"After 10 wonderful years developing and running the IDC, I have made the big decision of moving on to new horizons."

Grant Mitchell, Director of IDC

Dear IDC Members and Partners,

I hope you had a well deserved restful holiday period and are ready for the year ahead.

Following a challenging yet impactful 2017, the IDC has a big year before us.

We will continue our global work to end the immigration detention of children and to expand use of alternatives to detention, including an increasing number of pilots being developed with local members around the world.

We will undertake a review of our work to date, including an external evaluation, and will be developing our next three-year Strategic Plan.

In 2018, the IDC will also be working to roll out of a range of new global tools, including the:

We are very excited about these tools and the continued work together with partners and members on the ground to see a world in which no one is subjected to immigration detention.

In addition, I have some news to share that after 10 wonderful years developing and running the IDC, I have made the big decision of moving on to new horizons in March.

This year, 2018, is the 25th year I have worked on asylum and detention issues, since 1993. It’s a great time for me to reflect on this wonderful work and I am excited to move to the next phase of my life.

I love the IDC and am thrilled to see how it has grown and strengthened, and the opportunities that lie ahead.

I had a strong vision for the IDC in 2008: that case management was a way forward to show governments there was no need to use damaging detention; that there were alternatives that work; and that the skills and expertise of our members could be harnessed for global change for people affected by immigration detention.

I have been excited and humbled to see on an almost daily basis that vision make a global impact. The work of the team and our members and their passion and dedication make me feel both proud and thankful.

I am excited that the IDC will be moving forward with a new leadership and developing its next 3-year strategic plan.

The IDC is a robust, responsive, reputable and resilient organisation, with an exciting future and an opportunity to explore further its global impact, building on the foundation of the past few years. Funding has been secured for the period ahead, and with a range of funding opportunities to enable it to both sustain and grow.

The Board have cemented a succession plan and next steps, with the position to be advertised this week and posted on our website www.idcoalition.org, with the aim to undertake interviews in early February.

A large part of the role has been instilling a trust and belief in our vision and model for change, from members to funders to UN and governments. The Board are focused on continuing the strong and clear vision for the IDC and for people affected by immigration detention with its strategic, practical and solutions-based way of working.

"I will continue to support the IDC and will remain of service in an individual capacity to support the work on alternatives to immigration detention."

As you all know, I feel strongly about the potential of government engagement as an advocacy strategy to impact the practical application of human rights. I will be pursing this in my PhD through a research program scholarship I received based at Swinburne University.

I have also increasingly felt the need to work on the right to life and liberty for LGBTI in countries where arrest and death penalty are prevalent and will be working to develop a new NGO focused on this.

As some countries move increasingly towards advancing the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for LGBTI, we are simultaneously seeing the targeting and arrest of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in 76 countries where homosexuality and gender diversity remain criminalized and marginalized. The vision and strategy for this new work really hit me recently, and I am excited to develop it further.

There are too many people to thank for their support over these past years; all of the team, the Board, the inspiring members and funders who believe in us. Thank you.

I have loved working with you all, and learning from and being inspired in so many ways. I know we will continue to keep our contact and connection in the wonderful work you are all doing, and that you will continue to expand into the future.