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Australian Volunteers are back in the Philippines

Australian Volunteers have returned to the Philippines to work with local communities in Manila and Camarines Sur. This is the first in-country deployment of Australian Volunteers since March 2020, when the program shifted to remote volunteering because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Moya Collett, the Australian Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission, welcomed the new Australian volunteers at the B Hotel in Quezon City:

“Australia has a long history of volunteering in the Philippines, with over 800 Australian volunteers deployed since the year 2000. I am excited that we have resumed our deployment of Australian Volunteers to the Philippines, starting with Peng, Judith, and Lydia,” said Dr Collett.

Peng-Sim Eng will volunteer at the Centre for Excellence in Special Education Foundation Inc. (Stepping Stone Foundation) as a Behaviour Management Coach to mentor Filipino teachers in developing plans for children with special needs.

Judith Berghan will share her skills with the Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), a non-government organisation that assists returned migrant workers especially distressed women and their children. Judith will help develop DAWN’s strategic plan.

Lydia Jovero will work with the Local Government Unit of Canaman in Camarines Sur as a Sustainable Livelihood Officer. Born in the Philippines, Lydia is volunteering in the country for the third time to help develop sustainability projects in Camanan.

An Australian Government initiative, the Australian Volunteers Program supports global volunteering by matching skilled Australians with Philippine organisations to help them achieve their goals. This approach is aligned with the Australian Government’s new International Development policy, which aims to support locally led development.

The Australian Volunteers Program works closely with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), which coordinates international and local organisations providing volunteer services.

“Over the years, our partnership with the Australian Embassy, through the Australian Volunteers program, has seen lives improve and communities transformed,” Said Deputy Executive Director Sarmago of PNVSCA.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Assistant Secretary Greg Pineda also joined the welcome ceremony of the Australian Volunteers:

“I hope that through collaboration and sharing of valuable skills and knowledge, Australian Volunteers can help our Philippine organizations foster an environment of cultural sensitivity and understanding.”


26 October 2023 – Quezon City, Philippines – Australian Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Head of Mission Dr. Moya Collett (2nd from left), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Assistant Secretary Greg Pineda (rightmost) and Philippine National Volunteer Services Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) Deputy Executive Director Ela Victoria F. Sarmago (leftmost) welcome the return of Australian Volunteers to the Philippines.

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