Oxfam – By Any Other Name
Wednesday, 13th July 2005 at 1:07 pm
Oxfam Community Aid Abroad officially changed its name to Oxfam Australia, on July 1, 2005 with a public announcement that it’s changing its name, not its values.
The agency, which has been phasing in its new name over the past six months, says it is making the change to increase its impact by clearly identifying itself as part of the Oxfam International family.
Oxfam Australia’s Executive Director, Andrew Hewett says the name ‘Oxfam Australia’ gives us a much stronger association with an international agency that is respected and known throughout the world in a way Community Aid Abroad simply could not be.
He says changing their name is another step in the process of aligning themselves with Oxfam International.
He says Oxfam has a long history of working with communities overseas and in Australia to overcome poverty and injustice.
He says this work will continue, just as Oxfam Australia will continue to be an independent Australian secular agency, accountable to its members and supporters.
In 1995, a number of like-minded international non-government organisations, including Community Aid Abroad, joined together to form Oxfam International. By combining resources and working together under one name, the organisations believed they could become a more effective and powerful force in seeking to reduce global poverty and injustice.
Hewett says the greater impact of this joint response can be seen in Oxfam Australia’s emergencies, campaigns and program work. After the ballot on East Timor’s future in 1999 and the end of militia-led violence, Oxfam Australia led the Oxfam International response, drawing on resources and expertise from Oxfam affiliates.
He says that collectively the agencies were able to implement large-scale water and sanitation programs far beyond the capacity of one stand-alone agency.
Today, Oxfam Australia remains the lead Oxfam in East Timor, implementing long-term development programs on behalf of Oxfam affiliates such as Oxfam Great Britain and Oxfam Hong Kong.
Hewett says being part of Oxfam International has given Oxfam Australia access to a wealth of research expertise and research studies that it can use in its advocacy work in Australia.
He says it has also given the agency considerable access to political influence allowing Oxfam Australia to readily target the World Trade Organisation in Geneva or the World Bank in Washington with Oxfam offices based in these cities.