Letter to Senator the Hon Bob Carr

August 3

 August 2nd, 2012


Sally Hetherington

Wat Polanka

Siem Reap



Dear Senator Carr,

I am writing to you to express my disappointment in the Australian Ambassador for Youth Development (AYAD) recruitment process.

For the past ten months, I have been working in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in the position of Volunteer Coordinator at Anjali House. I fulfill this role with the utmost integrity, commitment, and dedication. I am doing so at my own cost, as I believe in this organization, the differences it makes in the children’s lives, and my ability to capacity build the staff.

A position came available in June through the AYAD program as a Fundraising and Marketing Support Officer (AY0612CO04) at Anjali House. I spent three weeks working on the application, had it reviewed by numerous people in my organization and those who have been in AYAD positions, and was certain I would qualify for an interview.

A few weeks later, I received an email that stated I was not successful in my application. I wasn’t even given the opportunity to prove myself through a phone interview. To say I was devastated was an extreme understatement. I registered for feedback, and when I received a phone call the next week I was disgusted at what I was told – only the first ranked person is interviewed.

How is this fair, Mr Carr? I have excellent written communication skills, but like many others, I could better prove myself through a phone interview, when not constrained by word limits. Why should only the first ranked candidate be interviewed? Obviously, working in the organization the AYAD position is for, coupled with my experience living in a developing country and adapting to the culture, along with my extensive volunteer experience in Australia should enable me to receive a phone interview. If then, I was told I was not successful, I would be a lot more accepting of the decision.

Do you believe outsourcing of this contract to Austraining International is the best way to manage recruitment process for AYAD? AYADs are representing Australia in a form of a scholarship to work for the Australian Government on an overseas aid project. Is the recruitment process in line with the Public Service Act 1999? Outsourcing a contract should not reduce the quality of the recruitment process. How do you manage the contract and the recruitment process?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.




Sally Hetherington


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1 Comment

  • Reply Mum August 5 at 10:59 pm

    I am so proud of you.
    You at least have done something instead of just sitting back.
    In the 1970s your granny wrote many letters to the minister for immigration , to get permission for your Aunty Ma Hathway to come to Australia to join her family.
    She wasn’t allowed to migrate under a family scheme as she did’nt have any British ancestry, even though she had lived with your granny’s parents all her life!
    The government expected her to stay in India, all on her own, even though she was in her 70s.
    Your grandmother wrote many eloquent letters to the minister, and never gave up.
    Finally, when the Labor government came into power, she was allowed into the country, and we all united again!
    Follow what you believe in, but in a nice way.

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