Since its founding in 1990 through the vision and philanthropy of the late Bill Taylor AO, FDC has undertaken a wide range of action research; initiatives that pool experience, expertise and resources; and activities that foster greater participation with and by the private sector in development cooperation. Typically, FDC initiatives aim at a strategic and institutional level informed by grassroots and country-specific circumstances.
FDC’s mandate is underpinned by the philosophy of self-reliance and the pursuit of opportunities and initiatives that enable institutions and communities to help themselves. FDC promotes development through cooperation and partnership, particularly with the private sector, to deliver sustainable economic growth and development outcomes.
This is consistent with the vision and mission of Bill Taylor, who worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York for over 20 years, including as head of the UNDP’s Development Finance Service. During this time he recognised the contribution an independent organisation could make in marshalling the private, academic, NGO and public sectors to work toward alleviating poverty and reducing disadvantage in the Asia Pacific region.
Bill spent much of the 1980s garnering support within Australia and overseas for FDC’s vision, as well as consulting with departments of the Australian government and other stakeholders to secure tax deductability status for FDC from the Australian Taxation Office. In November 1989, Australian Treasurer Paul Keating agreed to name FDC in the Income Tax Assessment Act, allowing FDC to function as an independent Australian foundation with tax deductability status – one of only two internationally-oriented organisations at that time.
Although the Asia Pacific region has experienced stunning economic growth and impressive gains on development outcomes over the past 25 years, poverty, lack of access to basic services and the challenges of poor infrastructure and remote locations remain. As the middle class in our region grows, the imperative to promote equitable growth remains as important as ever. FDC remains committed to its mandate to make a distinctive contribution to building prosperity in the Asia Pacific region through collaboration.
- FDC becomes secretariat for the APEC Business Advisory Council’s Advisory Group on Financial Inclusion
- FDC designs and helps rolls out innovative Energy4All across Asia
- FDC develops and initiates a bottom-up governance leadership program for women in the Pacific
- Convenes a taskforce and publishes report on ’A better fit: National security and Australia’s aid program’
- Publishes handbook on how to improve the social, economic and physical conditions of women market vendors in Fiji
- Publishes research on the impact of financial education on remittances in the Singapore-Indonesia corridor
- FDC successfully advocates for inclusion of microfinance in the reconstruction program for East Timor
- FDC’s research agenda extended to include ICT, resources and remittances
- Partnership with Citi Foundation begins
- Inaugural FDC flagship events begun, including the Asia Microfinance Forum and Pacific Microfinance Week
- FDC founds Oceania Development Network
- FDC founds Microfinance Pasifika Network
- Development cooperation in the Asia Pacific region officially becomes part of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) agenda
- FDC’s first project, “Banking with the Poor” initiated and reports published
- Dr John Conroy appointed as FDC Executive Director
- First meeting of the FDC Board of Governors, March 1990 (Sir Gordon Jackson, AK; Dr Brian Scott, AO; Sir Llew Edwards, AC; General Eva Burrows, AC; Mr John O’Keefe; Mr Bill Taylor)
- Australian Federal Treasurer makes FDC one of only two international organisations in Australia with gift deductibility status
- Extensive consultations begin in Australia with Sir Gordon Jackson and Dr. Brian Scott assisting in formulating FDC in 1980s
- Proposal for an “Australian Institute for Development” developed and the Australian Institute for International Affairs publishes a paper by Bill Taylor: “Towards a New Foreign Aid Policy” in 1960s