Celia Grenning

Celia Grenning


Reflections on ACFID Annual Conference, October 2015

KYEEMA’s CEO, Celia Grenning, attended the 50th anniversary meeting of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) in Sydney from 15-16 October 2015. The theme of the conference was “Innovation and Development – Learn, Adapt, Change, Evolve”.

ACFID organised an amazing line-up of speakers, including an opening address from the new Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon. Stephen Ciobo MP, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP and the Leader of the Australian Greens party, Senator Richard Di Natale. To have all three attend and give impressive speeches was an indication of how well respected ACFID is as an umbrella body speaking on behalf of Australian NGOs supporting overseas development activities.

The proceedings of the conference are discussed in detail on the ACFID site.

An overarching message was the need for innovation to tackle complex and emerging development challenges. However many speakers forcefully made the point that innovation shouldn’t be the goal in itself; the ultimate goal must be impact.

One panel discussion focused on the disruptive challenges facing society – climate change, inequality, poverty and conflict – and how these cannot not be addressed with a “business as usual” approach.

Neuroscientist, Fiona Kerr presented a compelling argument for the importance of a new style of leadership in fostering collaboration and creativity – that required for leading innovative and adaptive organisations.

At the Member’s Forum, Celia was given the opportunity to provide a three minute overview of KYEEMA’s activities. She explained what Newcastle disease was and why it is so vital to vaccinate against it in village chickens to improve the livelihoods of poor rural families, especially for female and child-headed households.

The event was truly inspiring. It was a chance to network and discuss development innovation with a wide range of diverse NGOs in a supportive environment.

Visit the ACFID You Tube channel to watch all of the important segments from the 2015 conference.