Supporting women.
Defeating poverty.

Sometimes our leaders forget us,” says Petronella, who runs a women's savings group in Timor-Leste. “Especially those of us with disabilities."

Petronella works hard to ensure CARE Australia’s disaster-preparedness work in her community supports the needs of people with disabilities. 

She is one of the many local leaders who have informed CARE Australia’s work over the past year.

In a year of remarkable challenges, CARE Australia has stayed committed to supporting local priorities, constantly adapting our approach to make real, lasting differences for the communities we support. 

Our focus has been steadfast: supporting women to seize opportunities, pursue sustainable livelihoods, become leaders, and build their resilience to climate crises and economic shocks.

As the world faces widening gender inequality, rising costs of living, conflict, natural disasters, and intensifying climate emergencies, the need grows for our humanitarian responses and long-term programs that tackle the underlying causes of poverty.

We are one of the world's largest humanitarian networks operating in 109 countries, and this year we are proud to have directly reached 166,647,108 participants with 1,671 poverty-fighting projects. We celebrate the deep connections we have with the local partners and communities who we have worked alongside since 1945.

Gender equality is at the heart of CARE’s overall programming approach. Look for these icons throughout to see how we're supporting change in three ways:

Building individual agency
Strengthening relations
Transforming unequal power structures
Gender justice: supporting her to have equal opportunities
to have equal opportunities
Gender justice: supporting her to have equal opportunities

“When a woman in the community has an initiative, all other women come to support her.”

— Bule, Vanuatu

In many places, COVID-19 has rolled back decades of progress towards gender equality. CARE Australia is supporting women as they fight to build back better.

Bule is a champion for gender equality in her community; facilitating collaboration, sharing skills and knowledge, and supporting other women to speak up on the issues that affect them. 

One of the major concerns raised in her community was the prevalence of gender-based violence. After CARE Australia ran workshops on gender equality, Bule reports a dramatic shift in attitudes:

“Nowadays, you feel safe when you go around the community,” she shares. “We are living peacefully.”

“Attending the CARE workshops has greatly positively impacted my life. I am extremely grateful.” Not only have the workshops changed Bule’s life, but she makes sure she stands up for the rights of all the women in her community. 

“I speak for my friends whenever they are shy. I am not afraid to speak openly.”

Confident and independent, Bule offers advice and comfort to those in need and a voice that advocates for gender equality at the decision-making table.

Spotlight on our impact: Gender Equality Together in Vanuatu

This project supported women to join and lead the movement for gender equality in Vanuatu. All program participants reported increased leadership skills, confidence and knowledge, and noted that for the first time in Vanuatu, a project provided the space and time for young women to come together to create this kind of solidarity. Read the evaluation here.


In Timor-Leste, community leaders have come together to improve the health system for pregnant women and to change negative attitudes about modern contraception.

In Bangladesh, our local partner Mukti is providing safe spaces for women and girls, running comprehensive gender-based violence case management and referral systems, and providing need-based support.

In Tonga, our partner organisation The Talitha Project is changing household dynamics by running financial management sessions with adolescent girls and their family members. Covering topics like household labour, decision-making and budgeting, the workshops are shifting social norms to create an environment in which girls can grow up to become leaders.

In Jordan, group activities are challenging social norms, beliefs and practices around gender and sexuality that hold power over people’s lives. They are promoting a change in their communities for refugees and vulnerable Jordanians.

Climate justice: supporting her to strengthen her resilience
to strengthen her resilience

“Our mission is prevention. We save money at home and in the group so that we can attend to any disasters in the community.”

— Petronella, Timor-Leste

Climate disasters are causing endless crises – amplifying existing inequalities faced by women and girls. CARE Australia is supporting women to take a lead role in preparing for, and adapting to future crises and a changing climate.

Petronalla (centre) leads a CARE Australia-supported savings group in her community, where she makes sure the needs of all women are considered — especially those with disabilities, who she says are too often overlooked.

Group member Hermelinda (right) explains: “Even though I have a disability, I want to be part of the group so that I can save money.”

As climate change threatens to bring about more frequent and ferocious weather events, Petronalla has taught her group about the importance of saving money together, so that they have a means to support themselves when the next disaster strikes.

“We want to save money,” Petronella explains. “Our financial capital and interest is to attend to our own emergency situations,” she says.

Another group member, Natalia (left) explains: “These disasters are unexpected. When they happen, we call the group together and discuss how we are going to help with the disaster that the community is facing.” 

Spotlight on our impact: Disaster READY in Timor Leste

Supported by the Australian Government, this project helped communities in Timor-Leste better prepare for, manage and respond to rapid and slow onset disasters. Participants gained more knowledge and awareness of disaster risks, and thanks to women taking lead roles in Disaster Management Committees, the steps to prepare for crises became more inclusive of everyone’s needs. Read the evaluation here.


In Timor-Leste, the Government and private sector organisations are working with communities to ensure water sources are preserved and that areas vulnerable to landslides are protected.  

In Vanuatu, CARE Australia is supporting diverse groups of women to build economic resilience, which is critical to enabling communities to prepare for, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change.

In Somalia, our local partner WASDA is helping to minimise disease outbreaks through hygiene information sessions, as well as screening and referring children and pregnant and lactating women for acute malnutrition, and facilitating behaviour change sessions on infant and child feeding.

In Papua New Guinea, with CARE Australia’s assistance, the cocoa industry is piloting using clonal variety cocoa seedlings which have been developed in response to the devastation caused by the Cocoa Pod Borer.

Economic justice: supporting her to invest in her LIVELIHOOD
to invest in her LIVELIHOOD

“I am very confident about who I am now. I see working on the farm as part of my identity.”

 — Haneen, Jordan

Unfair barriers and discrimination keep women from financial independence. CARE Australia supports women to earn a fair wage in dignified work, and to have a say in how it’s spent. 

Haneen started her hydroponic farm on the roof of her house. With a grant and training from CARE Australia and our partner organisation Jordan River Foundation, she expanded to a larger site on proper farmland — despite her family’s concerns.

“My family, at the beginning, were hesitant about me working on a farm alone,” she explained. 

But they quickly realised Haneen’s financial independence was an incredible advantage. Within three years she’d outgrown the new site and moved to an even larger one — and has even hired a full time employee to work for her. With the full support of her family, including her husband, Hanneen says “Now it is a family business.”

“The first support to move [the farm] outside my house was from CARE, but the place I have now is from my profits. I knew all the costs needed to build the metal structure. Now I am planning to plant new crops.”

Spotlight on our impact: Boosting cocoa production in Papua New Guinea

This project built up the technical and social skills of farmers, strengthened cooperatives, and enhanced the effectiveness of farming groups in Papua New Guinea. Participants reported increased yields, with some becoming recognised leaders with demonstrated expertise in cocoa farming for their communities, and were even employed by other farmers to help on their cocoa blocks. Read the evaluation here. 


In Papua New Guinea, we are helping the cocoa industry connect women farmers with companies who buy their produce in bulk, increasing their participation in the cocoa market and improving their returns.

In Lebanon, CARE Australia provided emergency cash assistance to vulnerable and marginalised community members who were severely impacted by the explosion in the port of Beirut in 2020. This enabled them to meet their basic needs like food, medication and rent.

In Ukraine, our partner organisation, HelpAge International established safe spaces where older people affected by the war could participate in activities and be part of a community. The project ensured that older people with mobility restrictions and those who are isolated have improved access to social services to improve their wellbeing and resilience.

In Papua New Guinea, the effectiveness of cooperatives and other farmer groups is being increased thanks CARE Australia’s efforts to increase the participation of women through the establishment and strengthening of gender‐sensitive and inclusive structures and governance.

Emergency response: supporting her through crisis
her through crisis

“If it rains and the river floods, it will flood the school and there will be no school.”

— Raelyn, Solomon Islands

COVID-19, climate disasters, conflict and the global hunger crisis saw our global humanitarian response double in scale in less than three years. CARE Australia is driving the call for not only more aid, but better aid.

In February 2023, Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin both caused havoc across Solomon Islands. In the low-lying region where Raelyn is a teacher at her local primary school, the strong rains and flooding are an all-too-regular occurrence — and a life-threatening one to the children in her care. On top of the immediate danger, floods contaminate their water supply, and give rise to waterborne diseases which make the entire community sick.

CARE Australia’s partner organisation, Live and Learn Solomon Islands, installed a water tank in the school, so students have permanent access to clean drinking water, and is training Raelyn and other teachers to be equipped with the skills to lead during emergencies. 

Raelyn knows that being better prepared for emergencies will help ensure the school’s children are safer when the next disaster strikes:

“This project will help us teach the children how to be prepared when there are disaster events, and what to do when it happens. We will know what to do when there is flooding.”

Spotlight on our impact: Refugee response in Bangladesh

This project contributed to international efforts to meet the humanitarian and protection needs of the 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, as well as host communities in Bangladesh. Safe spaces for women and girls, as well as male engagement meetings helped change the attitudes of both women and men with regard to intimate partner violence, and the rights of women. Read the evaluation here.

CARE Australia responded to 37 emergencies directly and financially supported 7 emergency humanitarian responses conducted by CARE International.

Vanuatu: In March, Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin impacted more than 251,000 people across the country. The most urgent needs were shelter, food and water. CARE Australia’s response focused on early recovery priorities in the education and health sectors, reaching 9,927 people through the distribution of emergency shelter, household kits, community kits, agricultural and farming tools, and dry food rations.

Ukraine: The humanitarian catastrophe still unfolding after more than a year of violence in Ukraine continues to cause havoc,  with more than 17 million people in need of urgent assistance. CARE and our partners have reached more than 1.2 million people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, with cash, food, water, shelter, access to schools, and safe spaces for women and girls.

Türkiye and Syria: The massive earthquakes that struck in February left more than 54,000 people dead, 100,000 injured, and 3 million homeless. More than 9.1 million people were affected by the disaster. CARE and our partners have reached 740,000 people across both countries with shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation services, food, cash, and protection services, including psychological first aid.

Update from the Chief Executive Officer

Click here to read transcript
Peter Walton
Chief Executive Officer, CARE Australia
Thank you

Despite the challenges of 2023, the incredible support of our donors, partners, program participants, and staff has meant that we have been able to reach more people, increase our impact, and continue to deliver on our mission to support women and defeat poverty. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for every contribution you’ve made to support our work.

A challenging year, a world in crisis

The past 12 months have been challenging as the world navigated converging global crises. Devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the escalating hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, twin cyclones in the Pacific, and floods in Pakistan all highlight the urgency of CARE’s work. Ensuring communities are prepared for these crises and supported in the aftermath is as vital to CARE’s work as it ever has been.

Towards genuine locally-led impact

Stark global inequality is a timely wake-up call to change the way we work as humanitarians so that we are truly able to address the root causes of poverty. Creating genuine, long term partnerships with local organisations and governments will do much to put the power in the hands of those most affected. We are proud to be a part of the launch of the Pledge for Change initiative. CARE Australia is the only Australian INGO represented on the Pledge steering committee and I am looking forward to continuing this work to ensure we walk the talk on genuine locally-led impact.

Greater than the sum of our parts

As part of our commitment to ensuring CARE functions as the most effective and accountable confederation possible, we have begun the transition away from direct management of a number of our Country Offices, This will ensure we are able to focus on where CARE Australia can add the most value. We will continue to directly support our work in Myanmar, Timor Leste, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea.

Adapting to future realities

We remain committed to a number of strategic investments that cement us as a future-focused organisation. As planned, we have dedicated resources to the development of our new microfinance platform, Lendwithcare, which will revolutionise the way Australians can support the women we serve, and diversify the way we raise funds to deliver impact. We successfully applied for two $100,000+ grants through the 2023 Perpetual Trustees Impact Philanthropy Application Program to help fund this initiative. We also co-sponsored CARE International’s Global Radicals Fundraising Leadership Program, an initiative that will train 150 CARE staff — particularly in the Asia and Pacific regions — in high value fundraising, increasing our locally-led fundraising capacity in the global south.

Looking ahead

I am buoyed by the hope and resilience of the people and communities we work with, and the continued support of our donors; all of whom give us the inspiration and confidence to move our mission forward. No matter what the next year brings, we will continue to adapt — more determined than ever — to build a world where women and girls are valued, supported, and empowered. Thank you for joining us on this journey. 

CARE Australia’s global community



 of CARE Australia’s partners are local organisations. 



 of CARE Australia's Country Office staff were local to the countries in which they worked.



was contributed to CARE Australia's poverty-fighting work by our donors.


Supported more than 1.37 million people across 23 countries.

Responded to 37 emergencies across 16 countries.

Raised $1.5 million through emergency appeals. 

Delivered humanitarian assistance in times of emergency or crisis to more than 445, 618 people

A matter of trust

Click here to read transcript
Sue Cunningham
Director of Strategy and Enabling Services, CARE Australia

Our finances

We work hard to invest every dollar wisely: building strong and trusting partnerships with local organisations, backed up with strong financial stewardship and a commitment to efficiency and effectiveness in all activities. 

While monitoring our spending and keeping track of the number of people we reach helps us measure our efficiency, it's vital to complement this with evaluations that show the true impact and quality of our programs in order to make sure we are facilitating genuinely positive and lasting change for women and their communities.

2022/23 was the second year in our three year plan to adjust our operations to deliver maximum impact in response to an increasingly complex and changing environment. Our strong financial stewardship in recent years has put us in a good position to be able to undertake this investment plan in line with our organisational strategy. 

This was the second of three years in which we will be reporting a planned deficit as we implement this plan to deliver high quality projects supported by capable staff, secure technology and efficient processes. Our Board has approved a drawdown on our general reserves to implement this plan.

Our balance sheet reflects the change process that we are undertaking. Our liquidity position (ability to access cash when it's needed) has meant that we have been able to respond rapidly when crises hit. Our prudent reserves management will continue to provide a good platform for our planned investments.

How you supported CARE australia

Our total revenue in 2022/23 was $66.2m. Despite the unpredictability of life in Australia, our donors proved once again how generous they are. We saw incredible support for our emergency appeals, however we did experience an overall reduction in our donations income of $2.6m. Our grant revenue in the previous year was 7% higher than this year’s $54.4m, as we responded to less large scale disasters than the previous year.

Grants — CARE International Members (35%)

Grants — Other Australian (25%)

Public Fundraising (15%)

Grants – Multilateral agencies (9%)

Grants – Other overseas (8%)

Grants – DFAT (5%)

Other income (3%)

The impact of your investment

In 2022/23, our expenses decreased by 1% to $70.1m. We spent $55.3m on our international programs which represented 79% of our total expenditure. Prudent cost control ensured that we were able to keep accountability and administration costs to 7% and fundraising costs to 5% of this total. Accountability and administration costs increased compared to the previous year to reflect the planned investment from our strategic plan, including improving our cyber security and broader technology capabilities.

Funds to International Programs (79%)

includes Development and Resilience Programming, which are the funds we invest in supporting local communities to run long-term development programs, the logistics required, and the costs of expert programming staff to ensure the impact is maximised. Also in this category are funds spent on Emergency and Humanitarian Action which are the lifesaving measures taken to support women and marginalised groups to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters, conflicts and economic shocks. It includes disaster readiness and risk-reduction measures like training and prepositioning of supplies, support given to people in times of crisis, as well as the logistics required, and the costs of expert humanitarian staff to ensure the impact is maximised.

Program Support (7%)

includes the experts and advisors who deliver training, guidance, oversight, and evaluation of project initiatives and urgent emergency action by CARE Australia, as well as the costs of staff who are employed by the CARE International confederation to more cost-effectively provide services and expertise to all of its members — all in the name of maximising impact for the women we work with.

Accountability and Administration (7%)

refers to many of the costs required to ensure CARE Australia remains a strong, innovative and accountable organisation with a team capable of achieving our goals. This includes investments in infrastructure, technology and cybersecurity, human resources, finance and accountability, quality assurance and risk management, as well as the costs of our key leadership, administrative and support staff — in effect, the costs of ensuring that we operate in impactful and effective ways.

Fundraising (5%)

is how we secure cash donations, grants, and investments from long-term supporters. It covers the costs of our expert fundraising staff, our efforts to acquire new donors, and the provision of supporter care services — all of which help ensure our critical programming and advocacy can continue into the future with as much impact as possible.

Advocacy and Community Education (2%)

supports local partners to tackle inequality at a community level as well as petition for change. It also ensures members of the public in Australia and around the world are aware of social justice issues and the ways to overcome them, and are able to do their part.

Thank you from
the Board

Despite the financial pressures Australians are under this year, they continue to give; to support women facing the devastating impacts of climate change and an ever-widening gender gap.

Amidst floods, earthquakes, cyclones and displacement; our teams in Australia and at country-level with our local partners, continue to deliver against all odds. I am particularly grateful for our dedicated staff and partners.

War continues to rage in Ukraine and now in Sudan; as climate change drives increasingly intense cyclones which this year destroyed our offices in Vanuatu. The women and girls in communities that we serve need our solidarity now more than ever.

CARE Australia, as part of the global CARE confederation, aims to unlearn old ways of working by redefining the way aid is delivered and who it is delivered by.

Where we can break this new ground, we will. We must. And we cannot do this without the support of our donors, to whom I extend my deepest gratitude.

Marcus Laithwaite,
Chair CARE Australia

Our Board

About CARE

About CARE Australia

Throughout this report, CARE Australia refers to our operations in Australia, as well as Australian-based donor-supported and/or funded programs and emergency responses in the seven Country Offices we managed in 2022/23 (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Vietnam) and the six countries in which we worked through partners with no direct CARE presence (Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu).

We also collaborated with other CARE Members, Candidates, Affiliates and Country Offices. From Afghanistan to Syria, from Bangladesh to Ukraine, we utilised the CARE confederation’s resources to maximum effect.

CARE Australia was established in 1987. Former Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH was the founding Chair. We rely on the generous support of the Australian public to fund our work. We build on this support by attracting additional funds from institutional donors such as DFAT and the United Nations.

Unless otherwise indicated, all of the data in this report is from the 2022/23 financial year and all dollar figures are in Australian Dollars (AUD).

About CARE International

Throughout this report CARE International or CARE refers to the entire CARE International organisation consisting of a confederation of 21 International Members, Candidates and Affiliates — Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the UK and the USA — forming one of the world’s largest independent, international emergency relief and development assistance networks which worked in 109 countries in 2022/23. The national agencies operate independently but cooperate closely and work together with the CARE International Board and Secretariat, based in Geneva.

CARE International was founded in 1945. 


CARE Australia's 2023 Annual Report was produced in full adherence with the ACFID Code of Conduct requirements.

We welcome feedback on this report and in relation to our operations and conduct. Please send any feedback or complaints to Company Secretary, CARE Australia, PO Box 372, Collins St West, Melbourne, VIC, 8007 or

Feedback and complaints can also be lodged in each of the countries in which CARE Australia works via CARE Line at Further details can be found in CARE Australia’s complaints policy: Complaints relating to a breach of the ACFID Code of Conduct by an ACFID member can be made to the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee via


For donor support please call 1800 020 046.