Australian Volunteers International

December 13, 2021

2021 Message from CEO Mel Gow

Despite another challenging year for us all, AVI has remained steadfastly focused on our purpose - enabling people to create the change they want to see through sharing and exchanging skills, experience, knowledge and building relationships between people and cultures around the world. 

This focus has required AVI to find new and innovative ways to work alongside our partners across the globe and while the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic has been immense, so too has the resilience, commitment and innovation across our organisation. 

As I complete my first year as CEO, I am humbled by the dedication of our partners and the generosity of our supporters. I am also deeply proud of our dedicated staff around the globe who have battled much personal adversity but continued to stay committed to the work of AVI.  

During a year of hardship for all, AVI’s end of financial year campaign raised funds to support our ongoing work just as the international volunteering for development movement turned 70 in October 2021. All funds raised through this appeal will ensure AVI can continue to expand its programs and forge new partnerships, supporting locally driven change where it’s needed most. We cannot thank you enough for standing with us during this time.

As we break for the year, I would finally like to acknowledge AVI’s Chair Kathy Townsend who will finish her term in February 2022. Kathy is herself a returned volunteer and an accomplished leader across government, academia and the business sector. Kathy’s dedication to AVI goes well beyond the decade she gave on the Board and she will be deeply missed by the AVI family. 

I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to connecting with you again in 2022. 

Mel Gow