On 19 November, take a moment to think about the 4.5 billion people who live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste. Even better, get inspired to do something about it.

In the 1960s young Papua New Guineans training for positions as senior public servants at the Administrative College talked about the future of an independent country. The informal discussion group, known as the ‘Bully Beef Club’, comprised an exceptional group of Papua New Guinea’s future independence leaders, including the first Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

Considering that over 100 million people are estimated to have been affected worldwide this year by extreme weather events such as floods, storms, drought and heatwaves, a lot can be learned from Australia’s efforts to integrate risk and resilience considerations into planning, policies and programs of all government departments.

“I miss being able to control my emotions around my family – sometimes I can’t stop laughing and sometimes I can’t stop crying.” This man’s contribution is greeted with nods and an understanding chuckle around the circle.

It is mid June 2017, and I am sitting with a group of men and women who have recently had brain injuries and strokes, along with two local physiotherapists, who are facilitating our first ever group therapy session at the Dong Nai General Hospital.

Aid for trade accounts for about 40 per cent of all aid funding to Asia and the Pacific and is integral to the region’s economic development. Aid for trade can benefit socially vulnerable groups, including women. Internet access can be transformative in providing opportunities for small firms, often owned by women, to tap into previously inaccessible markets.

“The minute I stepped off the plane in Paro, an airport in the middle of a steep mountain range with prayer flags lining the single runway, I felt that sense of coming home.”

It was only after doing some research into Samoa and the Office of the Ombudsman that I realised what a great opportunity it would be to work with a new NHRI in the Pacific. I was also fascinated with the Samoan way of life (fa’asamoa) and how it would interact with the human rights system.