Anthony Kelly

Anthony has been involved in development work for more than fifty years.  He taught development practice at the University of Queensland for twenty-five years and left in December of 2005 as he wanted to spend the last years of his career contributing more directly to the field of development practice.

After leaving the University and following 30 years of voluntary involvement with Oxfam Australia he then worked part-time with them for four years as a Training and Education Coordinator.  In the last years of his career, he worked as an associate for the Centre for Social Response, a small group of people committed to improving the responses of the corporate world to community issues.

Across the years Anthony has worked with staff from all three levels of Government in Australia and at all levels, from inductees to Ministers.  He has had the privilege of working with Community Organisations in every State, in urban as well as the most remote parts of Australia. In the latter years of his career, he worked with a range of transnational mining companies helping them form productive relationships with the communities with whom they have contact.

Anthony’s ideas have been deeply influenced by the Gandhian tradition and was taught this tradition by someone who knew Gandhi personally.  His education and training processes have been deeply influenced by the work of Paulo Freire and the multitude of applications of his seminal ideas.  Much of his international work has been in Asia, particularly India and his colleagues there have influenced him both theoretically and by their innovative practice which they have so generously shared.

A substantial part of Anthony’s work has been in the training and education of people in the practice of participatory development.  In this endeavour he has worked at different times directly from curriculum, from case and situational material, from competency agendas, or from practice theory to case application, often with the help of translators both amateur and professional.  Anthony’s style is to provide education and training environments that are both safe and challenging that honours the established knowledge of the participants.

As Anthony approaches his eightieth year he is now largely retired except when called on by his much-loved younger colleagues.