Welcome to Episode 60 of Good Will Hunters. In this episode, I’m chatting to Bridi Rice.
Bridi is Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Australian Council for International Development – Australia’s peak body for aid and international development. Prior to joining ACFID, Bridi was a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, delivering strategy, policy and project advice for domestic and international governments on social justice matters. She also worked in Papua New Guinea for three years as the Australian Government’s Senior Legal Adviser on anti-corruption and money laundering.
Bridi has over 12 years’ experience in human rights and international development, having worked in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Vietnam, Uganda, Qatar and the Pacific. She is currently completing postgraduate research with La Trobe University on counterpart perspectives of expatriate advisers in Papua New Guinea. Bridi is an emerging leader in the sector who is passionate about the intersection of development and human security – putting humans at the heart Australia’s international development cooperation program. Bridi is a regular speaker to diplomatic and conference audiences in Australia and abroad.
I had the great honour of working with Bridi throughout 2019, and she is strikingly candid, articulate, and knowledgable. She’s a wealth of insight and experience, and she shares a lot in this episode, so I hope you enjoy it.
As we go to air today, much of the East Coast of Australia is on fire. I myself wad evacuated from my Summer holiday in the town of Thredbo, in the Southern Slopes of NSW. As we drove up the Hume Highway to Sydney, being diverted on and off the road by the Emergency Services personnel, it was abundantly clear that this is not as business as usual. This is a new era of environmental damage for Australia, as over 9 billion hectares of our forests burn, far outnumbering other recent fires we’ve seen internationally.
As we debate how we can provide more resources to our fire-affected communities and to our emergency services, we also remain in the middle of a debate over the future of our aid policy. When the need is greater at home, it can invoke debate over how we prioritise our spending. It’s a topic I’ll be bringing up with some of our guests in the coming weeks.
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Rachel and the GWH Team