ACFID Annual Awards 2015

16 Oct, 2015

Three 2015 Australian Council for International Development annual awards were presented at the Annual Conference dinner in Sydney last night.

The 2015 ACFID Sir Ron Wilson Human Rights Award was presented to the alumni of UNSW’s Diplomacy Training Program, and the Program itself.

“The Program was founded in 1989 by HE José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Timor-Leste with Emeritus Professor Garth Nettheim at the University of NSW,” ACFID Executive Director, Mr Purcell said.

“José Ramos-Horta was at the time Timorese Foreign Minister-in exile and identified the need for social activists in Indigenous Australia and the Asia-Pacific to better understand the UN human rights system and to develop their advocacy and campaigning skills,” he said.

“During the past 25 years, the Diplomacy Training Program has trained well over 2500 civil society activists in over 50 countries. Through their advocacy, these activists have had a profound and beneficial impact on the human rights of their fellow citizens.

“Many Program alumni have now become prominent in government, academia and in public life and continue their commitment to human rights.”

The 2015 ACFID Contribution to the Sector Award was presented to Nic Maclellan.

“Mr Maclellan has enriched ACFID and the membership for many decades with his signature style – always drawing the membership back to the voice and agency of Pacific Islanders,” Mr Purcell said.

“For more than three decades, Mr Maclellan has lived and worked in the Pacific islands region and conducted research and undertaken advocacy on Pacific environment, human rights and development issues.

“Mr Maclellan has a sincere commitment to gender equality, a sharp political edge and a knack of linking the local and personal to the global sweep of events. He moves between the worlds of journalism, academia, advocacy and development practice seamlessly, enriching and linking each domain.

“Mr Maclellan is a correspondent for the Islands Business magazine (Fiji), and a contributor to The Guardian, Inside Story, The Contemporary Pacific, Tahiti-Pacifique magazine and other regional media. He has worked for the World Bank, Oxfam International, UNICEF Pacific, Lowy Institute and other research centres,” Mr Purcell said.

The 2015 ACFID Lifetime membership Award was presented to former ACFID Executive Director Russell Rollason.

“Mr Rollason was Executive Director between 1983 and 1995 and initiated ACFID’s modern campaigning strategy, shifting the organisation’s focus from development education and single issues campaigning to strategic, systematic and broad based campaigns. He provided significant sector leadership on the NGO response to Cambodia, East Timor, Burma and apartheid South Africa.

“Mr Rollason also placed a significant focus on increasing the quality of aid delivered by Australian aid organisations, setting up aid quality processes for development NGOs in 1985 ahead of the rest of the world. This work was later codified, becoming the ACFID Code of Ethics and subsequently the Code of Conduct in1996,” Mr Purcell said.


Media Contact: Lyn Larkin 0400 343 227

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