A NEW book that examines the key policy battles and campaigns fought by Australia’s peak body for aid and development organisations will be launched at University House at the Australian National University in Canberra tonight, September 22.
NGOs and Political Change – A history of the Australian Council for International Development by ANU academic, Dr Patrick Kilby, chronicles 50 years of the Australian Council for International Development.
“Dr Kilby’s book is a serious examination of the development of the non-government aid and development sector in Australia and the complex historical forces that shaped those organisations,” said ACFID Executive Director, Mr Marc Purcell.
“It describes the serious national and global policy discussions and decisions that ACFID was part of, along with some of the radical escapades and hijinks the organisation engaged in during the 1960s and 70s,” Mr Purcell said.
“While it is a history of ACFID, it is also a history about Australians creating a more compassionate, fairer and sustainable world.
“The book captures the stories of three generations of Australians that have contributed to building better relationships with other cultures and societies.
“Over the past 50 years, ACFID has rallied behind a long list of causes from Vietnamese refugees and global development education to disarmament as well as campaigns such as the One World Campaign and Make Poverty History. It has engaged in protracted policy battles on a raft of issues, including gender justice and national recognition of the Timorese people.
“Fifty years on, with over 130 members that share a core vision and purpose, ACFID has a vital role to play into the future.
“ACFID will continue to provide a forceful independent voice in debates around the need for a strong Government aid program, the importance of a tackling extreme poverty and inequality, and the necessity of providing human security.
“It will also take a leading role in advocating the need for action on climate change, and on the implementation of a new global agenda for sustainable development,” Mr Purcell said.