At the International Women’s Development Agency, supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, we work alongside local partners in Asia and the Pacific to ensure women have an equal say and power over the decisions that affect their lives.

My experience as an intern in the Australian Embassy in Japan has been everything I hoped it would be – and more! My understanding of international affairs and Japanese has increased and I have grown and developed as a person.

Being provided with the opportunity to live, study and work in Tokyo while on a New Colombo Plan scholarship has also been phenomenal. Whilst Tokyo is a busy, densely populated city, it never ceases to amaze me there is always green space, festivals to attend, and places to relax.  Life is never boring.

On International Volunteer Day 2017, Australian volunteer Brad Timms serves as a shining example of the personal, professional and profound lasting benefits of international volunteering.

Each year more than 1,000 Australians donate their time and skills to volunteer in developing countries through the Government’s flagship Australian Volunteers program, helping to make our region more stable, secure and prosperous. On this International Volunteer Day I thank all Australian Volunteers – past and present – for their selfless contribution to regional growth and prosperity.