Student Forum

Thursday 15 June 2017, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Venue: Abercrombie Building, University of Sydney Business School

A dedicated one-day forum for students will be run as an additional opportunity of RDI Conference 2017. The forum will be organised and run by students, and open to all. Following on from the RDI Conference theme for this year, ‘Partnering for Impact on Sustainable Development’, we invite you to explore the conference themes from a uniquely student perspective.

Who’s it for?

If you are a student interested in development, advocacy or partnering for change, then this is the forum for you! Mentors, teachers and all those who have an interest in the next generation of development professionals are also welcome!

Join us for a day of thought-provoking discussion, interactive workshops and our Students Partnering for Impact Competition (see below).

Registrations have now closed for the student forum.


View a draft program for the Student forum.

More information regarding the workshops and sessions will be available shortly.

Students Partnering for Impact Competition

We are thrilled to be hosting a competition for students as part of this year’s Forum with up to $10,000 funding up for grabs! Since the RDI Conference theme is ‘Partnerships for Impact on Sustainable Development’ we want to support international student projects across sectors, disciplines and geographic boundaries. The Students Partnering for Impact Award offers an opportunity for students to access funding for original development project ideas. 

The Award aims to create and nurture international collaboration among students from different regional areas and to promote student led projects that endeavour to contribute to local and international development. It provides financial support to students from different universities in the Asia, Pacific and African regions for their project related expenses, working collaboratively with students in Australia. 

Shortlisted applicants will present their project proposal at the Student Forum, either by preparing and submitting a video, via Skype or in person.

For full details of how to apply for the Award, please download the Students Partnering for Impact Award guidelines. To submit an application, please complete the application form and send to John Dooley at before 31 May 2017.


We have some excellent contributors on our program and the RDI Student Forum committee is grateful to all those who will be sharing their experiences with us throughout the day. Our guests include:

Ass. Professor Robyn Alders is a veterinarian and farmer who has dedicated her career to international development work with traditional smallholder farmers. She is the recipient of the inaugural international Mitchell Humanitarian Award for 2017. The award recognises Australians and others supported by Australian aid who have made an outstanding contribution to the cause of international development.

Dr Thushara Dibley is Deputy Director at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Her research focuses on the system of international aid and development, its interface with grassroots and transnational activism and their influence on human rights based policy and practice in Southeast Asia. She is the author of Partnerships for Peacebuilding’: NGOs as agents of peace in Aceh and Timor-Leste.

Alyssa Moynihan is the Grassroots Engagement Associate at RESULTS International Australia. She is an experienced volunteer manager and recently spent 6 months in the Asia-Pacific Regional Office of the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Rachel Nunn is the Head of International Engagement at the Oaktree Foundation. She has past experience with the World Bank and working in the Asia Pacific region.

Julian O’Shea is the Founder of Laika Academy - a social enterprise providing immersive educational programs across Asia. He is an award-winning humanitarian engineer, a Westpac Social Change Fellow, and loves going on travel adventures.