IM4DC hosted an Alumni Forum on 22 May 2013 for 70 alumni from 18 participating countries, following the Mining for Development Conference in Sydney, Australia.

The Alumni Forum began with a welcome from Mr James Gilling, First Assistant Director General, Australian Aid, who said mining for development alumni represented a force for considerable change within countries they worked.

“Your capacity, your insights, your quality, will have a big influence on how things turn out in your countries,” said Mr Gilling, who urged alumni to build a habit of sharing information and ideas.

“Training is critical, but almost more important than that are the ongoing networks that you are building now,” he said.

With the benefit of knowledge gained from leaders in mining for development at the conference, energised participants spent the day providing feedback on the IM4DC program and discussing the opportunities and challenges of building mining for development capacity in their home countries.

They also discussed and debated their country issues, learned more about the online M4D Link community of practice, and strengthened their regional and global networks.

The feedback provided from participants at the forum is highly valued by IM4DC and Australian Aid, which are jointly responsible for building and strengthening the strategic education and research program and its wide range of supporting activities.

The feedback has been used to plan IM4DC’s 2013-14 program.