International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to recognise those around us who strive to make a difference. Celebrating the people in our local communities who volunteer their time to make our world a better place.

At DiUS, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by these people on a daily basis - not only are they super smart, but they are passionate about giving back to the communities in which we live and work. Volunteering for an array of causes and organisations, they put their technical, and non-technical skills to good use at every opportunity they get.

Helping non-for-profit organisations innovate at hackathons, teaching primary school kids the basics of computer programming, encouraging kids in rural communities to study STEM, and sharing what they know at Meetups and community events - these are just some of the ways my colleagues give back to our community.

Photo: Sol, Kirsty and Derek rocking on at the Random Hacks of Kindness Hackathon 2016 in Sydney

Photo: Anthony teaching kids how to code at his local primary school, Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop in Melbourne

Photo: Daryl and Paula teaching students in rural communities how to build and fly drones

Photo: Matt giving a talk at the Code Club Australia Melbourne Meetup

*A huge congratulations to Matt Fellows (pictured above) for winning the Code Club of the Year Award (Code Club Australia) in November for his work at Ferntree Gully North primary school.

I also feel privileged to work for a company that gets it. So much so, DiUS has made Moving Humanity Forward one of its values. Leanne Downer, our General Manager, tells me that over 60 days (in the last 12 months) have been spent by the team volunteering - this doesn’t account for the hours and days (outside of work) that my colleagues spend helping, hacking and supporting their local communities.

In addition to giving us time to volunteer, DiUS also sponsors hackathons, meetups, code clubs and other events that we are passionate about. Some of our favourite causes to support as a company include; Random Hacks of Kindness, Flying Robot School, Code Club Australia and Code Like a Girl - just to name a few.

Another passion of ours is running design thinking kids hack days for Yr 5 and Yr 6 primary school students. We’ve just run the first of  these in collaboration with Zeina Chalich of #aussieED to help students develop creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication; important skills in how to break a problem down into its component pieces to help solve it. And important skills that today’s young Australians are going to need for jobs for the future.

Photo: Sol running a design thinking workshop for Yr 5 and Yr 6 primary school students at DiUS HQ Sydney

So with today being International Volunteer Day, let’s celebrate and thank those around us for giving back, making the world a better place, and for just in general, being great human beings!

Happy International Volunteer Day 2016 everyone.

#GlobalApplause