Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

151208 International Volunteer Day 2015

International Volunteer Day

Remarks by Ms Bronte Moules

Australia's Acting High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea

Australian High Commission, Port Moresby

8 December 2015



Mr Iwona Spytkowski

Office of the Resident Coordinator

Mr Hisashi Izumi

Head of Program, UNDP Papua New Guinea



Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning to you all and thank you for joining us this morning.

On 5 December this year, people around the world took time, as they have done since 1985, to celebrate volunteerism.  The fifth of December every year is a day for us all to acknowledge and raise awareness about the contribution volunteers make to society.

I pay tribute to the more than one billion volunteers around the world who help make a difference every day. 

I also pay a special tribute to the volunteers who are among us today working in Papua New Guinea. 

The volunteers here today are working in community development, education, business and finance, health, government, disability, child protection and to improve the lives of women and girls. 

They are connecting people, sharing knowledge, building communities and bringing our world closer together.

I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the critical role host organisations play and express my appreciation of the many in Papua New Guinea with whom we have worked and continue to do so.  Some notable examples are

Bougainville Women’s Federation

University of Papua New Guinea

Buk Bilong Pikinini


National Rugby League

The Port Moresby Nature Park

Buka General Hospital

And that is just to name a few.

I would also like to extend special thanks to the volunteer organisations who have helped manage the Australian Government’s volunteer program, the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID).

Scope Global

Australian Volunteers International

Australian Red Cross

The AVID program is a central and valued part of Australia’s aid program.  It underpins the Australian Government’s recognition of the contribution that volunteerism brings to sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, and in advancing Australia's relationships with partner countries.  

Last year Australia committed over $56 million to its volunteer program.  This funding supported over 1900 volunteers to work with over 1200 host organisations. 

Here in Papua New Guinea, our Australian volunteers work in the private sector, not-for-profit organisations and provincial governments.  They focus in the areas of health, education, marketing and communication, sport, and community engagement.

Australian Volunteers have worked with the Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority, piloting a new decentralised model of health care delivery to the provinces of Papua New Guinea.  

We have a volunteer working in the East New Britain Provincial Government, improving the lives of those living with a disability.  This work has made it possible for the Provincial Government to start collecting key information about people living with disabilities in the Province and the required services to address their challenges.

These are only two examples of the great work that Australian Government-funded volunteers do in Papua New Guinea. 

Before I conclude, I should mention the 20 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women.  The 20 Days of Activism aims to create community momentum towards ending violence against women.

Nowhere is the drive more urgent than it is here in Papua New Guinea, where rates of domestic violence are horrific.  Approximately two in three women experience physical and/or sexual abuse by their intimate partners or family members.

Eliminating violence against women is our collective responsibility.  Whatever your assignment is, I encourage you all to be a driving force to eradicate violence against women, especially here in Papua New Guinea.

On behalf of the Australian Government, can I once more register my deep appreciation of the work you are doing through volunteering.

I am humbled by your spirit of sacrifice.

Thank you all.