New Australian Volunteers start work in Samoa

The new volunteers with the Australian High Commissioner Sue Langford

APIA: TUESDAY 5 AUGUST 2014: Four new Australian Volunteers have begun working in Samoa this week. The Australian High Commissioner Sue Langford welcomed the new intake during a brief orientation last Wednesday, 30 July 2014.

In congratulating the new volunteers, Australian High Commissioner Sue Langford emphasized the importance of their roles in physically representing Australia’s partnership with Samoa.

“You who are here as Australian Volunteers are the public face of the Australian Aid Program,” Langford highlighted.

The volunteers’ roles in Samoa are diverse, with a focus on building the capacity of individuals, organisations and the community through skills and knowledge sharing. The long term sustainability of the work done by the volunteers while on assignment is a key consideration.

The four new volunteers are:

  1. Jeff Sneddon who is volunteering with Pacific Water for three months as an IT Advisor. Sneddon will amongst various responsibilities, assist and train PWWA staff to review and update their IT systems, implement an online payment and financial system, and to improve their information management skills. He will also train PWWA staff in the new systems and procedures. This will help PWWA provide its regional members with increased capacity to deliver services and improve water quality and access.
  2. Lauren Treby will be undertaking a 12 month assignment as Monitoring and Evaluation Support Officer within the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD) in Apia, Samoa. Treby will be responsible for implementation, review and updating the MWCSD’s Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and will provide support for organisational development through staff training, information and process management.
  3. Hanna Cihal is volunteering for 12 months as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer with Samoa’s Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC). She will be working in the Education Sector of MESC and will collaborate with partners from the Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the National University of Samoa (NUS). Cihal will be assisting staff at MESC, SQA and NUS to develop and improve monitoring and evaluation practices for education in Samoa. A strong focus of the role is building staff capacity in monitoring, evaluation and related skills.
  4. Beatrice Carey will be working for 12 months with the Samoa National Orchestra as National Orchestra Music Trainer with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC). Beatrice will work in the Culture Division to strengthen and build organizational capacity of the National Orchestra. Ideally, the National Orchestra will contribute to increased awareness and visibility of music and performing arts in Samoa, and create a platform and opportunity for aspiring local musicians to broaden their potential within the arts industry.

The Australian Government has supported over 12,000 Australian citizens to work as volunteers throughout the Asia-Pacific region since the 1960s. More than 400 of those volunteers have taken on assignments in Samoa to date, and are making a positive contribution to the country’s development.

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