ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

About ActionAid Australia

ActionAid Australia is a women’s rights organisation. We are a member of a global Federation working in over 45 countries to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication.

Guided by feminist values and analysis

ActionAid stands with women experiencing injustice around the world, and supports them to take action to claim their human rights by collectively confronting the injustices they face.

  • We recognise that patriarchy and poverty are inextricably linked and believe that a feminist approach is essential to ending poverty and injustice.
  • We recognise the power in people and work in alliance with those who share our vision.
  • We work with our growing community activist network to hold Australian decision makers to account and to ensure that Australia is fulfilling its responsibility to protect and uphold the rights of women everywhere. We are bold in our actions, and speak out against injustices when others won’t.
  • We are determined.
  • We are uncompromising in our feminist approach and our pursuit of a just, equitable and sustainable world for all.
  • We recognise that we live and work on the land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have faced two centuries of dispossession of land.
  • We are committed to learning and growing our capacity to support indigenous struggles for justice in Australia. 

Our story

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Over 40 years, ActionAid Australia has built a strong foundation to increase our impact as we fight for women’s rights, global justice and poverty eradication. We brought experience in defending asylum seekers’ rights and ensuring protection in emergencies from Austcare, to the ActionAid Federation when we became ActionAid Australia in 2009.

Since then, we have sharpened this expertise, supporting transformational programs led by women living in poverty and exclusion around the world. We have supported women to achieve access to and control over productive resources and decision making, and protection during humanitarian disasters. We have opened space for women’s leadership in advocacy and policy influencing at the national, regional, and international levels.

Over the past five years, we have firmly established ourselves in Australia as a global women’s rights organisation supporting women living in poverty and exclusion in communities around the world, and have begun campaigning to address the structural causes of injustice.

How change happens

ActionAid believes poverty arises because people lack power. People are discriminated against, treated unequally, denied opportunities to participate in decision making processes affecting their lives and denied access to and control over the resources essential to their well-being.

This happens at the individual, household, community, national and international levels, when privileged groups gain control over resources and influence over others. It is essential to address these power imbalances if we are to eliminate poverty, gender inequality, and injustice. Social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication are achieved through purposeful individual and collective action to shift unequal and unjust power, whether it is hidden, visible or invisible.

Empowering women living in poverty and exclusion is crucial to achieving women’s rights and ending patriarchy, and ultimately achieving social justice, gender inequality, and poverty eradication. We will always put women’s voices, hopes for the future and leadership at the heart of our work, supporting women to organise collectively and mobilise with other allies to strengthen their power to affect change.

Active and organised people develop and drive change; which will transform power when led by those who are directly affected by injustice. Collective efforts and struggles in Australia and internationally have a greater impact when they are linked through solidarity and campaigning between communities, people’s organisations, social movements, and other allies to strengthen the power of people to drive structural change.

This includes campaigning and working to influence policy to transform power structures from the local to the global, as well as defining and driving alternatives.

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