Last month, Palladium acquired managing contractor Scope Global from the South Australian Government. As of today, Scope Global is officially rebranded Palladium.
“For the past 30 years, Scope Global has been delivering inclusive international education, training, and skills development programs across the Indo-Pacific region,” says Palladium CEO Christopher Hirst. “These are capabilities that Palladium has also been building, and we see great potential to grow and expand our impact together under one brand.”
Since 1991, Scope Global has delivered more than 300 programs and worked with over 10,000 people to create sustainable change through inclusive international education, training, and skills development projects. With more than 170 employees across the Indo-Pacific region, the team provides on-the-ground support to both their program participants and stakeholders.
Celebrating Local Teams
For Farheen Khurrum, Director of International Development Programs, this approach to localisation is a critical aspect and strength. “We talk about the localisation agenda a lot, but for our teams it’s not just a buzzword, it’s what we do,” she explains.
“We cannot use a cut and paste approach for our programs, instead we contextualise to local practices using iterative processes and support the country teams to enable sustainable change.” Khurrum shares one of their flagship programs, the Kiribati Facility as an example. “With COVID we faced multi-layered challenges, but it also brought opportunities such as broader participation and ownership from local teams and government.”
“Seldom are we ever in the front row when we talk about the program, it’s always our local team on the ground,” Khurrum adds. “We celebrate them and make sure they have the training, capacity, relevant systems, and tools to execute effective and sustainable delivery.”
Khurrum says that it’s a lot of work from behind the scenes, and that they don’t look for their name in bright lights; rather, pride comes from seeing their people in big forums or on panels speaking about their work and influencing governments and stakeholders.
“They are the drivers of change – that’s ownership and that’s localisation,” she says.
With a particular focus on access and inclusion, Scope Global’s unique in-house disability inclusion service, Maven, works with businesses to break down barriers to accessibility and create employment opportunities for people with disability.
“It’s an honour to work with our Mavens who bring their lived experiences of disability to our work and can advise us and our clients on the practical approaches needed to solve complex inclusion challenges,” says Khurrum. “Maven’s suite of tailored inclusion services enables government, civil society and private sector organisations to fulfil their access and inclusion goals.
There are a lot of opportunities and potential for Maven to grow and become global,” Khurrum explains. For her, it’s yet another example of putting their people first and allowing the experts to shine, while working in the background to ensure they’re equipped with everything they need.
Beyond Awards and Scholarships
Scope Global delivers international scholarship programs on behalf of the Australian Government, including the New Colombo Plan, which provides scholarship and mobility grants to Australian undergraduate students to study in over 40 locations in the Indo-Pacific.
Since 2015, Scope Global has partnered with DFAT in the delivery of Australia Awards programs in multiple countries, providing emerging leaders in South Asia and Mongolia with opportunities to contribute to their country’s development and serving as a conduit for public and economic diplomacy.
“Up until now, while a huge source of pride, our work has been focused on one side of things – scholarships, education, skills, and training programs,” Khurrum explains. “Now as Palladium, we have access to a broader platform, from humanitarian relief and climate change to impact investing, which will allow us to scale up, increase our impact, and provide new, global growth opportunities to our staff.”
Khurrum concludes that she’s looking forward to learning from Palladium and vice versa. “We don’t want to recreate the same things we’ve been doing; together, we can grow beyond our existing work, clients, and geographies with new colleagues, new capabilities, and a new footprint.”
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