About 150 participants are expected to attend a seminar on “Volunteers as Social Change Agents” to be held on 7th September 2015 in Kuching. The seminar is organized by Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) in conjunction with its 32nd Anniversary celebration this year.
Dr. Peter Devereux, a Research Fellow with the Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University, Australia, will present the keynote paper on “Volunteers as Modern Change Agents”. Dr. Devereux is a part time Research Fellow at Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Institute advancing the Doctorate of Sustainable Development focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals that will take over from the MDGs in 2016. He has focused on volunteering for development policy, research and practice for the last twenty five years. Previously he worked in United Nations Volunteers headquarters in their Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation Section as Policy Specialist, Volunteerism and Civil Society, worked as a volunteer university lecturer and NGO environmental adviser in Nicaragua, UN Volunteers Programme Officer in the UNDP multi-country office in Fiji, and State Manager for Australian Volunteer International’s Perth office. He completed his PhD in 2010 on long-term international volunteers in development and sustainability.
Other speakers include Datuk Ahmad Bin Abd Talib, Chairman of Yayasan Salam Malaysia who will provide “An Overview of Volunteerism in Malaysia Today”; Encik Mohamad Ariff Irwani Bin Azahari, Honorary Secretary of AZAM Sarawak who will share on AZAM Sarawak’s Experience on volunteering for development; and Mr. Stephen Fernando, a Public Speaking Champion, Toastmasters International who will motivate participants with a session titled “Make a Difference by Being Different!”.
A panel session, entitled “Taking Volunteerism in Sarawak to the Next Level” will also be held at the seminar featuring panelists Dr. Rusmailani Binti Abdul Aziz, Head of Community Development Division, Social Welfare Department of Sarawak; Miss Marahaini Binti Marikan, Assistant Director, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia Sarawak Office (who will speak on “voluntourism”) Mdm. Margaret Bedus, President, Sarawak Women for Women Society and, Mdm. Rebecca D’Cruz, President, Friends of Sarawak Museum.
The one day seminar aims to
- to generate discussions on the future direction of volunteerism in Sarawak particularly on how volunteers could be effective social change agents and;
- to generate seed ideas on how the various voluntary organizations, individual volunteers and other relevant stakeholders in Sarawak could work collaboratively to bring volunteerism in Sarawak to the next level.
The participants expected are mainly members of various voluntary bodies in Sarawak. Also invited to attend are representatives of the relevant government agencies, the private sector and corporate sectors, and members of the media.
AZAM will also hold its 32nd Anniversary Dinner on the same day, to be graced by His Excellency the Governor of Sarawak, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is also AZAM’s patron.