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Australian Regional Leadership Initiative

Australian politicians to visit Rohingya camps as part of learning tour in Bangladesh 
17 January 2020

Save the Children will host the 9th parliamentary learning tour in Bangladesh from 18-23 January 2020 as part of its Australian Regional Leadership Initiative. 

Senator Wendy Askew, the Hon Senator Kristina Keneally, Angie Bell MP, Anne Aly MP and Josh Wilson MP will be led by Save the Children Australia’s CEO Paul Ronalds on visits to Australian funded aid programs in Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar, where almost one million Rohingya live in the largest refugee camp in the world.  

The aim of the learning tour is to provide parliamentarians with a firsthand experience of Australia’s aid program in Bangladesh, which is budgeted at $105 million dollars in 2020. 

The delegation will visit a number of Save the Children, World Food Programme, Care, Oxfam, BRAC, Plan and World Vision programs, focusing on women’s safety, child protection, education, sanitation, health and addressing extreme poverty.

Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds said the tour is an important opportunity to show politicians the incredible impact of Australian Aid.

“Australia’s aid program helps some of the most vulnerable children and families on the planet, such as those who’ve fled war and persecution, those facing abject poverty and discrimination – including the Rohingya people,” Mr Ronalds said.

Since 2017, Australia has provided more than $160 million to support the Rohingya response in Bangladesh and Myanmar, and other humanitarian crises in Myanmar.

“With the vast Cox’s Bazar refugee camps housing nearly one million Rohingya refugees displaced by conflict in neighbouring Myanmar, there are enormous logistical and humanitarian considerations. 

“This tour offers an invaluable insight into how we as humanitarian agencies address these challenges, and how Australian aid is supporting some of the most vulnerable people on earth,” said Mr Ronalds.

The learning tour is non-partisan, providing MPs and Senators of all persuasions a unique chance to see how Australian aid is making a difference first hand.

Save the Children thanks the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Offices of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for International Development and the Pacific and the Australian High Commission in Dhaka for their support of this leaning tour.


For interviews, call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918.

About the Australian Regional Leadership Initiative:

The Australian Regional Leadership Initiative is a Save the Children Australia project, made possible by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Save the Children has delivered eight learning tours since 2015 to recipients of Australian Aid including Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Solomon Islands and Cambodia.

Over 40 Members of Parliament, Senators and notable influencers have participated in ARLI including the Hon Darren Chester MP, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, the Hon Damian Drum MP,  Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds, Trent Zimmerman MP, Katie Allen MP, Senator Hollie Hughes, Dave Sharma MP, *Chris Crewther MP, Trevor Evans MP, Tim Wilson MP, Luke Howarth MP, *Andrew Broad MP, Senator Dean Smith,  Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Terri Butler MP, the Hon Andrew Leigh MP, Tim Hammond MP; *Gai Brodtmann MP (r), Lisa Chesters MP, Sharon Claydon MP, Tim Watts MP, Milton Dick MP, Senator Murray Watt, Luke Gosling MP, Senator Nita Green, *Susan Lamb MP, Senator Kimberley Kitching, Senator Jenny McAllister, Julian Hill MP, Peter Khalil MP, Madeleine King MP, Senator Nick McKim, *Senator Derryn Hinch, Josh Burns MP, Shayne Neumann MP, Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Ged Kearney MP and Meryl Swanson MP.

*No longer in Parliament.

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