Message from Dr Sarah Cook (Director, IGD):

To the IGD community,

As we are all keenly aware, COVID-19 has generated challenges globally, here in Australia and for the tertiary education sector specifically - challenges which also extend to the international development sector and aid budgets. Given this context and inevitable financial constraints, it is clearly not possible in the short run to fulfil the ambitions which lay behind the establishment of the IGD. Through deliberations concerning the various options for maintaining the IGD, as a basis for building on our accomplishments in the future, the decision was taken by the UNSW leadership to disestablish the post of Director of the IGD from the end of 2020.
The IGD team, and the many colleagues with whom we work, are proud of what we have achieved over the past couple of years. We have collectively shaped an ambitious goal to position UNSW as a leading actor and thinker in the space of international development, in Australia and beyond. While we have not moved as far or as fast as we would have wished, due to circumstances outside our control, we have nonetheless come a long way. We have laid the foundations on which to strengthen the visibility and credibility of UNSW in the field of global development; we have established a strong network, that is better recognised within the university, in the academic and wider development communities in Australia, and increasingly among development institutes internationally. We have facilitated events, dialogues and student and faculty exchanges, established partnerships internationally, and raised funding for activities in collaboration with staff from many UNSW Faculties and Institutes. Our website and brand are now well-established, our events and activities well-attended, and our social media outreach has grown. Together with the small IGD team, I am committed over the coming months to consolidating these gains, so that UNSW can create a future pathway to success for the IGD.
The IGD will see further staff adjustments beyond the loss of my post. One of our Senior Project Officers, Michael Burnside, has accepted voluntary redundancy and will remain with the IGD until the end of October. He has included a message below. The task over the coming weeks and months, therefore, is to chart a course for a small team to maintain the identity and visibility of the IGD, and ensure continuity of key activities, until as we all hope the situation improves. I hope we can also rely on your continued support to the IGD as we navigate these changes.
I will return to Europe at the end of September, where I will continue in my post as Director until the end of the year. It has been a pleasure getting to know and working with you over the past two years. I remain committed to supporting the IGD into the future in any way I can and look forward to remaining in touch.


Dr Sarah Cook

Message from Michael Burnside (Senior Project Officer, IGD):

I joined the IGD because I believe in the diverse development work and thinking that occurs across UNSW every day. There is a rich and interesting development community here, and in my time with the IGD I am proud to have drawn together this community on numerous occasions to build connections internally and externally, to have found and created opportunities, and to have assisted projects to be impactful.

There is a bright future for development at UNSW, and the IGD can continue to enable good development work and thinking here. At this time, however, I have elected to seek opportunities further afield. I hope to remain in touch, and to continue to collaborate with many of you in the future.

My last day will be 30th October, and in my final weeks here I intend to assist Sarah and the team to ready the IGD for its future.

Kind regards,