Home 5 Events 5 Past Conferences 5 2017 Conference 5 Reflections on the 2017 national conference

Reflections on the 2017 national conference

2017 MP Reflections

ACFID’s 2017 national conference in Melbourne marked our largest member engagement event in recent years and the culmination of months of preparation by ACFID’s secretariat.

Building on previous conference themes, in 2017 we explored how the Australian aid and development sector can better understand and drive change that is truly transformational. The challenges facing us today exist within complex systems that, left unchecked, perpetuate inequality, marginalisation, and environmental degradation, and so we aim to encourage recognition of transformational change as not merely a goal but a better way of working – for a better world.

Inspiring speeches provoked new thinking around three conference themes, moving delegates to understand that to create change that is truly transformational, we need to: engage in action and advocacy in solidary with grassroots social movements around the world; create transformational organisations, exploring new opportunities and business models that will equip us to embrace the changes into the future; and rethink our understanding of what it means to lead – certainly we can achieve more together than we ever will alone.

Delegates were set on a path to answering some of our most confronting questions, such as what it means to transform or to have been transformed, who or what is the focus of transformation, what this means in practice, and how it can be achieved from a systemic, integrated approach. Member-led sessions and expert panels interrogated the meaning and nature of transformational change and encouraged delegates to consider what they might do to create, engage with, and lead a world where transformational change for sustainable development might become the norm. We heard practical examples from early adopters, who surfaced and shared good practice in re-engaging with concepts of thinking and working politically, particularly from an activist/advocacy perspective.

Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells reflected on the years’ progress since her address at conference 2016, remarking that in an international environment experiencing profound change development assistance will remain an important element of our international engagement. From 2016, the Minister has seen some very good movement in the right direction in terms of partnerships within the private sector and diasporas. She welcomed further initiatives from ACFID and ACFID’s members bringing more diasporas into closer contact with our Australian Aid program, but sought further collective efforts to improve on public engagement with the aid program and the sector’s efforts.

Shadow Minister for International and the Pacific, Penny Wong, reflected upon the importance of development assistance, and growing inequality around the world. In this current environment, said Senator Wong, “there’s an immense need for support for development assistance to come before partisan politics. Global demand for development assistance has not subsided, but the global trend to isolationism and nationalism is putting aid under increasing strain in donor nations”.

Leader of the Australian Greens and Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Senator Richard Di Natale emphasised the need for civil society to be strong if transformational change is to occur. Senator Di Natale cited the latest proposed policies to restrict charities from receiving international philanthropy as an example of the Government promoting policies to restrict this vital space.

Prior to the official opening of conference 2017, a series of resolutions were debated and passed at ACFID’s Annual General Meeting, including: support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart; a call for the Australian Government to be a champion for the role of civil society; and in relation to the closing of the Manus Island Detention Centre, members called on the Australian Government to bring all refugees and people seeking asylum to Australia while determinations are made about durable solutions for each of them.

During the AGM, we also saw endorsement of our new ACFID President, Susan Pascoe and Vice-Presidents, and election of new Board and committee members. Outgoing ACFID president Sam Mostyn’s impact on ACFID and its members will be lasting, as a champion of the sustainable development goals and bringing together disparate sectors.

Overall, the 2017 Conference delivered a call to action – feeding into ACFID’s work for coming year, including in advocacy and campaigning, but equally for our members to take up action and advocacy for transformational change throughout the sector. Our call to action encompasses engaging widely and harnessing the interconnectedness of issues, advocating for a stronger Australian Aid program, taking up the recommendation of the referendum council to activate for greater recognition and empowerment of indigenous Australians, engaging in environmental activism, and creating inclusive leadership.

About

A woman in a brightly coloured scarf peers through coffee bean bushes on either side of her.

Annual Report 2021-22

Reporting on ACFID’s activities to ensure transparency and accountability

ACFID

ACFID is the peak body for Australian NGOs involved in international development and humanitarian action.

Our PARTNERSHIPS

ACFID works and engages with a range of strategic partners in addition to our members.

GOVERNANCE

ACFID is governed by its Board, ACFID Council, and various expert and governance committees.

Members

Conference

Conference 2022

HEALTHY PLANET, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES Acting with evidence, equity and inclusion for a resilient future

Meet our Members

The ACFID membership is comprised of Australian NGOs that actively work in the international aid and development sector.

Become a member

Joining ACFID means joining an experienced and powerful mix of like-minded organisations committed to good international development practice.

Membership types & fees

ACFID has two types of organisational membership: Full Membership and Affiliate Membership.

State of the Sector

The State of the Sector Report provides a comprehensive and robust analysis of the state of the Australian aid and development sector.

NGO Aid Map

ACFID’s NGO Aid Map allows the Australian public and stakeholders to explore the work of ACFID Members around the world

Our Focus

Budget Analysis

Federal Budget 2022 Analysis

Facts and figures on how aid is presented in this year’s annual budget

Strategic Plan

ACFID prioritises a robust response to climate change and pressure on civil society in developing countries, as well as other key priorities.

Emergency Aid

ACFID Members provide vital life-saving assistance in the immediate aftermath of an emergency.

Climate Change

Action on climate change is one of ACFID’s highest priorities, as it is an existential threat to humanity and our development.

Civil Society

Civil societies are a cornerstone of regional stability and ensure that the voices of the marginalised are heard.

Supporting NGOS

Supporting NGOs as Valuable Partners.

Inclusive & locally led development

Walking the talk on inclusive development.

Humanitarian Action

Taking humanitarian action for those in greatest need.

Elevating Development

Elevating Development to the Heart of Australia’s International Engagement.

PSEAH

Improving standards, practice and culture to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

Code of Conduct

A small girl stands in front of a multi-coloured finger paint artwork, with a blue paint covered hand

2022-23 ACFID Code of Conduct Review

The ACFID Code of Conduct is periodically reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect good practice and the needs of ACFID and its members.

Code of Conduct

The Code is a voluntary, self-regulatory industry code of good practice.

About the Code

Find out more about the Code of Conduct and how it operates.

Good Practice Toolkit

Overview and practical resources, and examples to support the implementation of the Code.

Spotlight on the Code

Provides a thematic ‘deep dive’ into each of the nine Quality Principles in the Code

Compliance

This section outlines the responsibility to be taken by each Member to ensure compliance with the Code.

Complaints Handling

How to make a complaint and information on the Code’s independent mechanism to address concerns relating to an ACFID Members’ conduct.

Other Standards

Mapping the Code with other professional standards and principles in the humanitarian and aid sector in Australia and internationally

Loading...