Contributed by: Brett Northey Sunday, August 08 2004 @ 12:46 am ACST
Australia has a long history of volunteer work in helping developing countries reach their potential. One successful program has been the AusAID initiative. It has aspects similar to the US Peace Corps, although significant differences exist. The Australian government advertises positions across a spectrum of roles. The Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program (AYAD) "places skilled young Australian volunteers, aged 18-30, on short-term assignments in developing countries throughout Asia and the Pacific". The website states that "under the AYAD Partnership Program Australian companies, educational institutions, government agencies, NGOs, and community organisations nominate a young Australian for an assignment that the organisation has sourced through its own networks in the Asia Pacific region. The program then provides the administrative and financial support needed for the assignment to go ahead".
With the assistance of the International Australian Football Council (IAFC - disputed title), the Tongan Australian Football Association was able to secure a position which is currently being filled by Nick Blencowe. Read more about this placement at the AusAID page[*1] and the TAFA site.[*2]
The IAFC (disputed title) recently announced that their "application to have a full-time Australian Football Development Officer in the Solomon Islands has been accepted by Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD). We will be advised of the outcome in about 4 weeks". Hopefully Australian football can begin the journey that has started in several south Pacific countries in the last few years.