2018 was a year of consolidation for AID/WATCH, where we rebuilt our internal structures, strengthened our on-the-ground links with community-based organisations in Papua New Guinea, and collaborated with partner organisations in Australia to undertake joint campaigning. Through the year we developed a new proposal for a new ‘Global Justice Project’, which is now to be created in 2019.
Our renewed internal strength is reflected in our extended Management Committee, and the addition of a new part-time communications assistant, Dina Rui Hopstad, who is worked closely with AID/WATCH coordinator and campaigner Nat (Natalie) Lowrey to help boost our public engagement and membership. We also have established a new website, which provides our supporters with regular updates and easier management of membership and donatons. Speacial thanks to Glenn Todd from Dvize.com and Dina Hopstad Rui for support with building the website.
Our links with Papaua New Guinea (PNG) have deepened further, principally through the work of Nat Lowrey where we have joined with a range of community groups and organisations to undertake an extensive program of campaigning against land-grabbing. In 2018 this entailed a range of activities including a speakers tour, on-the-ground investigation into the conditions for displaced communities, and public campaigning, for instance, opposition to the agenda of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, a gathering of 21 Asia-Pacific leaders, which met in PNG in late 2018. We have maintained a range of other campaign commitments as outlined below in the campaign report.
Our collaboration with partner organisations in Australia have deepened considerably during 2018, enabling us to undertake research including a joint social mapping project with Jubilee Australia and the Paga Hill communtiy in Port Moresby, PNG with the support of Media Stockade and funds from the Caledonia Foundation. With these and other organisations we have been developing a proposal for a collaborative ‘Global Justice Project’ where we can establish a new focus for the wide range of international justice-focused campaigning in Australia. We have secured funding for this project through The Christenson Fund and will be seeking to establish the collaboration in 2019. This is a major departure for AID/WATCH and is the product of several years of strategizing and engagement.
I wish to thank the Management Committee for their on-going generous commitment to AID/WATCH, and our campaigner Nat Lowrey, and communications assistant, Dina Rui Hopstad, for their vitally important work with the organisation. We would also like to thank Planet Wheeler for the significant funds that helped us through our late 2017 and 2018. And most important, a big thank-you to our members and supporters who have helped us to arrive at this new juncture in the development of the organisation.
Special thanks to Planet Wheeler for the significant funds that enabled
AID/WATCH to continue our important work throughout 2017 and 2018