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Australia's vision for international development

Time (GMT +01) 15:00 16:30

Contributing chair

Alex Thier @Thieristan - Executive Director, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Keynote speaker

Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells @Senator_CFW - Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Australia


Albert Mariner - Head, Asia, Europe, Caribbean and Pacific Section, Political Divison, Commonwealth Secretariat



The Commonwealth represents some of the smallest, largest, poorest and richest countries in the world. To secure a prosperous, sustainable and equitable future for all 53-member states, strengthening partnerships for international development is crucial.

Australia emphasises these partnerships in the country’s aid programme and foreign policy, highlighting the importance of its relationships with Pacific Island states and partners such as the UK.

Held during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells sets out her vision for promoting prosperity, reducing poverty and enhancing stability in a changing world.

The panel will discuss how partnerships for international development in the Pacific region can be strengthened among Commonwealth member states, and identify the priorities for international development during the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).


Alex Thier is the Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Prior to joining ODI in January 2017, he was a senior official at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and founder of Triple Helix, a US-based consultancy firm which he founded to increase access to off-grid, renewable energy in Africa and Asia. 

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells is the Minister for International Development and the Pacific in Australia’s Federal Coalition Government. She has served as a Senator for New South Wales since 2005. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs with portfolio responsibilities in the Attorney-General, Immigration and Border Protection, and Social Services. She also served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, with special responsibility for multicultural affairs and settlement services.

Albert Mariner joined the Commonwealth Secretariat in March 2014 and is the current Head of the Asia, Europe, Caribbean, Pacific Team in the Political Section of the Governance and Peace Directorate of the Secretariat.    Prior to joining the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mariner was a Senior UN Peace and Development Adviser at the UNDP Multi-country office in Suva, Fiji.