[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The executive director of the Anglican Church of Australia’s international development body has been honoured by the country’s aid agencies. The Revd John Deane, executive director of the Anglican Board of Mission – Australia (ABM) and a trustee of the global Anglican Alliance, received the Australian Council for International Development’s (ACFID) award for “Outstanding Contribution” to the sector at their annual meeting last week.
“The key criterion for the award was 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,” the AMB said in a statement.
Deane has served on ACFID’s Committee for Development Cooperation (CDC) for almost 20 years. “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,” ACFID’s president, Sam Mostyn, said in a letter confirming the award. “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.”
In addition to being a trustee of the Anglican Alliance, Deane also chairs its advisory council. The Alliance’s co-executive director, the Revd Rachel Carnegie, congratulated him on his award. “All of us at the Anglican Alliance wish to congratulate John on this outstanding achievement – and salute him for all that he has done to build effectiveness and partnerships in the development sector, including with Anglican organisations. This award is certainly richly deserved.
“Through his leadership of the Anglican Board of Mission, the Anglican Alliance as a whole – and many provinces in the Communion – have benefited from his vision and wisdom.”
At its meeting last week, ACFID expressed concern about “the alarming issue of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.” In a unanimously-adopted resolution, ACFID called for sustained diplomatic engagement “to develop strategies to combat human rights abuses against people who use drugs” and called on the Australian government “to sustain bilateral political engagement with the Philippines that works towards ending the extrajudicial killings, and seeks a harm reduction approach to supporting the 700,000 drug users who have identified themselves to the Philippines authorities within current legal frameworks.”