Speech at CEO Challenge, White Ribbon Dinner

I begin by acknowledging the first Australians on whose land we meet and whose cultures we celebrate as among the oldest continuing cultures in human history. As a Queenslander, it’s a great pleasure to be here tonight in this wonderful setting to mark White Ribbon Day and to celebrate Australia’s CEO Challenge for this year. A Queensland original, the CEO …

A week to go in the Horn of Africa’s Dollar for Dollar Appeal

In two months, the Australian public has contributed over $6 million, and brought the Horn of Africa appeal to more than $12 million, in a nation-wide effort to help people starving in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Australian Government’s Dollar for Dollar initiative matches every donation to participating Australian non-government aid agencies til the end of November — making …

Stopping violence against women

We’re here to talk about a very ugly subject: violence. And where that fits in the overall challenge of equity for women. And where that fits in the overall challenge of women in development, and raising the economic stakes and the economic opportunities for women across the world. There is nothing remotely excusable about violence against women anywhere, at any …

New Indigenous learning centre opens in New South Wales

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today helped open the Wiradjuri Study Centre in Condobolin, which aims to boost employment prospects for the local Indigenous community in fields such as mining, construction, transport, and general administration. Owned and managed by the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, the Indigenous Study Centre was built using local materials and local Indigenous labour, and will apply culturally-appropriate teaching …

Australia appoints Global Ambassador for Women and Girls

Australia will be at the forefront of global efforts to promote the role of women and girls with the creation of an Ambassador to advocate on their behalf. The Gillard Government today announced career diplomat Penny Williams will be Australia’s first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls. The Prime Minister said that in the role, Ms Williams will ensure the …

Women must be central to global aid efforts

A crisis of truly biblical proportions now faces the international community in the Horn of Africa. More than 12 million people — over half the population of Australia — are in need of urgent help because of famine and drought. In July, I visited Somalia and saw first-hand this looming catastrophe. It was clear to me that if the international …

An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference – delivering real results

Australia’s global and regional engagement is broad. We are alert to challenges to our security — state based, or in other forms such as terrorism. We are alert to the challenges to our economy — through the instability of the global financial system, the increasing interconnectedness of global trade and investment. We are deeply engaged in responding to threats to …

Speech to mark the opening of Australia’s Embassy in Addis Ababa

I am delighted to be here in Africa. I am delighted to be here in Addis Ababa. As Australia looks west across the Indian Ocean, our engagement with South Asia, the Gulf States and the continent of Africa continues to deepen. For Australia is as much a country in the Indian Ocean region as we are in the Pacific. So …

The Importance of Aid Effectiveness

In the past 20 years we have witnessed one of the most rapid reductions in poverty in history. Progress in China and India has helped lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. However, if we exclude those two countries, our eyes are opened afresh to the sheer scale of global poverty that continues today. One billion people still live in …

Rudd announces foreign aid overhaul

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a sweeping overhaul of Australia’s foreign aid program, promising more transparency and the phasing out of direct aid to India and China. Mr Rudd says the Government will accept all but one of the recommendations of a major independent review of foreign aid, including doubling the AusAID cooperation program with non-government organisations and increasing …