Day 1

Meeting Points

The Oxfam Australia staff have been hard at work over the past few days preparing for the arrival of our guests. Today was a day for unpacking boxes, putting up banners and posters, organising rooms and welcoming people. It was great to meet all of the people that we’d only been communicating with electronically – putting faces to the names and finally hearing what they sound like in person.

Ascot Inn in Pietermartizburg was transformed into a bustling terminal as the over 100 participants who arrived today registered, had their photographs taken and opened their me-mailboxes. The afternoon thunderstorm forced us to convert our meeting terminal into a transport hub as we shuttled people through the rain to their accommodation. Not unexpectedly, not everything went to plan and there are many good examples of how quick thinking and innovative Oxfam Australia staff are under pressure! We will tell you these stories and many others over the coming days.

The media team has been trained and have practiced their skills this afternoon and will continue to create the windows that will allow you to peek into the event and share the experience with us. Look out for more pictures, more video, tweets, blogs and notes from the sessions.

This evenings’ conference dinner was opened by the Country Director of Oxfam Australia, Colin van Rooyen, who welcomed people to the event and invited everyone to make the space that the conference provided their own. After some light entertainment we all shared traditional South African braai together and settled in for after dinner chats; getting to know each other socially before we start tackling the serious issues of development tomorrow morning.

Conference Sessions

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