Who are ActionAid Australia, and where did we come from?
It's about human rights!
Securing human rights is the missing link between the world's rich and poor. It's the key to ending poverty.
People living in poverty are often treated as less than human. Robbed of their dignity and sense of equality, they often feel they have no rights.
We focus on the people that others forget. People in poverty. People who face discrimination. People whose voices are ignored.
We help people fight for the rights that they are denied. Simple things, like the right to eat. The right to stay on their land. To an education. To have a say in the decisions that shape their lives.
We’re not about giving handouts or telling people what to do, because in the long run we know that doesn’t work. Instead, we use our resources, influence and experience to help people find their own solutions.
We listen to what people really want and need. We help communities take action together to hold their governments to account, and we give local organisations our support where they need it. Together, we’re making a lasting difference.
The history of ActionAid Australia
ActionAid Australia was first established in 1967 as a national association dedicated to the rights of refugees called Austcare.
Austcare's initial goal was to raise awareness among the Australian community and government of the needs of the growing number of displaced people around the world.
Austcare first started working with global anti poverty agency ActionAid in 2005, responding to the South Asian earthquake in Pakistan and the Boxing Day Tsunami in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Austcare also partnered with ActionAid to provide emergency relief in response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, floods in Pakistan, Uganda and Nepal and Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh.
After four years of working together around the world, in April 2009 Austcare formalised its relationship with ActionAid by becoming a full affiliate of the global network.
Finally, on 1 June 2009 Austcare changed its name to ActionAid Australia, thus completing the transition.
The history of ActionAid International
ActionAid has been fighting poverty worldwide for over 30 years.
ActionAid started life in 1972 as British charity Action in Distress, which based its activities on educating children.
By 1984, ActionAid was reaching over 40,000 children in Asia and Africa and had set up fundraising affiliates in Ireland, Italy, France and Spain under the ActionAid name.
In the late 1990s ActionAid expanded its work to include peace building and conflict resolution and started to take a more active role lobbying financial institutions such as the World Trade Organisation.
ActionAid International, headquartered in Johannesburg, was launched in 2003, with all fundraising affiliates and country programs given voting rights on the ActionAid International board.
Today, ActionAid reaches 25 million people in over 40 countries worldwide.