April 'RAVN Update'
April 'RAVN Update' - A message from DFAT
I am very excited to join the Australian Volunteers Program as the Assistant Secretary of the NGOs and Volunteers Branch within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). I came on board just in time for the Australasian Aid Conference at the Australian National University in February, where the Secretary of DFAT Frances Adamson gave the keynote address and launched the new Australian Volunteers Program Global Strategy for 2018-2022.
I was also thrilled that of all the cohorts of people that make up Australia’s spectrum of actors in the aid sector, the Secretary chose to highlight the contribution of volunteers:
Of the many who contribute, I want to acknowledge particularly the volunteers. For more than 60 years, successive Australian governments have supported Australian volunteers in almost 50 countries. The Australian Volunteers Program, takes a more structured approach to long-term capacity building, to build lasting connections between Australians and their overseas partners. Copies of the new Global Program Strategy for the Australian Volunteers Program are available … I commend the strategy to you.
Australia’s volunteers help us to multiply to effect of Australia’s aid program by donating their expertise to partner organisations to support them to achieve objectives that help individuals and communities in our region to live well and to raise children with hope. We know that our well-being is bound with theirs.
Assistant Secretary of the NGOs and Volunteers Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Cheryl Johnson (right) was appointed as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Assistant Secretary, NGO and Volunteers Branch in February 2019. She is responsible for the Australian Volunteers Program, the Australian NGO Cooperation Program and the Australian Aid Friendship Grants. Previously, Cheryl was responsible for the Australia Awards and Alumni Branch where she was responsible for the Australia Awards Global Program Strategy which provides high quality education opportunities for overseas partners in 80 developing countries.