Who can be an AYAD?
To be eligible for the AYAD Program you must be an 18-30 year old and an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident.
As an AYAD you will need the specific skills, experience and personal attributes required to do the assignment for which you apply. Because AYAD assignments are diverse (ranging from project officers to mud crab aquaculturalists and everything in between) that means that each AYAD is unique.
So how do you know if you would make a good AYAD? The first thing to think about is your motivation for becoming an AYAD. Do you have a passion for development? Are you looking for international experience? Are you looking for ways to challenge and stretch yourself and, at the same time, give something back to communites in need?
If you answered yes to any of those questions than the AYAD Program could be for you. The Program is a fantastic opportunity to see what you're capable of and get some of that much needed experience. It's also an amazing way to live and work overseas and see how your skills and knowledge can help others.
Liam Flanagan - Sports Marketing Officer, Vanuatu
First Aid Certificate
From the 1st December 2012, all volunteers who are successfully recruited for a volunteer position with the AYAD program will be required to obtain a first aid certificate, compliant to Australian Standard HLTFA 301C ‘Apply First Aid’. This cost is not covered by the program, and the certificate will need to be provided prior to the mobilisation date. Certificates can be obtained through the completion of short courses with either St John’s Ambulance or Australian Red Cross. For course information or dates, candidates can contact their local branch.
Living in a developing country is not as easy as living in Australia.
It can be a challenging and, at times, extremely uncomfortable experience. Regardless of whether your assignment is in an urban, industrial or rural area, you should expect basic accommodation. This could quite likely mean limited electricity and hot water, shared facilities including bathroom and toilet, and probably mosquitoes and other 'wild' life.
You may have to do without some of the entertainment you are used to - DVD, stereo, nightclubs, latest films. Entertainment may revolve around sporting activities, shared meals with friends and colleagues, occasional local festivals or time spent catching up on those books you always meant to read.
In the workplace your way may not be the only way or even the 'right' way and communicating across cultural and, in some cases, language barriers can be frustrating. The AYAD Program can give you some tools and training to overcome these but in the end it comes down to you - your flexibility, adaptability and understanding of your new environment.
Heather Miles- Occupational Therapist, Tonga
One of the most important things to consider is whether you can survive without your family and friends being around you. If you can't bear the thought of being separated from your family, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend for months at a time then you need to consider whether the AYAD Program is for you.
You should also be aware that instability is common in many of the developing countries where AYADs are placed. While the AYAD Program takes every precaution to ensure the safety of AYADs, you should be aware that you could be evacuated if the situation in a particular country becomes unstable.
It goes without saying that living and working in a developing country is a very rewarding experience, and gives you the unique opportunity to contribute actively to the development needs of the region. However, living and working in a country that is less developed than Australia can be very challenging so take the time to do some research before you apply (our links page is a great place to start!).