In Sydney today I met with a group of leading global innovators to share ideas and explore innovative ways to promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty through Australia's foreign aid program.

This International Reference Group  for the Australian Government's innovationXchange has been established to provide me with creative and innovative advice, harnessing the expertise, experience and networks of leaders in international development, media and communications, business and industry, arts and culture, health, financial services and research and science.

Announced in March this year, the innovationXchange is mandated to step outside traditional aid delivery comfort zones and find new and effective ways to tackle development challenges.

At today's meeting the IRG proposed innovative ideas involving the latest technologies,  private sector support and innovative financing to help solve some of the Indo-Pacific's  toughest development challenges. These ideas will be analysed, costed and trialled by the innovationXchange.

The innovationXchange has already embraced two initiatives; the Data for Health partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and SEED Pacific.

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