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CEO, Cufa

Peter Mason has been the CEO of international development agency Cufa for the last twelve years. Cufa’s programs focus on economic development of underserved and disadvantaged communities across the Asia Pacific region. Cufa works through multiple approaches including education, employment, enterprise, and financial institution development. This work is carried out by local Cufa offices and country staff who work with local communities, institutions, and governments.

Peter has worked in Cambodia, Timor Leste, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the Federated States of Micronesia. His research interests include examining the way in which social and the economic interact within the development environment and he has recently published a chapter, Credit Unions in Routledge’s Alternative Organisations.

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Colette joined Cufa’s board in August 2018. With over 20 years’ experience in leading NGO’s both in Australia and Internationally, Colette brings a unique synthesis of effective and respectful leadership skills and practical experience gained through roles as the Laos-based Country Director for a global NGO, CEO of an Indigenous financial inclusion foundation, and strategic public-private partnership manager. Colette has extensive knowledge and expertise in female-centred economic development programs, microfinance and financial inclusion and is a highly skilled fundraiser and strategic stakeholder management advisor.

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Amanda Young is an Indigenous woman to the Pacific Islands who has worked extensively across the political, social and economic equity of Indigenous people. A lawyer by trade, she has worked in criminal law, government, commerce and as the CEO of an Australian Indigenous economic charity she won awards for a world-first Indigenous financial edutech program and a superannuation outreach program that reunited $24 million superannuation with its remote Indigenous owners. An Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity at the London School of Economics, she has attended Harvard and Stanford executive business schools, she now builds the Oceania Atlantic Fellows program at the University of Melbourne as its partnerships manager.

Chris has been a volunteer in the international development sector for 35 years and is a strong advocate of customer owned banking – she is Chair of RESULTS Australia, Chair of Women in Aid & Development, Director of Gateway Bank and a member of CUFA International Programs Committee. She has been a director and Chair of a number of not for profit, government, mutual and corporate organisations including CUA, ACFID Code of Conduct Committee and was the recipient of the inaugural ACFID Award for Outstanding Service to the Aid and Development Sector. Chris believes our society is stronger, better managed and better governed with women in leadership roles. To that end her aim as the founder and Chair of the Women In Aid & Development network is to encourage, inspire and support women to advance their careers and, in time, secure leadership, CEO and director roles.

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Rithy is a young Cambodian entrepreneur who co-founded SmallWorld Venture, which focuses on investing in & supporting early stage team-startups and redefined their goal toward building tech-startups and aligning with the green business movement. He also co-founded Codingate.com, a local software development firm specializing in mobile and web applications.

Since 2016, Rithy has led a blockchain and decentralized application research and a development project at SmallWorld Research Lab. Now called KOOMPI OS, this R&D project aims to apply blockchain applications to broader markets and industries. During the same time, he co-founded two other projects; VitaminAir.org a reforestation project which is currently piloting on a 100 hectares estate located in the western side of Cambodia. And Selendra.org is a blockchain platform for ownership and digital assets tokenization built with Substrate Framework.

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Jeff Bost is a career international development consultant. His expertise covers team leadership; program design, management, and performance assessment; monitoring and evaluation, and training. He has a passion for mentoring counterpart staff and young professionals. Jeff is a former AusAID/DFAT officer with postings to the Australian Embassies in Jakarta and Beijing, and with the intergovernmental organisation the Commonwealth Secretariat with postings to London and the Solomon Islands. He has carried out long and short-term assignments across a wide range of sectors in over 40 countries in Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Pacific, Europe and North America.

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Manuel Renteria is a Team Leader for Carers Queensland with a Bachelor in Agricultural Engineering and a Masters in Agricultural Development. He was born in Colombia during the armed conflict between the government, guerilla groups, crime syndicates and paramilitary groups. Before relocating to Australia, He worked for 8 years as a Project Coordinator for the Development and Peace Corporation of Magdalena Medio (CDPMM) in Colombia. Some of his areas of expertise include culture, health, poverty, human right violations and regional conflict.

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Nigel Spence is a Research to Practice Associate at the Institute for Global Development at the University of New South Wales. He is currently completing a PhD investigating the influence of international organisations on child protection policy in Vietnam. Nigel recently completed 14years as CEO of ChildFund Australia overseeing child-focused development programs in the Asia-Pacific region. He also contributed to the wider international development sector and in 2019 was awarded the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), Outstanding Contribution to the Sector Award. Previously, Nigel was CEO of the NSW Association of Children's Welfare Agencies (ACWA). His early career was as a child welfare social worker in Australia and the UK.

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Dr Michael Spann is a Founding Director of Square Circle which is a global development consulting company headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Working at the intersection of theory and practice, Square Circle offers services in leadership and policy; governance; institutional strengthening; program design and management; digital storytelling; research; monitoring and evaluation; and conflict, peace and development. Square Circle works with a diverse range of clients and stakeholders throughout the Indo-Pacific and puts an emphasis on sustainable and inclusive development. Dr Spann also lectures in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland on global development, political economy and Indo-Pacific security.

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Nicole Stanmore is the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Australia, an international NGO that works in partnership with volunteers, corporate partners and families to provide appropriate housing solutions in sustainable communities. Prior to joining Habitat, Nicole held senior positions at the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and at Good Return, an international development agency providing microfinance and financial literacy. Nicoles is a lawer by training, has an MBA from Cambridge University in the UK and is originally from Santiago, Chile.

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