fistula Hospital Project Indigenous Women’s Tour Lawyers Beyond Borders Macquarie University PACE Program Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism Teacher Trainers for Tanzania
morbidity to also include the respect for women’s basic human rights, dignity, feelings, privacy and choices. Together we can take important steps to influence positive change at all levels of humanity and inspire community action to create a world where there is respect for all human rights. Warmest regards and in peace,
Dimity Fifer Chief Executive Officer Above > (l-r) James Senjure, Val Browning, Sister Florence Nderitu, Judith Ascroft, Misha Coleman, Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Andrew Hewett, and Dimity Fifer. Photo >Courtesy Oxfam Australia
» In Brief
Above > Bob Carr MP (left) at the Technical School for Midwifery Care in Phnom Penh. Photo > Nick Sells
Bob Carr praises midwifery project
Accolades for Malawi education collaboration
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, recently visited an AusAID-funded midwifery program at the University of Health Science’s Technical School for Medical Care in Cambodia. Since 2009, 11 Australian Midwifery Educators and Preceptor Advisers have contributed to the project through AVI, as part of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program. Their work is strengthening the delivering of midwifery education in Cambodia and supporting the nation’s efforts to reduce maternal-infant mortality rates. Bob Carr acknowledged the efforts of the volunteers during his visit and on his blog, Thoughtlines with Bob Carr: www.bobcarrblog.wordpress. com/2012/03/28/maternal-and-childhealth-in-cambodia
Mark Cox and his host organisation, the Special Needs Unit of Malawi’s Ministry of Education, are finalists in this year’s Commonwealth Best Practice in Education Awards, which will be held in Mauritius this coming August. The award, to be presented as part of the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (18CCEM), acknowledges the good practices and work being done in the global education sector. Mark, recruited through the AVI/VSO Partnership, has been working on the Inclusive Education Advocacy Program in Malawi since 2010. This program, delivered in collaboration with development partners, disabled peoples’ organisations and beneficiaries, educates communities and supports their initiatives which encourage the inclusion of learners with special needs.
London calls for Kurt Fearnley AVI Board Member and Paralympic gold medalist, Kurt Fearnley, will head off to London for the 2012 Paralympic Games beginning 29 August. The six-time world champion and three-time Paralympian will be competing over four distances and will attempt to defend his title in the 42.2km marathon. When he is not competing, Kurt supports many charities and not-for-profit organisations. In 2011 Kurt was the first wheelchair athlete to compete in the City2Surf in Sydney to raise awareness for AVI. We wish Kurt all the best in London later this year and have no doubt that he will do AVI and Australia proud.
Friends of AVI AVI is delighted to be launching its new Friends of AVI program in 2012. Building on our vision to create a peaceful and just world, the Friends of AVI program provides an avenue for volunteers, returned volunteers, donors, partners, stakeholders and new friends to engage with the activities of AVI. The program will host a range of initiatives that gives Friends of AVI the chance to connect with our organisation. Friends of AVI launch events will be held across Australia later in the year. For more information and to become a Friend of AVI please visit our website www.australianvolunteers.com or email us at email@example.com
Above > AVID volunteer Midwifery Preceptor Adviser, Jill Moloney (back left), with students from the University of Health Science - Technical School for Medical Care (TSMC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo > Jenni Lee
In Memoriam Long standing AVI Patron, David Scott, passed away on 22 April 2012. David’s life was spent working in social welfare and social policy, both in Australia and internationally. In 1962 he became the founding director of Community Aid Abroad, now known as Oxfam Australia. AVI Executive of International Services, Peter Britton said “My last encounter with him was when [Jose] Ramos-Horta (ex-president of Timor-Leste) had travelled to Melbourne to present David with a medal in honour of the work he did with Ramos-Horta at the UN after the Indonesian invasion of Timor-Leste. David was able to respond with modesty, erudition and humour.” David was always a strong supporter of the organisation and an inspiration to many. AVID volunteer Tudor Winter sadly passed away on 17 April 2012, after falling ill in March whilst on assignment in Cambodia. Tudor had been working as a Program Management Adviser in Battambang since June 2011, making some wonderful connections with his local community, volunteers and AVI’s Cambodian Office staff. He had also made some important achievements in the short time he has been on assignment with KNKS - ‘Children of Hope’. A celebration of his life and contribution was held at AVI in Melbourne on 20 April and in Cambodia on 22 April 2012. <
Volunteering: A way of life
Volunteering: A way of life > Michael Kirby
Above > The Hon Michael Kirby (centre) with the Queensland University of Technology’s Hon Prof Lavarch (centre left) and Professor Anne Fitzgerald Professor in Law
Research QUT (centre right) with special guests Nigerian lawyers at AVI’s 60th anniversary celebration in Brisbane in 2011.
Photo > Sam Boardman
Former Australian High Court judge and Australian Volunteers International Patron, the Hon Michael Kirby’s lifelong commitment to volunteering started by accident. This unplanned vocation has seen him pioneer new modes of engagement and contribution by the Australian legal sector globally. In sharing his expertise to advocate for human rights, he has supported law and justice reforms from South Africa, to the Caribbean and Cambodia. Here he reﬂects on an experience of personal discovery, mutual respect, friendship, global citizenship and active participation in partnerships for change.
ike many things in life, my world as a global volunteer started by accident. One day, unusually for me, I missed university lectures because I was unwell. Into our law class came students inviting nominations for election to the student law society. While absent a fellow student nominated me. I was thereupon elected to the student law society on the back of a joke. The “juggernaut of joining in” was unleashed. I went on to become the President of the Sydney University Students’ Representative Council and was elected to the university Senate as an undergraduate representative. Then in late 1962, this work saw me chosen to be a leader in an Australian student delegation to visit Nigeria, Ghana, Singapore and Malaya. Never will I forget our journey in the back blocks of Nigeria. Travelling by third class railway carriage into the hot and humid inland of Africa opened my eyes to the big world beyond Sydney, Australia. Before this journey, I had never been further than Katoomba. Yet here I was, interacting with students in matters that engaged us at that time. I was confronted with sharp criticisms of the “White Australia” policy that was then in force. The African students demanded to know what Australia was doing for the education of Aboriginal students. Witnessing and engaging closely with overseas students taught me to look closely at my own land and its strengths and weaknesses. Specifically, it taught me to re-examine my own values. I realised that many of those values were based on racist assumptions that virtually everyone in Australia at that time accepted. This realisation led me to volunteer with the Council for Civil Liberties in New South Wales (CCL). I represented citizens who claimed their liberties had been infringed. Memorable were the cases of the CCL, which involved contested disputes about police shootings, public demonstrations, conscientious objection to military service in Vietnam, and Aboriginal empowerment. >
“My message remains the same as it was for me in 1962 when I set out on this volunteer journey. Be a joiner. Get engaged. Think beyond Australia. And make a difference in our world.”
While a judge in the 1970s, I was seconded to chair the Australian Law Reform Commission. A new body established by Federal Parliament to modernise and update the law in Australia. A function I could not perform without close involvement with civil society organisations. These movers and shakers, I realised, were often the change agents of our relative complacent and prosperous society. I engaged with them, secured their ideas, and sometimes helped to translate them into laws, enacted by Parliament. More importantly, it was at about this time that my interest in international volunteering was revived. It was not volunteering in the way that most AVI volunteers perform their duties. Not for me were months of patient work in communities, huts and villages in far away countries. My international volunteering was more macro than micro. It started with a request to take part in a group established by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. This group was created to propose responses to the amazing new computers that were coming into use in the developed world by 1978. So began my career as a volunteer in international agencies. None of this work secured me more salary or financial benefits. However, it fed my fascination to encounter worlds different from my own and resulted in my involvement in a range of activities, including:
Not all of these and other voluntary activities have been crowned with success. Sometimes, as every volunteer knows, working in the international field can be frustrating and occasionally maddening. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Volunteers, nationally and internationally, must also observe high standards. Racist, sexist, cultural, religious and other attitudes of superiority must give way to generous-spirited engagement with others1. Participation, transparency, respect and acceptance are the keys to success in international volunteering. Notice that I did not include ‘tolerance’. This suggests a person puts up with others and does not truly accept them fully as an equal, entitled to human dignity. It is this spirit of equality and human dignity that inspires millions of Australian volunteers every year. I must acknowledge my own personal quest for equality and self respect as a gay man is a motivating force for my engagement with others. To gain confidence, acceptance and respect, and to be truthful, is a great challenge for every member of a minority. Standing up for others and standing up for oneself can change the world, step by step. This is what volunteering has taught me. It is true at home in Australia and in the wider world. That is why I am glad and proud to serve as a Patron for Australian Volunteers International. My message remains the same as it was for me in 1962 when I set out on this volunteer journey. Be a joiner. Get engaged. Think beyond Australia. And make a difference in our world. <
> The Global Commission on AIDS of the World Health Organisation, set up to advise governments worldwide on the most effective responses to the unexpected HIV epidemic. > The United Nations Development Program asked me to chair the Constitutional Conference in Malawi in 1994. Assisting Malawi to transition from a single party regime to a multi-party democracy. > Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for human rights in Cambodia 1993-96, to provide guidance following the genocide executed by the Khmer Rouge. > Participation in the Commission on Freedom of Association of the International Labour Organisation to guide South Africa to just and effective labour laws after the end of apartheid in 1991.
About Michael Kirby When he retired from the bench in 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge. He was first appointed a judge in 1975 and served on Federal and State tribunals, rising ultimately to Australia’s highest court, the High Court of Australia (1996-2009). Through his work with national bodies and UN agencies, he learned some valuable lessons about volunteering’s contribution towards strengthening civil society and communities around the world.
Horin, “Hands on Help can be Harmful”, Sydney Morning Herald, News Review, January 7-8, 2012, 10.
Top Left > The Hon Michael Kirby (left). Above > (l-r) Bob McDonald, David Obi, Patience Onuwatu, Rasak Solaja and Michael Kirby. Photos > Courtesy Michael Kirby
Beyond the court room For more than 40 years Australian Volunteers International has worked with overseas partners to respond to law and justice issues. A recent review of AVI’s work in the sector has found that this response has broadened beyond the court room, legal agencies and institutions. AVI’s Prashikha Chhetri and Christine Crosby write about this contribution.
Beyond the court room > Prashikha Chhetri & Christine Crosby
n a recent research project, Historical Review – Law and Justice Sector, AVI reflected on its work in the law and justice sector across the globe over the past four decades. The review found that up to 300 skilled professionals had worked on legal assignments in 36 countries. It also identified that AVI’s initial work in the sector did respond to the ‘skills gap’ issues of overseas partner organisations. Overtime, the scope of AVI’s law and justice assignments broadened to include assignments outside of the formal legal sector. “The shift in the character of AVI’s law and justice assignments occurred in the late 1990s,” said Russell Hocking, AVI’s Program Partnerships and Development Effectiveness Manager. “Ultimately this broadening of focus went hand-in-hand with how our partner organisations wanted to address the structural causes of poverty and the role they saw for legal and human rights frameworks in doing so. This shift in focus responded to a strong movement from within communities. They realised that these frameworks provided a useful resource for pursuing positive change.” “Our partners wanted to improve access to legal services and increase the general understanding of people’s rights, seeing these as important tools in advocating for social change. With the support of organisations like AVI, they worked to strengthen civil society by improving community awareness of legal and human rights and their role in addressing poverty.” The review found that overseas partner organisations working in the law and justice sector continue to request legal professionals. However, the review also identified an increasing demand for Australians with skills in advocacy, policy, communications and training. Taking a broader approach, Mr Hocking noted, had enabled volunteers to make a greater contribution at an individual, organisation and sectoral level.
Top > AVID volunteer Child Law Reform Adviser, Jackson Rogers (centre), worked with Save the Children Swaziland. Here he prepares for a play on childrens’ rights with play wright Nelson Mapako and actor Naison Dube. Photo > Courtesy Jackson Rogers Above > Lyma Nguyen (centre) with National Co-Lawyer NY Chandy, Legal Aid Cambodia, OEUNG Jeudy, Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee at the Court of Appeal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo > Courtesy Lyma Nguyen
“Through partnerships with diverse organisations, from government agencies to communitybased groups, AVI volunteers have contributed to change at various levels of the law and justice sector in a range of countries,” he said. In Timor-Leste, for example, a Media Legal Trainer worked alongside local journalists and other media stakeholders to develop a media-law framework for the country. While, in Fiji, the work of volunteer Lawyers complemented that of volunteer Project Officers and Education Advisers at the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF). Their work combined to train staff, undertake community education activities and influence change at a government level in the area of human rights law. >
The work of legal professionals, the review revealed, continued to have a positive impact on the work practices and attitudes of colleagues, enhancing their ability to make legal decisions and implement legal processes. Working with Legal Aid of Cambodia (LAC) a volunteer International Criminal Law Advisor trained local legal colleagues to make their first submission ever to the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), where they were representing victims of the Khmer Rouge.
Expanding the reach Vanuatu’s lega
At a policy level, volunteers have also supported AVI partner organisations to achieve major policy changes. “To advocate and support policy change at local, provincial and national levels, organisations have needed to access a variety of skills. They have requested volunteers who can improve their networking capabilities and increase their understanding of the local legal sector and issues of social justice, so they can respond more efficiently and effectively,” Mr Hocking said. “In Swaziland, for example, Save the Children Swaziland had a desire to establish the nation’s first child protection laws. AVI supported this vision with the placement of an Advocacy Officer and Child Law Reform Adviser. Working with their colleagues, they supported the organisation’s advocacy efforts and its submission to the Government of Swaziland, which ultimately became the Child Protection and Welfare Bill 2008.” In essence, the review has found that Australian professionals, with a range of skills, are making a significant contribution to promoting human rights and strengthening law and justice systems globally. They have accessed these opportunities to work with a range of communities through a number of programs delivered by AVI. These include Australian Volunteers for International Development and the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism, two programs delivered in partnership with AusAID. The Macquarie University / AVI initiative, PACE International, and AVI’s Lawyers Beyond Borders are also providing a range of activities focused on law and justice.
AVI’s Historical Review – Law and Justice Sector, was compiled by Maria Hach, with the support of AVI’s Program Partnerships and Development Effectiveness team. The review will be published and available on the AVI website in late 2012. For more information contact Russell Hocking on firstname.lastname@example.org <
An interest in human rights and public interest law led to Anusha Goonetilleke accepting the role as a Legal Adviser for the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), which is run by Transparency Vanuatu. Here, she writes about her contribution to Vanuatu’s legal sector.
ased in Port Vila, Vanuatu, the ALAC provides assistance to victims and witnesses of alleged corruption involving government departments. I was able to bring my experience working as an in-house employment lawyer in national and international law firms in Australia to this role. ALAC had only started operating six months before I commenced my assignment. Their request for a legal volunteer was to assist with the mentoring and supervision of staff, particularly the legal officers who were recent law graduates. My role also included: > Establishing precedent documents and setting up office procedures. > Interviewing clients in urban and rural areas in English, French and Bislama (Vanuatu’s official languages).
> Liaising with government departments to resolve complaints. > Undertaking policy submissions. The legal officers, ALAC Coordinator and I strived to improve the organisations effectiveness, which meant that more clients, including those in rural areas, could be assisted. I managed ALAC in the absence of the ALAC Coordinator for an extended period. One of the legal officers and I also had the opportunity to represent ALAC and speak in Bislama at Law Week and Human Rights Day. Volunteering can be a challenging and often difficult experience, but it also brings many personal rewards. To further explore my interest in the local legal sector, I completed a subject at the University of the South Pacific on the interaction of the state and customary legal system in Vanuatu and interviewed one of Vanuatu’s founding fathers.
has screened human rights films to over 200 communities around Africa. Photo > Courtesy Rowena McNaughton
Finding a voice through ﬁlm
Finding a voice through film > Rowena McNaughton
h of al services
Here > Sundown cinema. Rowena McNaughton
Rowena McNaughton’s Community Outreach Coordinator volunteer role at the Human Rights Media Trust is providing vulnerable South African communities with an opportunity to be heard. She writes about ﬁlm’s contribution to human rights dialogue. Following my assignment at ALAC, I coordinated the Legal Literacy Program for the University of the South Pacific’s Community Legal Centre. This is the only other community legal centre in Vanuatu. I undertook this role as part of the Australian Youth Ambassador for Development program. My time in Vanuatu strengthened my belief in the importance of pro bono legal assistance. With the skills gained from my experience, I am continuing my focus on human rights and public interest law by working at a community legal < centre in Queensland.
Top > Anusha presenting a seminar on an outer island with her colleagues. Above > Anusha (left) with colleague Jennifer Warren prior to their speech at Law Week 2009. Photos > Courtesy Anusha Goonetilleke
he boy looks as young as 13. His head is tilted, resting on a dirtsmeared concrete wall, his eyes darting constantly from the filthy paper notebook he scribbles in fitfully in the shadows of the bodies that silently pass him. On his back is a worn stuffed backpack. Bits of twine attempt to keep the bag together. A stained sneaker without laces hangs limply from a strap next to a charred and battered saucepan. His grubby feet are bare. Sharp cheekbones petrude from sallow cheeks. Perched in the corner of a dark stairwell in the Central Methodist Church in the tough downtown area of Johannesburg, South Africa, the boy sits alone. As I stare at him his scratching pencil pauses, and he lifts his head. Lifeless black still eyes meet mine for a fraction of time, before he burrows his head and resumes his frantic note-taking.
In a building housing over 1500 refugees who have all fled their war-torn African homes, this boy’s story, I find out, is a repeat of the too many I have already heard. Night time raids, sisters, wives and mothers raped by packs of machete-wielding boys, drunk on god knows what. Weeks spent ambling city streets looking for jobs that aren’t there to be had. Forced to flee with nothing but the clothes on their back, desperately seeking a border only to be harassed by AK47-totting, burly police day in, day out, once across it. Trapped, hungry, unable to go home for fear of failing the families that sit waiting. Alone. Always hungry. I’m at the church because it’s Wednesday – documentary film night. Once a week along with my friend Reymond Mapakata, a 26 year-old Zimbabwean refugee who crossed the border to South Africa on foot through the crocodile-infested Limpopo River >
four years ago and now calls the floors of the church ‘home’, and I set up my projector and screen and throw open the doors of the church for a free film night and ‘chat’. We are never quite sure how many people will show up: sometimes it’s 20, other nights 300 or more pack onto the wooden benches. The refugees, all homeless and desperate for legal asylum-seeking status, hail from all points of Africa – teachers from Zambia, accountants from Sudan, businessmen from Zimbabwe. Children, wives, fathers, all desperate for some security and trying to make sense of their hostile predicament. The often award-winning films we show are sourced from the Tri Continental Film Festival - Southern Africa’s sole human rights film festival. A festival run in its entirety from the tiny office of the Human Rights Media Trust in Johannesburg where I volunteer.
In a building housing over 1500 refugees who have all ﬂed their war-torn African homes, this boy’s story, I ﬁnd out, is a repeat of the too many I have already heard. Since October 2011, with the help of Reymond and a string of motivated, largely unpaid, social justice workers, I have helped put on over 200 community screenings around Africa. Under a desert sky, Western Saharan refugees have sat with international journalists to watch and share their views on liberation films; high school students from impoverished township schools access a projector once a month to view political and environment films; and in the drug-hazed streets of inner Johannesburg the Lutheran Outreach Centre runs fortnightly inspirational stories from around the world of people “beating” the drugs and abuse that keeps them down. The post-film discussion is a key element. Over 46 educational and community-based organisations access our films free of charge. Many people told me that the church was dangerous. Police officers lurk outside and social workers have all but washed their hands of it. Rape is high, as is burglary. But what strikes you most if you bother to step over the crumbling entrance doors is how educated these people are. Cleo a professor, Yassif a doctor, and Lerato a teacher, all frequent audience members. But instead of being able to use their professions, they sit day in and day out waiting for paperwork that will probably never come. Many, like Reymond, have been here for years. Children are born here. Some people ask what the big deal is – they’re just films. I asked Reymond after a particularly in-depth post-film discussion following a viewing of a film about whether we should continue. After a short pause, his response: “No-one asks these people their opinion.” To ﬁnd out more visit www.tcff.org.za, or check out Tri Continental Film Festival Group on Facebook.
This is a position of the Australian Volunteers for International Development program (AVID). AVI is working in partnership with AusAID to deliver AVID.
As a culture of change sweeps through Samoa, PACTAM Legislative Drafting Adviser, Rupeni Nawaqakuta, has the task of boosting female representation in the nation’s Parliament. In this article he writes about the details, implications and challenges of an activity described as a “small step” towards changes in a nation’s view of gender equality.
eorge Bernard Shaw once said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” The winds of change appear to have been blowing in Samoa for a while. Recently, Samoa made some important socio-political changes. In December 2011 it changed its position on the International Date Line and now lies east of the International Date Line. In 2008 motorists changed from driving from the left to the right side of the road. In October 2011, I arrived in Samoa, with my wife, to take up the role of Legislative Drafting Adviser in the Office of the Attorney-General’s Office. A position developed as part of the AusAID-funded Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM), a program delivered by Australian Volunteers International. Interestingly my first task at the Attorney-General’s Office was to change the status of women in Parliament. The task, which embraces the trend of change enveloping the nation, involves reviewing the draft constitutional change to guarantee women representation in Samoa’s Parliament. These changes aim to give effect to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women and respond to Millennium Development Goal three, to promote gender equality and empower women. This action will drive change in the machinations of political power in Samoa, which is dominated by men. While the current proposal focuses on a minimum quota of female participation, it is considered a small step to encourage more women to stand for election as members of Parliament. To paraphrase the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Martin Luther King Jr, [Samoan] women will only have true equality when [Samoan] men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next
A window to equal opportunity in Samoa generation [of Samoans], and one day [Samoan] women will rise up, live out the true meaning of equality that [Samoan] women and men are created equal.
(descendants of migrants as at 30.11.63). The significance of that date may have to do with the passing of the Electoral Act by the Parliament around November of 1963.
“elected” members. For all intents and purposes, the additional members have the same status, rights, privileges and benefits as elected members.
The changes, challenges and implications
To be eligible for election as a Member of Parliament (MP), a person must either be a registered “matai” title holder or registered in the individual voters roll.
If no woman is elected, then five women candidates will become MPs as additional members based on the percentage of votes they polled in their respective constituencies. If there are less than five women candidates contesting a general election, all of them will become additional members, even though the 10% cannot be achieved.
Although a small window of opportunity to achieve greater equality and empowerment, a guarantee of female representation in Samoa’s Parliament encourages significant and meaningful participation of Samoan women in the nation’s economic, social and political development. Below is an explanation of the current and proposed law.
The current law The Constitution of Samoa establishes the Legislative Assembly or Parliament of Samoa comprising 49 elected members. There are two women members in the current Parliament. Out of the 49 elected members: > 47 members are elected from persons who hold traditional chiefly titles called “matai titles” and are registered as such under the electoral laws; > Two members are elected from persons who are registered under the individual voters roll. Generally, a matai title can be conferred by a family to its male and female members alike under the Samoan customs and traditions. It can also be conferred to non-citizens on an honorary or ceremonial basis. The individual voters roll is a roll containing citizens who are not indigenous Samoans
Proposed law The objective of the proposal is to fix a minimum number of female representatives in Parliament. The minimum number is 10 percent of the 49 members (minimum of five members).
The provisions Provisions are proposed to ensure that 10 percent of female representations in Parliament are maintained. The proposal allows a shift in the composition of Parliament from 49 to 54 depending on the number of elected women candidates. If 10 percent of women are elected as MPs, then the minimum of 10 percent is achieved. Therefore, the composition of Parliament will remain at 49. However, if, for example, three women are elected as members of Parliament, then two women candidates who polled the highest percentage of valid votes in their respective constituencies will become MPs. The women candidates will be referred to as “additional members of Parliament”. The reference to “additional members” is purely a label for the purposes of distinguishing them from
A window to equal opportunity in Samoa > Rupeni Nawaqakuta
For example, if an elected woman candidate vacates her seat and the seat is won by a male candidate, the woman with the next highest percentage at the general or any by-election will become an additional member. AVI supports increased female representation and participation and works with developing communities on gender equality initiatives to improve the status of women. <
Above Top > Legislative team. Back row (l-r)
Constance T Rivers (Principal Legal Officer), Fetogi R Vaai (State Solicitor), Salote Peteru (Senior Legal Officer), Losa Kelekolio (Legal Secretary), John Maslin (Law Clerk), Loretta N Teueli (Principal Legal Officer), Makereta Vaaelua (Bills Clerk), Mary Victoria Faasau (Senior Legal Officer) Front row: (L-R): Papalii Malietau Malietoa (Parliamentary Counsel), Aumua Ming Leung (Attorney General) Vuetaki-ledua Rupeni Nawaqakuta (AVI Legislative Drafting Adviser). Above Right > Admission photo of two Drafters. (l-r) John Maslin, Vuetaki-ledua Rupeni Nawaqakuta, Sioa Sioa. Photos > Courtesy Rupeni Nawaqakuta
Giving a voice to Lebanon’s domestic workers > Christine Crosby / Sam Hutt
The voices of hundreds of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) and their supporters were heard in Beirut as part of a Workers’ Day cultural parade and festival in April 2012. AVI Marketing and Communications Manager Christine Crosby writes about the work of Insan Association to advocate for the rights of Lebanon’s domestic workers.
According to Sam Hutt, an AVID volunteer working on assignment as a Researcher and Campaign Adviser with Insan (AVI’s overseas partner organisation), MDWs are considered important contributors to Lebanese society, however the country’s kefala (sponsorship) system or labour laws, leaves thousands of MDWs vulnerable to exploitation. “Kefala is a set of practices and regulations that legally ties migrant domestic workers to one employer. This employer is responsible for their residency and work permit in Lebanon,” she said. “Insan has found that the current system has created a working environment that promotes a lack of freedom, issues of inequality and abuse and exploitation of migrant domestic workers.
Giving a voice to Lebanon’s domestic workers
ore than 200,000 migrant domestic workers currently work in Lebanon. Their place of work is in individual households, making their employers thousands of families located throughout Lebanon.
“Some employers have violated the system by interpreting their responsibility of these workers to be ownership. This has led to many withholding passports and salaries, and preventing workers from moving freely in their community. These actions have resulted
in high rates of suicide and mental health issues within the MDW community.” Insan, with a range of local non-government organisations, including the Danish Refugee Council, Nasawiya, Anti-Racism Movement, KAFA, the Swiss Federation for Development and Cooperation, and Pastoral Care of Afro-Asian Migrants, are calling for the: > Replacement of the sponsorship system with an alternative immigration scheme. > Extension of Lebanese labour laws to cover domestic workers.
kefala. They also proudly hoisted their country flags and when they reached St Joseph’s Church in Monnot, their final destination, where they celebrated with cultural dancing, food and singing. “It was an event designed for all communities to come together to celebrate diversity, to be heard and an opportunity to share stories of their hopes, their dreams and their lives,” Sam said. < For more information on Insan Association visit www.insanassociation.org
> Guarantee of the protection of MDW rights. > Improvement of working contracts. > Increased monitoring of recruitment agencies. Working with her Insan colleagues and local organisations, Sam helped develop an advocacy campaign that balances a “call to action” to the government with an approach that promotes positive human rights stories of the culturally diverse MDW community. “The Workers’ Day parade was both a call to action and a cultural celebration,” Sam said. “The parade saw hundreds of MDWs calling on the Lebanese Government to abolish
1 > Migrant domestic workers and those standing in solidarity with them march through the streets of Beirut demanding that all workers are covered under Lebanon’s labour laws. 2 > People of Beirut demand the end to modern day slavery. 3 > People watch MDWs celebrate their culture with performances at the festival. 4 > People use posters to articulate their demands. Photos > Dina Al-Four
This is a position of the Australian Volunteers for International Development program (AVID). AVI is working in partnership with AusAID to deliver AVID.
Online learning delivers community action needs for the development of a public awareness campaign, receive advice on the target audience, and established a range of local networks within Beirut for project support. Current AVID volunteer, Sam Hutt, is now working with Insan to roll out the student’s final campaign proposal. Unit Convenor, Dr Usha Harris, always envisioned an opportunity for students to work remotely with organisations and make a tangible contribution to their work overseas.
Macquarie University Communication students’ involvement in the Particpation and Community Engagement (PACE) initiative has gone virtual. Using a range of online communications tools, students worked with staff at the Lebanonbased Insan Association (Insan) to develop an awareness campaign advocating for Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) in Lebanon. Australian Volunteer International’s (AVI) Project Coordinator Corey Williams reports on this innovative project.
This page > Macquarie University students
correspond with international host organisation, Insan.
Photos > Dave Rorke
ACE International, a Macquarie University initiative delivered in partnership with AVI, continues to embrace new and innovative teaching and learning models. The International Communication Campaigns (ICOM202) is a newly-developed project that introduces an on-campus-based delivery model that is focused on an international contribution. This model enables Macquarie University students to work remotely with international partner organisations, such as Insan, around the globe.
“Students have the unique opportunity to gain cross-cultural experience while working in a professional community development setting. By designing and presenting the awareness campaign to assist Insan to advocate on behalf of the MDWs, the students are directly contributing to positive social change and improved human rights outcomes,” she said.
Online learning delivers community action > Fran Noonan & Corey Williams
“What is really exciting and different about this project is that during their tutorial period students are engaging in live discussions using Skype with the partner organisation in Beirut. “Thus far, the pilot has been successful. Computer-mediated communication also has important implications for future classroom learning as it is no longer bound by space or centred around text books.
AVI’s overseas partner, Insan, is committed to advocating for the rights of MDWs and providing this vulnerable community with a range of vital protection and education services. Lebanon’s current employment conditions for MDWs have exposed this vulnerable community to abuse and exploitation by their employers. Using various electronic communication technologies, students have collaborated with Insan staff to determine the organisation’s
“It incorporates real life engagement with students making an important contribution towards finding solutions to international problems without having to leave the campus,” Dr Harris said. The University anticipates that if successful, the alternative teaching model could be replicated by other disciplines in future curriculums. <
For more information on Insan Association visit www.insanassociation.org
A right to learn > Fran Noonan
A right to learn Macquarie University’s legal learning experience has gone global. Legal students are now accessing justice placements in Borneo, Cambodia and the Philippines. AVI Communications Coordinator Fran Noonan writes about this global contribution.
ccording to Macquarie Law School PACE Coordinator Debra Ronan, the PACE Initiative, a program delivered in partnership with Australian Volunteers International (AVI), has had a major impact on both the students and overseas communities. “All of the students have a strong sense of social justice, an insatiable desire to learn, and a determination to make a contribution, using their legal skills to better the lives of the disadvantaged and oppressed,” she said. The students have focused on activities that improve access to legal services and improved human rights including working on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Project, the Women’s Justice Project Cambodia, and researching and preparing an accessible legal resource to inform indigenous Malaysians about land rights. “Some students have been directly involved in working on submissions used in courts or for commissions, whilst others focused more on policy making and education. The impact on both their educational development and social understanding has been very significant,” Ms Ronan said.
Dealing with Cambodia’s brutal history For fifth year Macquarie Arts/Law student, Katie Paull, working with Cambodian Human Right Action Committee (CHRAC) in the Cambodian legal sector was one of her study highlights. “During my assignment I had to observe and report on a workshop which focused on the potential human rights infringements that may result from changes to the Cambodian Criminal Code,” she said. “I also prepared a report documenting comparative legal aid policies in the Asia/Pacific region so that the CHRAC could come up with a legal aid policy for Cambodia. Katie identified language barriers as an occasional difficulty, but found coming to terms with the brutal realities of Cambodian history as the main challenge during her assignment. “My office was just down the road from Tuol Sleng, the prison in which hundreds of thousands of Cambodian people were kept prior to being taken to the Killing Fields. It was hard to
believe that only a few decades before, such horrible things were happening merely two hundred metres from where I worked,” she said. A major highlight for Katie was the new global perspective she gained by working with her Cambodian colleagues. “I’ve worked with some incredibly inspiring individuals who have overcome many obstacles both politically and historically. “In terms of actual practical experience, I would say our mission to the far north eastern province of Ratanakiri – it was a 12 hour drive, nine of which was on an unsealed road – was very memorable. We were there to lobby the judge and the prosecutor in a case regarding an Environmental Rights Activist and the charges of incitement. “We went in a convoy with the UN and participated in negotiations and discussions. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and if someone has the opportunity to participate, I wouldn’t think twice about telling them they positively HAVE to do it.” >
Human Rights “All of the students have a strong sense of social justice, an insatiable desire to learn, and a determination to make a contribution, using their legal skills to better the lives of the disadvantaged and oppressed.”
Protecting the rights of Indigenous communities Closing the legal rights knowledge gap of Borneo’s indigenous communities was the focus of Macquarie Arts/Law student Ryan Zahrai’s PACE assignment, working with Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS Trust). “Through consultation with Borneo PACOS Trust staff, we recognised that there was a need for an accessible, readily available educational resource for indigenous Malay communities. As a result we worked on developing an instructional DVD to provide information on how indigenous communities could protect their legal rights to native-title land,” he said.
Ryan acknowledged that the video project team had to overcome a range of obstacles. “The greatest challenge was gaining the confidence of various stakeholders in the viability and effectiveness of a video resource as an information tool,” he said. “Technical issues such as limitations to internet access also had an effect on our ability to research Malaysian law within the given timeframe. At first the project was thought to be too ambitious, but in the end the product was very well received by the host organisation and the wider indigenous Malay community.
“Timing to make the DVD was tight, so we spent our days securing footage and interviews with human rights lawyers, collaborating with government and non-governmental stakeholders, meeting with the Malaysian Human Rights Commissioner, and gathering important information about the legal issues facing the indigenous community regarding land rights. “Working with renowned barristers, the Human Rights Commissioner and other NGO representatives who were dedicated to advocating indigenous land rights was exciting and stimulating.”
“It was also truly humbling to be able to spend quality time with people in the village we lived in and to share experiences with them. Breaking down perceived barriers was rewarding and genuine friendships were made in a short time as a result,” he said. <
The PACE approach In just four years AVI’s collaboration with Macquarie University’s student cross-cultural learning program, Participation and Community Engagement Initiative (PACE), has grown considerably, allowing 203 students the chance to contribute to 27 short-term community development placements around the globe. PACE is now incorporated across all Macquarie curriculums.
Opposite Top > AVI PACE International Project Coordinator, Corey Williams (back right) with the PACOS Trust team in Borneo. Top > Ryan Zahrai (back right) with PACOS Trust colleagues. Above left > (l-r) Human Rights Commissioner, Mrs Lasimbang and Ryan Zahrai. Left > Ryan Zahrai with children at Kipuovo Village. Photos > Courtesy Ryan Zahrai
Defending women’s rights in Indonesia > Nat Kitingan, Andy Yentriyani & Fran Noonan
Defending women’s rights in Indonesia In many parts of Indonesia women face multiple layers of violence, discrimination and human rights abuses, often exacerbated by cultural, religious, economic, social and political practices. Born out of these inequalities was a need for the Government to take responsibility for the violence against women, and as a result the independent Komisi Nasional Anti Kekerasan terhadap Perempuan - Komnas Perempuan (National Commission on Violence against Women) has been established. AVID volunteer Research Editor, Nat Kitingan and the Commissioner of Komnas Perempuan, Andy Yentriyani, talk to AVI Communications Coordinator Fran Noonan about defending women’s rights in Indonesia. Fran: What do you see as the reason for needing the National Commission on Violence Against Women in Indonesia? Andy: The organisation was established in the aftermath of the May 1998 riots during which tens of thousands of women were sexually assaulted. Although the case has not been resolved, the acknowledgement of this incident actually happening has enabled female victims of sexual violence to speak out. The establishment of Komnas Perempuan is a declaration from the state to combat impunity and abolish violence against women (VAW). This is very important because the state is the main bearer of the responsibility to fulfil human rights. Komnas Perempuan also facilitates forums and activities to strengthen the role of state agencies in performing their tasks in combating VAW and
strengthening the capacity of service providers for victims of such violence. Komnas Perempuan’s function as an independent body on human rights is very important in preserving democracy. It monitors the progress and challenges faced by the state in fulfilling their responsibility in human rights, including those perpetrated by the state. Nat: There is a great need for defending women’s human rights in Indonesia and human rights in general. This ranges from communities who view rape as an act of adultery and force rape victims to marry their rapists, to state perpetrated violence and human rights violations that directly impact women in West Papua. Through its network of partners throughout civil society, the Commission also compiles its Annual Notes
which is the only national-scale report that publishes data on violence against women. This data is frequently referenced by the media, NGOs and even the government. Fran: What do you do on a day-to-day basis within the organisation? Andy: As a Commissioner, my main task is to provide guidance for the implementation of Komnas Perempuan’s mandate and programs. Nat: I work as a Research Editor within the Public Education and Participation team. My primary task is to translate and edit documents and online material into English. I carry out comparative legal research to assist Komnas Perempuan in its law reform submissions, in particular the proposed changes to sexual violence laws in 2014. I also teach English to staff three times a week.
Fran: Working within this framework would obviously require the cooperation of both men and women. Can you explain how you promote the rights of women to both genders? Andy: Gender is socially constructed and as a result the guardians of this construction can be both men and women. We need to ensure both genders participate in our programs to advance the justice agenda. Education programs for men are as important as for women. At an organisational level, Komnas Perempuan involves both women and men in its programs. At national levels, policy that promotes gender equality is necessary. Nat: There can be resistance from both men and women stemming from cultural and religious norms within Indonesia. By reaching out to both genders we can promote women’s rights as human rights. Equality is important for creating a just society and by increasing the education and status of women, we can lift communities out of poverty. The advancement of women is critical to economic development, good governance and active civil society. As such men also benefit from the advancement of women. Fran: Can you explain more about the communities you are working with, and from a legal/human rights perspective what you are hoping to achieve within the organisation? Andy: Komnas Perempuan works with various communities, such as communities of victims of abuses, organisations that deliver services for women victims of violence, minority groups, and also religious groups. Through this cooperation we expect to develop better policy frameworks that protect women from all forms of violence and discrimination, combat impunity, and restore women’s rights. We are also hoping for social transformation so that violence and discrimination against women is not treated as a normality.
Andy: Komnas Perempuan previously struggled to provide information on women’s rights to the international community as most of our publications are in Indonesian. With Nat’s assistance, we are able to provide and translate this information into English. Nat also runs an English club. In many ways this effort has boosted the confidence of Komnas Perempuan staff in practising and learning the English language. Nat: My most significant contribution has probably been the translation and editing of material into English for the Commission. Given the Commission’s many international connections and responsibilities, this will no doubt aid in disseminating material to the wider international community. In terms of capacity building, I have probably had a hand in increasing the standard of English among staff. Fran: Since beginning at Komnas Perempuan what would you say has been the most significant change within the communities’ attitudes so far? Andy: Although there are still many challenges, it is arguable that the communities are more open to discuss issues of violence against women and take on a proactive role in preventing and handling cases of VAW. For example, Komnas Perempuan has gained support from four major religious groups in combating VAW, including the Nadhatul Ulama and
Indonesians to employ domestic workers for their homes. These women cook, clean and raise children for other people, quite often living in inadequate conditions and being required to work seven days a week. Currently there are no laws protecting domestic workers and they are frequently exploited and underpaid, but the very fact that a law is being drafted is encouraging and may reflect a slow change in the way society views domestic workers. Fran: Would you encourage others to volunteer overseas? Andy: Certainly. This program does not only support the organisation where the volunteers work, but it also delivers a unique opportunity for cross-cultural experience. The latter is necessary to foster a global community that is based on respect of diversity and human rights of others. Nat: Definitely. I’ve had the opportunity to explore much of Indonesia and spend time immersing myself in many different cultures, given the diversity here. I feel rewarded and enriched by the people I have met in Indonesia. There is much to learn from living cross-culturally. I am a lawyer back home, but I had not worked in human rights prior to volunteering overseas. Armed with this experience, I have opened up new professional opportunities and broadened and developed my awareness of important < global issues.
Nat: The common thread between all the communities we work with, is their human rights have been violated and their plight is often neglected by the government. Komnas Perempuan has a network of partner organisations throughout Indonesia - usually women’s crisis centres - who work directly with victims. We try to support their work as best we can through advocacy, fundraising and using our influence and position as a national human rights institution. We are aiming for the government to acknowledge the past human rights violations it has committed, for the history curriculum to accurately reflect these violations, for reform in the security sector, and for the state to legislate and act in line with its international obligations under the various United Nations (UN) conventions it has ratified. Fran: What do you feel has been Nat’s/your most significant contribution to the organisation since your volunteer assignment commenced 12 months ago?
Muhammadiyah Muslim societies, the Indonesian Council of Protestant Churches, and the Indonesian Catholic Church, after providing the public with a theological interpretation to support women victims of domestic and sexual violence. Nat: I would say that with parliament debating the Domestic Worker Bill, there may be some change coming soon in the way domestic workers are treated. It is very common for middle and upper class
Opposite > AVID volunteer, Nat Kitingan (left), and his
colleague, Theresia Yuliwati, at the Komisi Nasional Perempuan office in, Jakarta. Photo > Harjono Djoyobisono Above > Nat Kitingan, promotes women in leadership. Photo > Courtesy Nat Kitingan
This is a position of the Australian Volunteers for International Development program (AVID). AVI is working in partnership with AusAID to deliver AVID.
A super regional success > Emma Hess / Christine Crosby
A super regional success Strengthening Fiji’s small business sector, developing business tools in Indonesia and creating human resource systems in the Solomon Islands, were the project outcomes of ANZ’s Super Regional Volunteers program.
n January 2012, ANZ’s first group of Super Regional Volunteers began their three month assignments based at local organisations in Indonesia, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. This initiative was made possible through the AVI/ANZ partnership. Recruited from ANZ in Australia, the three volunteers contributed to an innovative global program that aims to:
>> Deliver real and sustainable outcomes to NGOs across the Asia Pacific region to help strengthen the organisations and ultimately improve their ability to deliver to the communities in which they work. >> Provide an opportunity for emerging leaders at ANZ to develop their personal capabilities by living, working and learning alongside people in the Asia Pacific region. According to AVI’s International Projects Manager, Emma Hess, the local partners have reported that the ANZ Super Regional Volunteers have delivered beyond the scope of their assignments. “The partner organisations acknowledged the volunteers’ ability to hit the ground running and their strong capacity to network,” she said.
Above top > Michelle Webb (centre back) with the PEKERTI
team on her last day.
“The volunteers also reported that the experience provided personal and professional challenges, and opportunities to develop a greater awareness of global issues in the < communities in which they worked.”
Photo > Courtesy Michelle Webb Above > (l-r) Caroline Novak, Christina Rago and Jennifer Wate (SIDT Director). Photo > Courtesy Caroline Novak
All three host organisations are maintaining a relationship with the volunteers in the form of an e-volunteering program.
Below > Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO)
Finance Workshop participants in Kiribati (Casey Morecroft, centre in orange). Photo > Courtesy Casey Morecroft
For more information on the overseas partners visit www.pekerti.com, www.pipso.org and www.sidt.org.sb
Left >Pacific Islands Private Sector Organistion (PIPSO) Finance Workshop
participants in Kiribati (Casey Morecroft, centre in orange). Photos > Photographer
All three host organisations are maintaining a relationship with the volunteers in the form of an e-volunteering program. 18
Casey Morecroft ANZ Senior Relationship Manager – International Agribusiness
Michelle Webb ANZ Senior Marketing Manager – Small Business
Caroline Novak ANZ Divisional Human Resources Consultant
Financial Services Adviser, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), Suva, Fiji
Communications and Marketing Adviser, PEKERTI, Jakarta, Indonesia
Human Resources, Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), Honiara, Solomon Islands
To develop information materials that support business people in the Pacific to understand and improve their access to financial products and services.
Assess, recommend and develop a communications and marketing strategy that increases the quality and access to market channels; and enhances the quality of products and services.
Assess, recommend and train staff to improve human resource management within the organisation to meet their identified strategic objectives.
Casey developed financial literacy materials and conducted two and three day workshops for small business owners. Workshops were delivered to 50 participants in the Solomon Islands in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Business Association and to 35 small business owners in Kiribati, supported by the Chamber of Commerce. After the workshop participants demonstrated a strong sense of empowerment and confidence to continue to grow their business. Casey also produced two research reports enabling PIPSO to identify further initiatives for development and implementation.
Michelle developed, launched and promoted a new consumer website that is already receiving Australian wholesale enquiries and consumer sales. She launched a Facebook online ethical shopping website. She developed a marketing strategy and communications templates for all stages of the international buyers’ lifecycle and coached staff on communications planning and writing. The team is implementing the new marketing strategy to communicate with customers.
Caroline designed and delivered a comprehensive human resource management system that included procedures and protocols for recruitment, training, performance management, job descriptions and salary levels and succession planning. Staff were trained in the protocols and provided with appropriate templates for human resource functions. An employee handbook, including child protection policies, was launched. Overall an improved human resource process was implemented and managers gained increased confidence in human resource issues.
“Casey’s work increased the awareness of financial literacy amongst participants. As a result there was an increased demand for more financial training.” – Meria Volavola, PIPSO
“Michelle worked hard and has a lot of experience in marketing and communications. She shared her skills with staff and contributed much to our organisation.” – Yolita Ainun R, Public Relations Officer, PEKERTI
“Caroline is such a great addition to the team. Caroline has the right attitude and is willing to learn the local language so as to interact more with the local staff.” – Jennifer Wate, Director SIDT
“... it highlighted the challenges of cross border communications and was a lesson in resilience...” – Casey Morecroft
“...it is critical that I improve my coaching, particularly around communications... I have already begun by ensuring I ask staff to suggest how they will solve issues... before providing advice.” – Michelle Webb
“I have spent the past three weeks... learning about culture and traditions. It is something I need to focus on, I tend to be too direct and get to the point straight away.” – Caroline Novak
AVI’s global celebrations continue > Elmarie Pareezer
AVI’s global celebrations continue AVI’s 60 years of volunteering celebrations continued throughout 2012. From Hobart to Honiara, AVI joined hundreds of people at events acknowledging the amazing work of volunteers and partner organisations around the world. Check out the stories from this years global celebrations. Melbourne - Victoria – 10-14 January
Hobart, Tasmania – 10 February
AVI was privileged to support Cambodian partner organisation, Tiny Toones, during their week long fundraising tour in January 2012. AVI hosted a special evening, with a moving performance by the Tiny Toones dancers at Chapel off Chapel in Melbourne, with 200 guests in attendance. Tiny Toones works with thousands of Cambodian disadvantaged youth and street kids through education and creative arts programs.
Over 75 guests attended the Tasmanian 60th event, including State Government Ministers, Hobart City Councillors, returned volunteers, partner organisations and supporters. Keynote speaker, Cassy O’Connor, the Tasmanian Minister for Community Development, highlighted the wonderful generosity of Tasmanians through volunteering. Above > AVI Chair and returned volunteer, Justice Richard Refshauge. Photo > Elmarie Pareezer / AVI
Above > AVID volunteer Romi Grossberg and Tiny Toones. Photo > Romi Grossberg
Hanoi, Vietnam – 16 January
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory – 21 February
On behalf of the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Mr Vu Xuân Hong, President of Vietnam’s Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO), honoured AVI with the prestigious Friendship Medal at AVI’s celebration of 60 years of international volunteering in Hanoi, Vietnam. Over 80 people attended the event, which included current volunteers and representatives from partner organisations, government and long time supporters.
The Governor General of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, was joined by State and Federal government Senators and Ministers, AusAID representatives, members of the diplomatic community, partner organisations, AVI returned volunteers and supporters, to celebrate AVI’s 60th Anniversary in Canberra. As part of her keynote address to 160 guests, Ms Bryce acknowledged the long term contribution of AVI, its volunteers and innovative partnerships to communities around the globe.
Above > (l-r) Vietnam Country Manager, Claude Potvin and VUFO President, Mr Vu
Photo > Claude Potvin / AVI
Above > (l-r) AVI CEO, Dimity Fifer, The Governor General, Ms Quentin Bryce, and AVI Chair, Justice Richard Refshauge. Photo > Elmarie Pareezer / AVI
Adelaide, South Australia – 20 March
Honiara, Solomon Islands – 8 May
AVI’s South Australian networks recognised the past, present and future work with Aboriginal communities. Volunteering SA & NT Aboriginal Reference Group member, Herbert Mack, and AVI returned volunteer, Trent Turner, delivered the keynote address in which he highlighted their successful working relationship with AVI and Aboriginal communities.
AVI’s Solomon Islands’ 60th celebration coincided with the Solomon Islands Development Trust’s (SIDT) week long 30th anniversary events. Coming together, AVI and SIDT’s joint anniversary event celebrated with the theme ‘when volunteering matters to village growth’. This provided the opportunity to reflect on the many benefits that overseas and local volunteers have brought to SIDT. AVI returned volunteers, Richard Barcham, Digby Williamson and Meredith Shears – who worked with SIDT in the 1980s, joined hundreds of village community members, SIDT and AVI staff, local government representatives, Australian High Commissioner Matt Anderson, AVID volunteers and AVI partner organisations at the event. Thirty-six AVI volunteers have worked (and continue to work) with SIDT since 1983. <
Above > AVI CEO, Dimity Fifer (centre right) with Josie Agius and Volunteering SA & NT Aboriginal Reference Group members Herbert Mack (left) and Mike Turner (right). Photo > Elmarie Pareezer / AVI
Victoria – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – 18 April The Victoria state office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade hosted a celebration in honour of AVI’s 60th, attended by 50 leading business figures. Keynote speaker, the Hon Richard Marles MP, highlighted the successful contributions AVI has made over its 60 year history, with a strong focus on the role of volunteers in the Pacific. Above > The Hon Richard Marles MP. Photo > Elmarie Pareezer / AVI
Above > SIDT Director, Jennifer Wate, and SIDT
Founder, Dr John Roughan.
Photo > Jennifer Wiggins / AVI
Making people internationally effective Access 60 years of Australian Volunteers International briefing, cultural and re-entry training expertise through AVI Worldwide. AVI Worldwide training and briefing programs provide professionals and organisations working overseas with: > > > >
Improved cross cultural understandings Detailed socio-political insights Strategies to improve business outcomes Perspectives on life as an expat
AVI Worldwide services maximise the potential of professionals and their families living and working overseas. Contact the AVI Worldwide team for more information: Phone: 1800 331 292 Email: email@example.com
“Help us achieve what we want to achieve” > David Jones
“Help us achieve what we want to achieve”
“The change the volunteers are contributing to comes from within the community”
Approximately 1000 kilometres north of Adelaide lies the town of Oodnadatta. Boasting a population of 300 people, this remote South Australian desert town will be the location of the new Aboriginal volunteering project, Community Volunteer Program (CVP) – Oodnadatta. AVI Program Services Manager, David Jones writes about this unique initiative.
Above > The road to Oodnadatta. Opposite top left > The township of Oodnadatta. Opposite top right > Oodnadatta’s Ghan Railway relic. Photos > Kylie Harrington / AVI
n 2008, Volunteering South Australia and Northern Territories’ Aboriginal Reference Group, met with AVI in Melbourne to discuss better ways to engage Aboriginal communities through volunteering. AVI’s 2008 Indigenous Australian Participation in International Volunteering research project, recognised that there was a general interest amongst Aboriginal communities to increase their participation in volunteering and community development. However, it was found that a range of barriers were stopping this, including lower levels of formal education, lack of financial resources and family commitments. Four years later, and at the invitation of local Oodnadatta organisations, AVI will be supporting a small group of Aboriginal volunteers to work collaboratively with the people of Oodnadatta. To ensure a more inclusive approach to volunteering for the Aboriginal community, the CVP finances participants through scholarships. The recruitment process will also take into account the traditional knowledge, life experience and contribution volunteers have made within their own community. The CVP – Oodnadatta was partly inspired by the experience of four young Aboriginal
volunteers who were participants in an AVI/ Restless Development 10-week youth-led project in India in 2008. Documented in the film, Children of the Rainbow Serpent, this life-changing journey inspired a range of donors such as David Morawetz and the Australian Government’s Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCHSIA) and a variety of organisations to make CVP – Oodnadatta a reality. According to AVI CEO Dimity Fifer, during the collaboration with partners to develop the CVP – Oodnadatta, it has been recognised that the project is also going beyond providing opportunities for Aboriginal volunteers. “In becoming a reality, all partners and the people of Oodnadatta realise this project is founded on a community development approach that focuses on activities and outcomes that respond to community needs. The change the volunteers are contributing to comes from within the community,” she said. The volunteers, in partnership with the community, will work on projects that support the work of local organisations including the Health Centre, the Oodnadatta Aboriginal School, the Dunjiba Aboriginal Council and the Aged-Care Facility.
> Starting reading groups and developing students’ learning techniques. > Engaging locals in a variety of programs in health and well-being. > Working with community elders to document local history and records in the local cemetery, and building a shaded seating area for visitors. > Creating vegetable gardens for the Aged-Care Facility and Health Centre.
The people of Oodnadatta and project partners also see the value in young Aboriginal volunteers accessing opportunities to develop their skills and broadening their perspective of the world around them. Working with a team leader, the project is designed to provide leadership and skills development opportunities that will assist employment or career pathways. For Oodnadatta resident, Roseanne Woodford, who runs the local Aged Care Facility (including Meals on Wheels and 10 loads of washing per day), does the mail-run, is a foster-mother of three and the ‘go to’
community leader, the project provides an avenue to deliver change from within the community. “We want Volunteering SA&NT, the Aboriginal Reference Group and Australian Volunteers International to help us achieve what we want to achieve,” she said. <
Tennis legend becomes AVI Patron > Christine Crosby
The range of activities the volunteers will be contributing to include:
For more information visit www.australianvolunteers.com/programs/communityvolunteer-program,-oodnadatta.aspx The term Aboriginal refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Tennis legend becomes AVI Patron Australian Volunteers International is proud to announce Evonne Goolagong Cawley AO, MBE as the newest Patron of AVI.
Above > Evoone Goolagong Cawley with young
Timorese tennis players. Photo > Debra Plueckhahn
vonne Goolagong Cawley, a member of the Wiradjuri people, is one of Australia’s most successful tennis players, winning seven Grand Slam tennis singles titles. Beyond the tennis court she has been a strong and positive ambassador for sport and for the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. With her husband Roger Cawley, Evonne has used tennis as an avenue for development for young Aboriginals, aged between 10 to 21, as part of the Goolagong National Development Camp. With ongoing support from the Indigenous Sport Foundation, the Australian Government,
Tennis Australia, the Australian Open and the Victorian Institute of Sport, the camp provides participants with the opportunity to practise with Evonne and to also learn leadership and life skills. In 2005, Evonne, in partnership with AVI and the Timor-Leste Tennis Federation (FETTIL), led a team of 15 young Aboriginal tennis players to Dili in Timor-Leste. The Timor-Leste Tennis Clinic provided an opportunity to strengthen the nation’s tennis programs and advocate for the positive impact sport can have on communities. <
A strong voice in the Afar desert > Fran Noonan
For most 20-year-olds living in Australia, life is very different to that of Karera Dawud, a 20-yearold community health worker, born into the Afar nomadic pastoralist community in the Afar Desert of Ethiopia. AVI Communications Coordinator, Fran Noonan highlights Karera’s lifechanging story.
A strong voice in the Afar Desert »I
n Australia, most people in the ‘Generation Y’ age group are negotiating tertiary studies, new career paths, gap years and are proficient in the use of the latest online technologies. In contrast, Karera is a married mother of one, who also works to improve the livelihoods of communities surviving in the desolate surrounds of Mille in Ethiopia’s north east. Here water shortage is common, food often scarce, and proper child and maternal services are very limited. In addition to these challenges, Karera and her colleagues from the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) also face working with extreme isolation, poverty, famine and misunderstood traditional cultural practices. Despite these limitations, APDA is determined to enhance the basic human rights for people living in the Afar and to increase the choice and accessibility of services that so many of us take for granted in Australia.
“There are many challenges working with people who are continually moving from place to place,” Karera explained. “In some areas one house is very far away from another, and in this situation we have to walk from house to house and cover distances of
anywhere up to 70 kilometres away. This distance can make it difficult to get the community to come together to communicate.” Growing up as a pastoralist woman, Karera received no schooling in her life. She could not read or write and knew the limitations illiteracy brought to her own development. Upon completing the organisation’s community health and literacy programs, she is now fluent in reading and writing the Afar language and skilled in community development initiatives. “When I started working for APDA I found the work very challenging, as in the Afar tradition the women are usually seen but not heard. It is usually the men who make most of the decisions,” Karera said.
“Having women extension workers and health workers helps give women a voice. They help to mobilise the community to meet and work together. By supporting women to form committees between woman extension workers, health workers and the community, we can educate both men and women about the health benefits of improved sanitation and maternal and child health.” To advance the rights of women and children in the Afar Desert, APDA is working with local communities to improve sanitation practices, reduce child and maternal mortality and increase adult literacy, community engagement and education levels. According to Karera, communities are gradually creating awareness and reducing instances of harmful traditional practices.
“Having women extension workers and health workers helps to give women a voice. They help to mobilise the community to meet and work together.” “In the future we would like to end female genital mutilation (FGM), as it’s a harmful practice. Through educating the community, we have been able to reduce some instances of it happening, but it’s still an issue that we are working on and would like to stop.” In regards to sanitation, Karera explains, training has been designed to ensure it is relevant to the Afar household and way of life, therefore it is delivered with two objectives: to promote “personal and environmental” change. “Our community members are pastoralists; they live with their animals and as a result their animal’s waste. We are teaching them to separate animal and human residences as well as separating human and animal waste and keep it away from the limited water supply.” Personal hygiene and disease prevention is also a core focus of Karera’s work.
“We teach the women how to keep their babies clean, and provide advice on nutrition to feed their children,” Karera said. “With regards to disease prevention and vaccinations, we sometimes get vaccinations from the regional divisions of Government, so we make sure these inoculations are delivered to the babies in our area. However, most of the work we are doing is in public health and promoting the benefits of improving sanitation and accessing health services for the mother and child.” While Karera has dedicated her life to making positive changes in her community, she describes her decision to join APDA as life-changing. “I now get paid 700 birr per month which is a low wage (equivalent to $40 AUD) but I am using this money to move towards a better life,” she said. “My hope in doing this work is to one day educate my child.”
Working in partnership A Road Less Travelled The work of the Afar Development Pastoralist Association (Ethiopia) and Mothers’ Union (Kenya) is supported by The Road Less Travelled (TRLT), a project delivered by Anglican Overseas Aid (formerly Anglicord) in partnership with Australian Volunteers International and the Nossal Institute for Global Health. The project is an initiative supported by the Australian Government, AusAID, as part of the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme. TRLT is committed to improving the health of women and children of nomadic pastoralist communities in Ethiopia’s Afar Desert and Kenya’s Maasai and Samburu regions, through increased access to child and maternal health services, improved food security, and water and sanitation.
Walking in the Maasai’s footsteps Everyday the Maasai women of Naibor, Kenya, undertake the onerous task of hand-carrying water over many kilometres. Coupled with the dry, hot climate, in the midst of an East African drought, this has exacerbated the already tough conditions for this marginalised community. As a result, the people have identified a fundamental need; an additional seasonal water supply. Working together with the Mothers’ Union they plan to harvest rain water and hold water in storage tanks. These needs have been defined by a community-led survey conducted with the Mothers’ Union, Anglicord and the Nossal Institute for Global Health as part of The Road Less Travelled project. This is only the beginning of what the Maasai want to achieve. The survey seeks to support activities that will improve child and maternal health, food security, and water and sanitation in this nomadic pastoralist community. Get more of the story www.aroadlesstravelled.net/blog Opposite > Afar Development Pastoralist Association Community Health Worker Karera Dawud. Left > A member of the nomadic pastoralist Massai community. Photos > Fran Noonan / AVI
Resourcing the vision of overseas partners > Christine Crosby
Resourcing the vision of overseas partners Australian Volunteers International’s three-year partnership with the Planet Wheeler Foundation has awarded grants of over $400,000 to a range of partner organisation projects as part of the Community Grants Scheme (CGS). AVI’s Small Projects Coordinator, Fiona Elliott, highlights the success of a partnership that has resourced everything from legal aid to play equipment for children with disabilities.
ince the CGS started in 2009, overseas partner organisations have accessed funding for 62 projects in 18 countries. Grants from $1000 to $13,000 have resourced projects in the human rights, law and justice, health, sustainable livelihoods and community education sectors. Due to the success of the initiative, Planet Wheeler Foundation and AVI recently announced that the partnership will continue for another year. The partnership will continue to support small projects to contribute to an organisation’s vision, sustainability and local development efforts. Examples of what the CGS has supported include:
Victim empowerment – South Africa The Khulumani Support Group, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is providing vital services to the victims of apartheid. For the past three years AVID volunteer Pamela Whitman has worked as an Organisational Development Manager with Khulumani. With her colleagues at Khulumani, Pamela is helping colleagues to support their 60,000-strong member base, through the nation’s Truth and Reconciliation process, a truth recovery initiative that is responding to the atrocities committed during apartheid. With a CGS grant, Kulumani delivered the Victims Empowerment Project. The staff of Khulumani developed and delivered seven community workshops in North West Province, Free State Province and Limpopo Province. Workshop participants were able to address issues of human rights, discuss ongoing personal struggles, the challenges of the truth recovery process and develop submissions for the Department of Justice for the proposed Presidential Pardons for political offenders. The Khulumani staff were also able to use the workshop to establish a leadership network across the communities. >
Opposite > AVID volunteer Community Counsellor and Trainer, Laura Nilon (right), accessed CGS funds to provide
furniture for the Open Door Crisis Care Centre training room and training courses for members of the counselling community. CGS funds were also used to raise community awareness about the opening of the new centre. Above > AVID volunteer Pamela Whitman working with the Khulumani Support Group in Johannesburg, South Africa to provide vital services to the victims of apartheid. Photos > Matthew Willman
Justice for women in conflict – Cambodia The core objective of the Legal Aid of Cambodia’s Justice for Women in Conflict with the Law in Cambodia (JWCLC) project is to provide legal representation for detained women living in poverty. Women from this vulnerable group were found to have inadequate access to legal counsel and have a limited understanding of their rights. Legal Aid Cambodia (LAC) also recognised that many prison officials and police officers’ knowledge of legal and human rights of detainees was also limited. To strengthen the work of the project, LAC, an AVI partner organisation, accessed CGS funding for training of 127 prison officials and police officers. Funding is also contributing to the development of 12 radio talk shows on women’s rights. All participants developed a greater understanding of criminal law, criminal procedure and human rights. For many it was the first time they had received books outlining information on legal and criminal laws and procedures. The experience has also led to the participants requesting more training on land, family, trafficking and marriage laws. CGS funds were also utilised to develop a number of radio talk shows to raise awareness among the general Cambodian population about women’s rights, the rights of detainees to a fair trial and the right to legal aid. The show also highlighted other organisations that can assist prison detainees during trial, provide information on criminal law and criminal procedures.
“With the support of CGS funding, the workshops successfully reached over 200 people with mental illness and their families. For many participants it was the first time they had met and spoken with someone experiencing similar circumstances.”
Above > Legal Aid of Cambodia deliver training to Cambodian prison officials and police officers as part of the
Justice for Women in Conflict with the Law in Cambodia project (JWCLC).
Photo > Lyma Nguyen
“For many it was the first time they had received books outlining information on legal and criminal laws and procedures. The experience has also led to the participants requesting more training on land, family, trafficking and marriage laws.”
Community mental health Working as a Psychiatric Occupational Therapist at St Giles Psychiatric Hospital in Suva, Fiji, Aleisha Carroll’s role was to strengthen the training, community education and service delivery in the institution’s psychiatric facility. To achieve this, Aleisha worked with her colleagues to deliver a series of community workshops across Fiji. With the support of CGS funding, the workshops successfully reached over 200 people, including those and their families living with mental illness. For many participants it was the first time they had met and spoken with someone experiencing similar circumstances. To successfully run the community workshops, Aleisha first ran a range of training sessions for local health professionals so they could continue to run the workshops in their own communities. While the workshops delivered vital information to families and individuals living with mental illness, they were also a catalyst to design two new programs that responded to the needs of the participants. These included the development of the Hope Centre, to provide mental health counselling services and The Community Recovery Outreach Program, which aims to increase community participation and provide a safe place for people with mental health issues to develop social connections.
These are positions of Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID). AVI is working in partnership with AusAID to deliver AVID.
The workshops have also created stronger community networks and social connections throughout Fiji for the hospital. As a result, hospital staff and the Fijian Ministry of Health are working more effectively with communities to communicate changes in mental health service delivery and programs.
Hancock (right) with trainees at the KOTO training centre in Ho Chi Minh City. KOTO is an AustralianVietnamese NGO that offers disadvantaged youth training in English language, life skills and hospitality. Photo > Harjono Djoyobisono
From Burnie to Ballarat, communities all over Australia will be treated to the inspirational tales of international volunteers, as part of Volunteer Stories, events supported by Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID), an Australian Government, AusAID initiatives.
Global tales from the locals > Christine Crosby
Global tales from the locals
Below > AVID Volunteer Social Welfare Officer, Cameron
Through AVID, everyday Australians are improving the livelihoods of hundreds of developing communities around the globe. Hear about their adventures, triumphs and tribulations by attending a Volunteer Stories event, hosted by Australian Volunteers International, the Australian Red Cross and Austraining International. Come to a Volunteer Stories event and find out how you can be a part of AVID. For more information on event details visit www.ausaid.gov.au/volunteer or www.australianvolunteers.com/volunteerstories.aspx or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates to Remember > 2012 28 - 29 July
> Herald Sun Trade Expo - Melbourne Come and visit AVI’s stall and find out where in the world you can take your tradie skills. More details at www.melbtradeexpo.com.au
> Volunteer Stories – Burnie and Albany Storytelling at its best. Hear the unique global tales from regional Australians. Find out more at www.australianvolunteers.com/ volunteerstories.aspx
> Volunteer Stories – Geelong and Newcastle Be inspired at an evening of storytelling with AVI returned volunteers. Laugh, cry or be entertained by stories from around the world. Find out more at www.australianvolunteers.com/ volunteerstories.aspx
21 August – 4 September > Information Session Roadshow Talk to AVI staff and returned volunteers. Includes sessions in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Bendigo and Darwin. Check the AVI website for details at www.australianvolunteers.com
22 August > Volunteer Stories – the Sunshine Coast Be inspired at an evening of storytelling with AVI returned volunteers. Laugh, cry or be entertained by stories from around the world. Find out more at www.australianvolunteers.com/ volunteerstories.aspx
11 August – 3 September > AVI Volunteer Recruitment Drive Promoting over 100 overseas opportunities. More details at www.australianvolunteers.com
9 – 14 September > Tour de Timor 2012 AVI is proud to support the Herb Feith All Stars, a team of AVI staff, volunteers and supporters as they take on the grueling cycle race of the Tour de Timor. Find out more at www.tourdetimor.com
October (TBC) > Volunteer Stories – Orange and Alice Springs Be inspired at an evening of storytelling with returned volunteers. Find out more at www. australianvolunteers.com/volunteerstories. aspx
13 – 22 November > Information Session Roadshow Talk to AVI staff and returned volunteers. Includes sessions in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Shepparton. Check the AVI website for details, www.australianvolunteers.com
17 November – 10 December > AVI Volunteer Recruitment Drive Overseas opportunities for a range of skilled professionals. More details at www.australianvolunteers.com
5 December > United Nations International Volunteers Day Celebrate the contribution of volunteers around the world. www.worldvolunteerweb.org.
Please note: These dates are correct at the time of printing and may be subject to change.
Help resource Australian Volunteers International to respond to the world’s legal issues
Support Our Work
Help resource Australian Volunteers International to respond to the world’s legal issues I’m writing to you today, to thank you on behalf of all our overseas partners, for joining us on the journey to create positive change, whether it be as a life-long supporter or an exceptional returned volunteer. Walking alongside people facing extreme hardship every day, we hear the issues that are closest to them. Through conversations with our partners, a strong voice has emerged. We are continually asked for support from our partners so they can enhance their own services and activities that respond to the injustices of society. They desperately want to improve their access to information on their legal rights. This call for human action is found in the words of The Dalai Lama, “All human beings, whatever their cultural or historical background, suffer when they are intimidated, imprisoned or tortured . . . We must, therefore, insist on a global consensus to respect human rights worldwide. . . for it is the inherent nature of all human beings to yearn for freedom, equality and dignity, and they have an equal right to achieve that.”
As a global citizen, I know you’ll agree it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that all people are aware, protected and empowered with knowledge of their legal and human rights. You can help address issues within the international law and justice sector, by supporting AVI to improve the capacity of organisations overseas so they can: > Confidently make legal decisions and have the expertise to make policy and law reforms to better serve their communities. > Ensure that the human rights of all people in the community - particularly women, children, displaced and disadvantaged people - are recognised, respected and protected. > Assist victims and witnesses of corruption through legal education so that they are empowered to make an active choice against corruption. > Improve the accountability and service delivery of government departments and other agencies and institutions to ensure fair and just business practices. > Protect the environment and natural resources from human and chemical pollution through enforcement of regulations and other measures. I would like to ask you to please consider making a donation to Australian Volunteers International. By investing your support in AVI today, you will increase our capacity to respond swiftly to these needs, so that people living in developing communities can stand up for their rights and freedoms. Thank you for being a loyal AVI supporter, please continue to walk with us on the road to a more just world, something we can only achieve together. Warmest Regards,
Thank you for your support. Photo > Gram Vikas, India / Alexander Zelenka
Fondation Gloriamunid, Geneva.
Dimity Fifer Chief Executive Officer
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Cross-cultural understanding. AVIâ€™s overseas office staff visited Melbourne in June 2012. Pictured here on a visit to Peppermill Ridge Farm in Nar Nar Goon, they enjoyed learning about Aboriginal history and culture, and the use of native plants in a bush food cooking class. Photo > Australian Volunteers International
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Australian Volunteers for International Development is an Australian Government, AusAID initiative. AusAID, the Australian Government’s overseas aid program, is proud to provide significant support for Australian volunteers who work in a development capacity overseas. AVI WOULD LIKE TO GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE OUR AUSTRALIAN SUPPORTERS: ACE Insurance, Activist, AFAP, Anglican Board of Mission, Anglican Overseas Aid, ANZ, Asialink, AusAID, Austcare, Australian Business Volunteers, ACIAR, Australian Development Gateway, Australian Doctors International, Australian Disability and Development Consortium, Australian Federal Police, Australian Football League, Australian Sports Commission, Baptist World Aid Australia, Blake Dawson, Blue Mountains East Timor Sisters, Boroondara City Council, Cabrini Health, Care Australia, CERES, Charities Aid Foundation, City of Ballarat, City of Melbourne, City of Port Phillip, Coffey International, Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, Community Housing Ltd, Corporate Traveller, Darebin City Council, Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Department of Premier and Cabinet (VIC), Department of Victorian Communities, Department of Employment, Education and Training (VIC), Department of Planning and Community Development (VIC), Dubsat, East Timor Women Australia, Engineers Without Borders, Ernst & Young, Freehills Lawyers, Geoff and Helen Handbury Foundation, Global Poverty Project (GPP), Good Shepherd, Hume City Council, Indigenous Business Australia, Insurance Australia Group, Interact Australia, Interchange Outer East, International Women’s Development Agency, Intrepid Travel, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Kiwanis, Leichhardt Council, Live and Learn Environmental Education, Loreto Vietnam-Australia Program, Macquarie University, Maddocks Lawyers, Mansfield Shire Council, Marketing Printing, Marie Stopes International, Minter Ellison Lawyers, Mitchell Communications Group, Monash University, Moreland City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Motivation Australia, Occupational Services Australia, Office of Indigenous Policy and Coordination, Our Community, Oxfam, Planning Institute Australia, Planet Wheeler Foundation, ProjectAID, Reconciliation Australia, RMIT, Rotary Club of Doncaster, Ryder Cheshire Australia, Same Agricultural Services, Scope, Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia, Sisters of Mercy, Stonnington City Council, Students Partnership Worldwide, Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning, Tendersearch, The Spastic Centre of NSW, The Travel Doctor – TMVC, Transparency International, Trinh Foundation Australia, United Nations Volunteers, University of Sydney, Victorian Local Governance Association, Victorian Police Department, Westpac, Youth Challenge Australia, Zoos Victoria, 3Fish.
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AV Magazine is the magazine of Australian Volunteers International. Published twice-yearly, it focuses on AVI's work and what's happening in...