What happened next
After our time in Cambodia, everyone headed back to their various countries with new enquiry skills, and over the following months we conducted more interviews on briefs provided by the Australian Volunteers Program.
But the innovation doesn’t stop there.
I’m also part of a project called ‘Walks of Life’, which includes fellow volunteers Louisa, David and Ashley. With the help of Siobhan at TACSI, we’ve been investigating how the Australian Volunteers Program can increase and attract a broader range of Australian volunteers through strategies like improved targeting and recruitment.
We’ve also been ideating different ways that the program could align volunteer and partner organisation expectations and needs to create better outcomes for all.
Our next step is to pitch some of our ideas to the Australian Volunteers Program’s Innovation Pathway Group, who decide what progresses through the innovation gates, and what doesn’t.
As a response to Covid-19, the Australian Volunteers Program repatriated all volunteers back to Australia, but despite this, the Innovation Associates has continued, and I’ve continued to participate from New South Wales. The network was always designed to operate remotely, via video conferencing and Slack, so that’s been no problem for us.
The Innovation Associates stay in touch through monthly Zoom calls
Siobhan from TACSI has become our team’s heart, pumping the information flow through the Associates circulatory system to ensure we stay connected and on task using Zoom veins and Slack arteries. She helps to triage requests, remove clots, insert stents of new knowledge and call in a surgeon (eg Innovation Fund Lead, Anna Trahair) as required.
In the words of the 18th century English poet Nicholas Rowe, ‘my beating heart bounds with exulting motion’. I wonder where this Cambodian cardio connection will go next?