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Volunteer spotlight: Sawan, NSW Campaigns volunteer

Photo: OxfamAUS

In his current volunteer role as a Campaigns Event Manager, Sawan pursues his passion in international relations and develops new skills. Sawan explains in his own words why he’s been volunteering with Oxfam for 1.5 years:

I first got involved with Oxfam when I graduated from USYD in November 2013 and I was deciding whether to pursue further studies or employment. However, I had no experience in any role or office setting and realised that this might become a detriment to me. As I was doing the research, I came across an advertisement for an volunteer role with Oxfam. I have always been passionate about international development and liked being involved in positions of leadership, so I applied.

Originally the team was looking for an Events Coordinator Intern. This was to be a 3–6 month commitment. However, the team and office dynamics and passions have been so alluring that I have been a part of the team for almost 1.5 years!

My current role as a Campaign Event Manager Volunteer involves relationship building and collaborating with university lecturers, relevant departments and other organisations to create and co-host events/festivals and speaker engagement events for Oxfam. The primary focus is on the GROW Campaign focusing on climate change, food security and poverty. This year our team has been working vigorously to ensure Oxfam can be front of the pack in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December.

I am passionate about international development and food security. I’m a Science undergrad and studied a range of international relations subjects so this was a good opportunity for me to use my knowledge from those studies and incorporate these into my role. Our team enjoys learning new facts and being aware of what’s happening around the world and here at home.

Volunteering at Oxfam Australia with the Campaigns Team has been fun and exciting! We’re a small team of five, within a larger team comprising the Sydney office, where everyone collaborates and works together to achieve the organisation’s goals. We have been engaged in many fun and exciting events and festivals promoting issues that are of importance to the organisation: a task made more engaging and fun by the fact that we are all passionate about the issues we are raising awareness for.

While volunteering at Oxfam, I have learnt and developed my ability to communicate with confidence in a professional capacity to lecturers and academics. This role has exposed me to so many new situations that would not be possible unless I travelled extensively, and made me become more aware of the realities of the wider world; which works together with my degree, passion for journalism and international development and law.

When I’m not volunteering at Oxfam, my favourite thing to do is play sports, read up on my favourite international relations magazines or, when in season, watch and follow the NFL (American football)!

Peruse the full list of volunteer vacancies or read more about Oxfam’s volunteers.