Today I launched the ‘pop up’ photographic exhibition -Close Up: Celebrating 40 years of Australian aid - showcasing the history and achievements of Australia’s aid program.

Over 40 years Australia has played a critical role in fostering economic growth, good governance and stability around the world, including in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, the Philippines and Afghanistan. Our efforts have included peace-building and humanitarian support, and have improved health, education, employment and economic opportunities.

This unique exhibition showcases the human dimension of the aid program and some of the significant milestones which have shaped Australia’s relationships with countries in the region and ultimately our place in the world.

After 40 years, Australian aid continues to evolve to reflect our values and to promote our ambition for peace and prosperity in our region. I commend this exhibition as a compelling account of Australia’s aid and development endeavours over the past four decades.

The contribution of Australian aid would not have been possible without our aid program staff, partner governments, multinational organisations, development banks, non-government organisations, private sector partners and volunteers, who have all contributed to extending the reach of our aid program.

Close Up: Celebrating 40 years of Australian aid is on display at the Nishi Gallery, Canberra, until 4 December 2014. The exhibition will tour Australia and key development posts in our region. It will also be available online

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