Diasporas in Action Conference

Diasporas in Action Conference (26 – 27 September 2016)

In September 2016, Diaspora Action Australia, the University of Melbourne and the Diaspora Learning Network co-convened the conference Diasporas in Action: Working together for peace, development and humanitarian response.

Read about this conference’s exciting outcomes, below:


 “Diasporas offer deep cultural, economic and political insights into their countries of origin, which is powerful knowledge for Australian governments and agencies planning international development” – Denise Cauchi –

In this multi-stakeholder conference, Australian and international speakers explored the unique and growing contribution of diasporas, who are increasingly recognised as innovators in this space.

Started off as an initiative between Diaspora Action Australia and the University of Melbourne, the conference was co-convened by the Diaspora Learning Network whose members include the Australian Council for International Development, Refugee Council of Australia, Australian Red Cross, Oxfam Australia, Research for Development Impact Network and the Afghan Australian Rehabilitation and Development Organisation.

Diaspora Action Australia was honoured to co-host and coordinate this inaugural international conference. The conference themes covered the engagement of diasporas in:

  • Human development
  • Economic development
  • Conflict resolution and peacebuilding
  • Humanitarian issues and response
  • Human Rights
  • Settlement in host countries

Keynote speakers for this conference were:

  • Abel Gutteres (Timor-Leste Ambassador to Australia)
  • Finau Limuloa (International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)
  • Laurent de Bœck (International Organization for Migration)
  • Will Jones (University of Oxford)
  • Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie (Director, Up!-Africa Ltd) – 2016 MBE awardee for work with diasporas
  • Melissa Phillips (University of Melbourne, formerly with Danish Refugee Council)
  • Denise Cauchi (Diaspora Action Australia)

We interviewed members of four diaspora organisations who greatly benefited from attending this conference. Read about their stories here.