Staff Reporter 

The contributions of six Australians currently volunteering in Bhutan, and the local organisations they support, were celebrated on International Volunteer Day (IVD) yesterday.

Australian volunteers are currently supporting five organisations, working on projects led by Bhutanese and organisations.

A press release from the Australian High Commission in New Delhi stated that these volunteers are drawing on their unique skills, experience and background to help organisations, such as Wangsel Institute, National Institute of Zorig Chosum and National Biodiversity Centre, achieve their own development goals.

Volunteers gain as much as they give, forging friendships and having cultural experiences that have an impact long after they return to Australia, it stated.

Australian Ambassador to Bhutan, Harinder Sidhu said that the theme of this year’s International Volunteer Day was volunteer for an inclusive future.

“From speaking with both volunteers and the organisations they support I think the most satisfying part of the Australian Volunteers Program is seeing these local organisations continue to grow and develop,” Ambassador Harinder Sidhu said.

For many years, Australians have contributed to the growth and development of local organisations in Bhutan across a range of sectors through the Australian Volunteers Program, which is supported by the Australian government.

The press release stated that for more than 60 years Australian volunteers have been sharing their skills overseas, and using their personal and professional experiences to contribute meaningfully to international development.

“The Australian Volunteers Program is all about people – Australian volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, and support an incredibly broad and inclusive range of individuals, organisations and communities,” the ambassador said.

IVD was first observed on December 5 in 1985 to recognise the valuable contribution volunteers make to international development across the world.