Conversations in Development

Talking about foreign aid, development and social change.

Conversations in Development is a series of open and honest conversations about issues in the aid and development sector with leading professionals in the field. Each episode features an expert guest in conversation with Peter Mason, the CEO of Cufa, and journalist Olivia Rosenman. The podcast is brought to you by Cufa, an international development agency creating infinite value alleviating poverty across the Asia Pacific . Produced by Olivia Rosenman with music by Studio Garry.

‘Sport and development’ refers to the use of sport as a tool for development and peace. It is now being increasingly used throughout the Pacific as a method to drive outcomes in areas such as health, social cohesion, gender equality and disability inclusion. We speak with Aaron Kearney, ABC journalist, broadcaster and member of the International Development team about the programs he has worked on throughout the Pacific and how they are delivering social change.

Aaron Kearney is a multi-award winning broadcaster, journalist and sports commentator with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. As a member of the ABC’s International Development team, he has led the communications support for the Pacific Sports Partnership, an Australian Aid program that promotes gender equality, disability inclusion and a variety of health benefits. Aaron has also worked as a commentary lead, training and mentoring female journalists across the Pacific in the Women In News and Sport (WINS) initiative.


This podcast is brought to you by Cufa, an international development agency alleviating poverty across the Asia Pacific .

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Gender inequality becomes lethal in natural disasters where women die in far greater numbers than men. Patriarchal systems often leave women responsible for children and elderly people in a disaster and exclude women from accessing information that could save their lives. We speak to Melissa Bungcaras, Gender and Resilience Advisor for ActionAid Australia, about how and why women should take a leading role in disaster preparedness planning and how aid agencies and governments both have a role to play in reducing the gender gap. ​

Melissa Bungcaras is the Gender and Resilience Advisor for ActionAid Australia. She is currently managing a portfolio of programs across the Asia-Pacific focused on women’s resilience to climate change and disasters, and drives policy advocacy on climate justice and women’s leadership in emergencies. Melissa has over 10 years’ experience in international development and environmental management, primarily in the Asia Pacific region.


This podcast is brought to you by Cufa, an international development agency alleviating poverty across the Asia Pacific .

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Releasing 26 November, this episode invites Melissa Bungcaras, the Gender and Resilience Manager for ActionAid Australia, to explore how patriarchal systems often leave women responsible for children and elderly people in a disaster and exclude women from accessing information that could save their lives. With the hosts, Melissa explores how and why women should take a leading role in disaster preparedness planning.

Make sure you've subscribed to Conversations in Development to catch all our open and honest conversations with industry experts about issues in foreign aid and the development sector.

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This episode is a departure from the Conversations in Development schedule to discuss the life of Guy Winship, a man who dedicated his life to the development sector.

Guy Winship was the founder and CEO of Good Return, an organisation that provides microfinance across the Asia-Pacific region. Good Return delivers programs to those who are financially and socially excluded, empowering through financial inclusion. Guy is a development expert who has worked in Africa, Asia and the Pacific for 30 years. He has consulted and advised governments and NGOs on microfinance, public policy and vocational training.


This podcast is brought to you by Cufa, an international development agency alleviating poverty across the Asia Pacific.

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Volunteer tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry that is increasingly run by for-profit organisations sending millions of volunteers to poor communities around the world. The industry is rarely researched and empirical data is scarce, so what are we missing? We speak with Stephen Wearing about how the industry is changing, how it could be regulated and how the media plays a role in popular perceptions of volunteer tourists.

Stephen Wearing is a conjoint professor at the University of Newcastle whose research focuses on sustainable tourism and the importance of community based approaches in the tourism and volunteering sector. For 22 years he ran VOICE Volunteers in Community Engagement (previously known as Youth Challenge Australia), a not-for-profit organisation sending volunteers on grassroots, community-identified development projects since 1992.


This podcast is brought to you by Cufa, an international development agency alleviating poverty across the Asia Pacific .

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