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ABM’s Executive Director receives outstanding award from ACFID

October 27, 2016

ABM is very proud to announce that our Executive Director, the Rev’d John Deane has been awarded the ACFID Outstanding Contribution to the Sector Award 2016 by the Board of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).

Rev’d Deane, pictured with ACFID CEO Mark Purcell, was presented with his award at the 2016 ACFID Conference Gala Dinner on Wednesday 26th October.

The key criterion for the award is whether the whole Australian aid and development NGO sector has benefited from an individual’s or organisation’s contribution over an extended period of time.

An extract from ACFID President Sam Mostyn’s letter to Rev’d Deane:

“The award is in recognition of your many years of outstanding service on the Committee for Development Cooperation (CDC) to the benefit of the Australian aid and development sector. Your service on the CDC for 18 of its 41 years makes you the longest serving committee member of the Australian Aid Program’s longest running stakeholder committee with citizen run development NGOs. You have engaged with the Australian Government in mediating relations with common sense, good grace and diligence.

“It is the quality of this service that we wish to recognise; the combination of understanding the challenges of accreditation; experience and sympathy for running smaller and mid-sized NGOs, appreciation of the necessity of a reasonable standard of regulation; . . .  your strong sense of the independence of the Australian NGO sector, and stout commitment to the separation of religious activities from development activities yet a deep valuing of the importance of faith in development.

“Finally, you have at times acted as a repository of corporate memory which both NGOs and Government officials alike relied upon when the inevitable proposal to reinvent the wheel arose.”

Rev’d Deane recalls the time when he was elected to the CDC in his second year as ABM’s Programs Director:

“I was fairly new to the sector when I went to my first ACFID council meeting, representing ABM as the Programs Director. At that stage they were encouraging people to think about what they could do to contribute to the sector.

“They put a strong case for small agencies to ‘step up to the plate’ and offer to take on some of the roles within ACFID, because it was important that small agencies were represented.

“I didn’t think about taking on a role much in my first year at ABM, as I thought I was too green. But in my second year I went to the council and there was a vacancy on the CDC, and I said to a few people there “Do you think I should run?” and they replied, “It would be great if you could run!” And so quite surprisingly I was elected. “

He says that over the years, the CDC has benefited from some really supportive people in government working to assist cooperation between the Australian Government and NGOs. There is increased recognition that NGOs are making a valuable and important contribution to the Aid Program, both here and overseas. NGOs have a greater ability to work at the grass-roots level within communities, delivering tangible benefits that people can see.

Rev’d Deane says, “So from my perspective, it’s been a really good thing to be able to try to support the program that is run between the government and the NGOs, which we’ve had to fight for on occasions. I think it’s really good that we have a rigorous accreditation system – that is a desirable thing. It has been a process that the sector and government has worked at to make sure that it meets the need of both those parts of society.”

This is Rev’d Deane’s final year in his role as member of the ACFID Committee for Development Cooperation. The ABM Board and staff congratulate him on being awarded this most significant recognition of his contribution to the sector over many years. Well done!