STEP Forward Exchange is a youth-led organization which is first registered in Adelaide with 3 targets :Community Development, Peace Development and Personal Development. STEP Forward Exchange was established in 2014.

Every year we commit to support the community through different projects to develop facilities for in-needed schools, to support the construction of houses in the Mekong Delta region as well as Community Library, Rehabilitation Center in rural areas.

Our community projects often incorporate actual "Volunteer trip" whereas volunteers can directly participate in helping the local community. These things helped to raise personal awareness so that people can join hands for social issues. In addition, through organization planning, fundraising, etc. people can improve their skills to contribute to the community as well as for their own development.

Moreover, we also organize international camps, where volunteers from all over the world will join in with Vietnamese youth to support the locals. In addition to contributing to the community, you can better understand the exciting culture of different countries. This contributes to eliminating prejudices, gaps and creating a better world.

In 2015, STEP became a Vietnamese contact member of the Service Civil International organization - an international organization for peace development with 47 offices around the world.

Promoting Peace, Diversity and Positive Community Changes


We believes that it is important to provide both youths and children the right knowledge, skills and attitudes in order for them to be the proactive members in creating better changes in our world. Therefore, through volunteering services and other non-formal educational activities,we aims to enhance the capabilities of these two targeted groups so that they can have more confident in their own development while also have positive contribution to their community.

Our values:

  • Connecting people from different backgrounds and countries

  • Enhancing Youth and Children‘s engagement and understanding in contributing to create better world.  

  • Providing better livelihood for economically and socially disadvantaged groups


Our Team 

Max Martin - Founder & Director


Max first entered the field of social work in 2011 when he came to work in Vietnam as a volunteer. He then went on to work for a local NGO in Ho Chi Minh City as a program coordinator where he met Anh Thu and Minh, key members of the current StepForward team. Since then he has worked on further projects in Vietnam, the UK and Tanzania garnering a strong understanding in the field of international development as well as the significance of 'youth-in-action' and international volunteer service. Max founded StepForward with the aim of supporting and developing underprivileged communities whilst increasing the participation and understanding of global youth in social development. 

Le Minh Anh Thu (Wendy) - Founder & Director


With various experience in development programs, together with Max Martin, she founded StepForward Exchange with the aim of fostering youth responsibility and initiatives towards the development of our global community. Anh Thu has been working on fundraising activities under StepForward APU, our Japanese counterpart, whilst she studies and lives in Japan. Currently a student of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, she hopes to create a strong friendship between Vietnam and Japan by cooperating on collective social causes. Anh Thu is about as altruistic as you can get, she gives without expecting anything in return. This idealistic mentality is key to our work. She also enjoys eating sushi with a cat on her lap.

Tony Haddad -  Director

Tony is currently in his final year of university, majoring in Asian Studies and International Relations at Flinders University, Adelaide. During 2012, he spent the year volunteering at a disabled orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he met Max and Anh Thu. After returning to Australia, Tony made a conscious effort to stay active in the social development field and joined our team. He is responsible for the fundraising and volunteer recruitment that takes place in Adelaide, and also plays an integral role in coordinating our projects and activities in Vietnam. Tony looks very strange without a beard.

don hong minh 

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General Director



Human Resources Manager

chris richards





Project Manager

carmine vassallo





Project Coordinator

Aims and Objectives

Our projects focus on 3 key areas:


  • Improve the lives of impoverished families, especially  in rural areas through construction and reparation of housing, accessing to basic service such as health center, library, etc. This will be aided by workcamp programs encouraging international and local volunteers to fundraising and take an active role working on individual projects.

  • Encourage educational and economic development in the local area through the provision of educational opportunities for children through interactions with international and local volunteers. 


  • Encourage and improve cultural awareness and understanding between local and international communities.

  • Provide a platform for people from different countries to develop an understanding of various cultures and customs through a collective goal.


  • Through experiential learning encourage people of all backgrounds,especially youths to improve self-awareness, knowledge and social understanding, learn new skills ; develop existing talents ;explore their potential to achieve in order to contribute to the betterment of our society