ChildFund welcomes Labor policy but urges for greater bipartisanship on international aid

ChildFund Australia has warmly welcomed Senator Penny Wong’s announcement that a Labor Shorten government would seek to rebuild the Australian Aid program.

This includes a commitment to increasing aid volumes over the long-term, and focusing on delivering aid programs in the areas of health, education, gender equality, climate change, infrastructure and inclusion.

ChildFund, is encouraged by the recognition given by Labor to the important role that overseas development assistance plays as a central pillar of Australia’s Foreign Policy.

In the light of Senator Wong’s announcement ChildFund CEO Nigel Spence has again urged all sides of politics to find common ground on Australian Aid.

Mr Spence said: “There are enormous challenges for people in poor communities around our region, often exacerbated by conflict and civil unrest, economic volatility, rising inequality, record-breaking numbers of displaced people, and increasing severity and frequency of natural disasters due to climate change. They need Australia’s help.

“Unfortunately, this global uncertainty is also resulting in greater nationalism and populist views.

“The Australian Aid program should reflect our national values of fairness, generosity, and compassion towards our neighbours. We want to see a renewed spirit of bipartisanship on aid among our political leaders.”

As it stands, the next Federal Budget  will see overseas development assistance – which is already at the lowest level in Australia’s history – decline further to just 19c in every $100 of gross national income by 2021.

Mr Spence added: “Australian aid plays a vital role in giving vulnerable children in our region the opportunity to attend school, access healthcare, eat nutritious food, learn vocational skills, participate meaningfully in their communities and, importantly, give them hope for the future.

“For so many children, this has meant giving them back their childhood. The impact of Australian Aid in our region is something we can all be immensely proud of, and something that deserves the support of all of our political leaders.”

Marking 200 days to go until Rugby World Cup 2019, World Rugby and ChildFund, the principal charity partner for Rugby World Cup, have confirmed that a record AU$3 million has been pledged to ChildFund Pass It Back, strongly showcasing rugby’s values.

In an incredible show of solidarity and generosity of the global rugby family, as well as Rugby World Cup 2019’s worldwide commercial partners, the pledged donations will support ChildFund Pass It Back, an innovative sport for development program led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby and Asia Rugby that delivers an integrated life skills and rugby curriculum for children and young people in disadvantaged communities across Asia.

Pledged funds will enable more than 25,000 children and young people from disadvantaged communities across Asia to take part in and benefit from the programme. With a focus on gender inclusion, approximately half of all players and coaches to-date are female. The programme’s objectives are to equip children and young people in Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and ‘pass it back’ to their communities.

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “Today marks 200 days until Rugby World Cup 2019, and we are thrilled to see this powerful demonstration of the spirit and values of rugby among fans throughout the world, which reaffirms our belief that Japan 2019 will be the most impactful Rugby World Cup.

“ChildFund Pass It Back is transforming the lives of children living in some of Asia’s most vulnerable communities, and the rugby community can be proud of its role in helping to foster a new generation of players in the world’s most populous and youthful continent.”

The pledged donations, which are a record for a Rugby World Cup, will also assist with emergency relief efforts in disaster-affected areas in Japan.

Gosper added: “Through our wider Impact Beyond programme, we will leave a positive lasting legacy in Japan, including providing support via ChildFund to lessen the worst impacts of any natural disasters faced by children and their communities in the years to come.”

ChildFund CEO Nigel Spence said: “At ChildFund, we believe that every child, regardless of their birthplace, has the right to play, learn and grow, which is why ChildFund Pass it Back was originally established for children in developing communities who face significant challenges around poverty and inequality.

“Sport has the incredible power to unite people and communities, As World Rugby’s principal charity partner for Rugby World Cup 2019, we are delighted to witness the generosity of the rugby family, and to know that our programme can benefit even more vulnerable children in Asia.

The funds pledged through Rugby World Cup 2019 will enable more than 25,000 children from countries in Asia, including Japan, the opportunity to benefit from their participation in ChildFund Pass It Back.

This innovative rugby and life skills programme builds resilience and includes learning on leadership, problem-solving, gender equity, conflict-resolution and planning for the future.

Gosper added: “We believe Rugby World Cup 2019 will be the most impactful ever in terms of the long-term legacy it will leave in Japan and the wider Asia region.”

For more information on the ChildFund Pass it Back programme, visit