DFAT is collaborating with Philanthropy Australia to sponsor the inaugural Australian International Philanthropy Award. The Award honours significant achievements in Australian international philanthropy for grants or impact investment(s) allocated to countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Tropical Cyclone Gita made landfall in Tonga on 12 February 2018, causing severe damage to the main island of Tongatapu. The cyclone damaged or destroyed almost 2,000 homes, caused the evacuation of over 4,500 people and left more than 80% of homes in Tonga without power.  Australia is providing a comprehensive package of support to Tonga that includes addressing immediate needs, helping people return to their homes, reconnecting power throughout Tongatapu, and providing support to the island of ‘Eua, which was also badly affected by the cyclone.

The 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper makes clear that Australia’s investment in the stability and resilience of developing countries improves our own security and prosperity. Today, the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) released its 2018 peer review of Australia’s aid program. This important report highlights our achievements to date and provides valuable recommendations for us to consider in strengthening the overall effectiveness of the program.  

“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.