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ChildFund Australia CEO recognised with international development award

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ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence received the highest recognition from the Australian international aid sector for his advocacy for children in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

Spence was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to the Sector Award by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) at its annual conference this year.

The award comes as ChildFund is on the global stage as principal charity partner for Rugby World Cup 2019.

To date, a record £2million pounds has been pledged by the global rugby community to support ChildFund’s Australian designed sport-for-development program ChildFund Pass it Back.

ACFID President Susan Pascoe said the award recognised Spence’s 40 years of committed, enthusiastic and tireless advocacy for children across the globe – from his start as social worker in 1981 to a leader widely respected across the international aid community.

Pascoe said Spence’s impact on the international development sector extended well beyond his current role as ChildFund Australia CEO and included advocacy on issues such as addressing gender-based violence in the pacific, children’s rights in international development and the declining Australian Aid Budget.

“It is the quality of your service that we wish to recognise, your generosity and your wealth of experience and expertise that you bring to the sector,” she said.

In his 14 years at ChildFund Australia Spence has led the organisation as it expanded its programs for children and young people in Vietnam and Papua New Guinea, and started new operations in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and the Pacific.

ChildFund Chief Operating Officer Adrian Graham said Spence had been a constant source of inspiration to ChildFund Australia staff, in Sydney and its 6 Asia country offices.

“Nigel has always demonstrated a genuine interest in and compassion for children. He has been unflagging in his belief in the importance of supporting vulnerable young people across our region,” Graham said.

“Through his leadership, Nigel has also ensured that ChildFund Australia has adapted to the changing needs of children, through innovative programming which responds to issues such as child protection, children’s resilience, and disaster response.

“On behalf of the ChildFund global network, I wish to congratulate Nigel for an award that is whole heartedly deserved,” Graham said.


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Pearl Dy is a community manager and journalist. She is passionate about business and development particularly involving not-for-profits, charity and social entrepreneurship.


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