Volunteers in Aid Conference Provides Support
15 November 2011 at 12:39 pm
International Volunteer Day will be celebrated at the second annual Volunteers in Aid conference and expo to be held in Melbourne on Friday 2nd December 2011.
Conference organisers from the Mandala Foundation say the day long event is an opportunity for volunteers of all ages and vocational backgrounds to meet with Australian volunteer-sending agencies and to hear about training courses in Australia that help prepare volunteers for overseas community aid and development work.
Prospective volunteers can also expect to review their assumptions about international volunteering and increase their awareness of the psychosocial risks they may face while on assignment.
“Participants will hear stories from returned volunteers, find out about the range of volunteer programs that Australian agencies coordinate and learn about application and selection processes for volunteering overseas,” says Executive Director of the Mandala Foundation, Amanda Allan.
“Representatives from Australia’s leading volunteer-sending agencies will be present at the conference to answer questions and provide advice, including prominent volunteer sending organisations such as Austraining International, Australian Volunteers International and Australian Red Cross. Other exhibitors include Australian Aid International, Global Vision International, Projects Abroad, RedR Australia, St John of God Health Care, the University of Canberra and Volunteer Abroad.”
Ms Allan says conference sessions this year will be organised around vocational themes, allowing participants to target the information that is most relevant to them.
“Clusters will cover a wide range of areas, from health and education to engineering, business and conservation. There will also be a focus on human rights, livelihoods and community development projects.”
Ms Allan, also a psychologist, says that the expectations that a volunteer carries into the field can greatly impact on the level of accomplishment and satisfaction with the assignment.
“It is vital that volunteers are well-prepared for the realities of their assignment and possess the right skills and personal attributes to enable them – and the local community – to not only get the most out of the project, but not be harmed in the process,” says Ms Allan.
The conference offers prospective volunteers a unique opportunity to learn how they can apply their existing skills and experience to support humanitarian and community development projects overseas.
The Mandala Foundation is a Not for Profit organisation that strengthens humanitarian action through the psychosocial support of volunteers, staff, projects and management systems. The Mandala Foundation receives funding support from the Australian Government, AusAID.
Name: Volunteers in Aid: A conference and exhibition for prospective international aid volunteers
Date: Friday 2nd December, 2011
Location: Angliss Conference Centre, William Angliss Institute, 555 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/VolunteersInAidConference
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (+61 3) 9005 0808