The Austrian Service Abroad is a non-governmental non-profit organization accredited and sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health Care and Consumer Protection. It provides Austrians of all genders the opportunity to do a volunteering service abroad. Under certain conditions such volunteering services may be acknowledged as an alternative to Austria’s mandatory military or national service for male Austrians. The organization was founded in 1998 by Andreas MaislingerMichael Prochazka and Andreas Hörtnagl.

The organization prepares candidates for their service abroad, sends them to their placement and supports them during their stay abroad. The preparation period consists of conferences (online & physical), seminars (online & physical), voluntary-based contributions to the workflow of the Austrian Service Abroad organization, literature clubs, study trips, workshops and educational visits. During their service, Austrian Servants Abroad maintain contact with their sending organization.

The Austrian Service Abroad consists of its internal structure according to the organization’s organigramm in addition to organizational projects.

The organizational chart is divided into the Board of Directors, the Advisory Council & International Council as well as the Leadership-Team, including the five divisions of Preparation, Guardianship, Marketing, International and Administration which contain their own teams and smaller units where the crucial voluntary work is carried out.

Organizational projects of the Austrian Service Abroad are Understanding Israel, the House of Responsibility, the Wednesday Conference as well as several study trips.

The Austrian Service Abroad is part of the House of Responsibility.

The Austrian Service Abroad provides the opportunity to do a Gedenkdienst, Austrian Social Service and Austrian Peace Service and has partner institutions around the world organized in 9 geographical areas.

The Board is the governing body according to the organization’s statutes. Its central task is to advise and support the members. Dr. Andreas Maislinger represents The Board in the leadership team, the body responsible for day-to-day business. The board consists of:

  • Tobias Aigner, Chairman
  • Florian Kössler
  • Christoph Shawa
  • Michael Prochazka
  • Regina Rauch-Krainer
  • Tatjana Lang
  • Sigrid Simetzberger

The leadership team is the management of the organization responsible for strategic planning and implementation. The team consists of the five division heads, who are both strategically and operationally active. Together with the two cohort spokespersons, the treasurer, the chairperson of the association and the CEO, they form the decision-making body in the organization. Here strategic decisions regarding, for example, the sending abroad of Austrian Service Abroad volunteers, choices about new partnerships as well as financial issues are being made.

  • Tobias Aigner, Chairman
  • Matthias Ogris, Cohort Spokesman 2022
  • Milan Feyferlik, Cohort Spokesman 2023
  • Moritz Lichtmannegger, Head of Guardianship
  • Not occupied, Head of Education
  • David Ditlbacher, Yannik Gruner and Moritz Müller-Ibold, Head of International Affairs
  • Philipp Auberger, Head of Marketing
  • Bernhard Beran, Head of Administration

The five divisions of the organization combine all units and teams of similar subject areas and are led by a department head who, through his or her participation in the leadership team, also acts as a liaison between the department and the management. He / she can, thus, bring forth and discuss issues on behalf of his / her division and make suggestions from the teams of his / her division to the leadership team. There are a total of five divisions, including the preparation, guardianship, marketing, international affairs, and the administration division.

After graduating with a diploma in law and a bachelor’s degree in law and economics from the University of Salzburg, Aigner completed a Gedenkdienst through the Austrian Service Abroad. He worked for the American Jewish Committee / Global Jewish Advocacy in the USA from October 2012 to September 2013. Between 2014 and 2017, Aigner was Area Coordinator for Area North America at the Austrian Service Abroad. Tobias Aigner was VSStÖ chairman, Jusos regional chairman, deputy federal chairman of the Young Generation in the SPÖ, member of the regional party executive committee as well as the regional party executive committee of the SPÖ Salzburg. He is a legal officer at the Austrian Health Insurance Fund in Vienna.

Tobias Aigner, Chairman

Astrid Brucker was herself a volunteer in South America (Peru and Argentina) after graduating from high school, where she helped in social projects with children and teenagers. As a student at the University of Vienna she was engaged in a backpacker hostel, fully living out her joy of languages, troubleshooting and helping others. After studying English (with a few forays into International Development), she supported a sustainable consulting business alongside raising her daughter and is now also an enthusiastic all-rounder in an NGO operating in Nepal.

Astrid Brucker, Administration

Tobias Kohlberger studies business administration at the University of Vienna. Prior to his time as office manager at the Austrian Service Abroad, he gained professional experience in accounting and controlling, as well as grant accounting for EU projects. He enjoys organizing larger events and campaigns and is the contact person at the Austrian Service Abroad for administrative and financial matters in the Vienna office.

Tobias Kohlberger, Finance