One of the best parts of my job is meeting the workers from Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru, involved in the Program. I particularly enjoy seeing them grow into their new jobs and life in Australia. They make an astonishing journey coming to Australia, leaving behind their families, children and community. They do this for the opportunity to gain skills and experience, and ensure that their families have money for education, health and household needs.

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.

Aid for trade accounts for about 40 per cent of all aid funding to Asia and the Pacific and is integral to the region’s economic development. Aid for trade can benefit socially vulnerable groups, including women. Internet access can be transformative in providing opportunities for small firms, often owned by women, to tap into previously inaccessible markets.

Row of speakers standing on stage.

About 1,500 delegates gathered at the World Trade Organization in Geneva for the Sixth Global Aid for Trade Review. This event looks at progress that the world is making to improve the lives of poor people by helping them to trade.

Delegates and children in a local village.

The Asia-Pacific is a hotspot for emerging infectious diseases and drug-resistant strains of TB and malaria, and Australia has taken the lead in tackling these threats to our health security.

While fresh and enticing seafood may spring to mind when thinking about the Pacific, what many people may not realise is the extensive efforts that are being undertaken to help ensure the sustainability of fish stocks.

Australia is committed to supporting women’s sexual and reproductive health, including in disasters, so we can reach those in need during the most vulnerable moments of their lives.