ACIAR’s CEO, Mr Peter Core, addressed the ACT Branch of the Australian Institute of International Affairs on 21 July 2009, on the topic ACIAR: Its origins, its strengths, its contribution to Australian Foregin Policy over the past seven years.
An abstract and the full text of the speech are below.
ACIAR origins are grounded firmly in Australia’s foreign policy. It was in the lead up to the Commonwealth’s Heads of Government meeting in Melbourne in 1981 when it was announced that ‘…an agricultural research centre would be established in Australia concerned with the needs of developing countries. The new Centre, which will be known as the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research - ACIAR - will be established as a small statutory body responsible to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. It will be charged with contracting research work to existing Australian institutions in the field of agriculture and related disciplines for the benefit of developing countries’.
ACIAR was formally established in July 1982 and its original foundations - 27 years later - remain just as germane today. It continues to report to the Foreign Minister and supports broad government priorities in the international domain. Behind ACIAR’s establishment are several key figures - none more so than the late Sir John Crawford. This paper sketches his contribution in the lead up to ACIAR’s establishment.
ACIAR has had four chief executives in its 27 year tenure. A new CEO takes over on 31 July 2009. This paper focuses on ACIAR’s contributions to Australia’s international agenda over the past seven years. It takes the opportunity to sketch ACIAR’s origins and describes the potency of longer term research partnerships with key Australian institutions to produce cost effective development impacts.