in 2021

Changing it up


The only constant is change. This has never been more true than in this last year, for all of us — and here at CARE Australia it’s been no different. What hasn’t changed is the fact that CARE Australia puts women and girls at the heart of our work. 

When a woman finds her voice, she uses it to speak out, not just for herself, but for those around her, which means that when a woman has the opportunity to escape poverty, she brings her family and her community with her. That’s not only a powerful multiplier, it’s great leadership. It’s why investing in women isn’t just morally right. It’s the smartest way to help communities defeat poverty.

This year, we’ve reviewed our achievements in our last strategy and forged new pathways to best support our local partners and the people and communities we work with for success. As we move in to a new chapter, we’re excited to continue improving the way we work in true collaboration with local communities, organisations and governments to ensure women:

•  Have equal opportunities to earn an income and have sustainable livelihoods.
•  Gain access to their fair share of resources.
•  Lead and participate in decisions that affect their lives.
•  Have the resilience to withstand the increasing impacts of climate change and other crises and shocks.

It is unacceptable that women should be disadvantaged compared to men. Women and girls bear the brunt of poverty and are more severely affected by crises like climate change, disasters, COVID-19, conflict and other emergencies. CARE Australia puts the fight for gender equality at the centre of our work because it is the most effective way to fight poverty — and it’s now more important than ever. 

To deliver meaningful and lasting outcomes, it is not just about having empowered individuals; it is also about challenging gender inequality across society: in economic, social and government spheres, to improve representation of women and unequal power dynamics. And we must go one step further, supporting local partners to challenge the very systems that perpetuate injustices and keep people in poverty. And we, too, advocate for Australia to do its fair share to address global injustices and inequalities, as part of the international community.

Our path towards gender equality:

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Build individual agency

Our poverty-fighting programs help build the self-esteem, confidence, and aspirations of people experiencing gender discrimination. 

Through helping women develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities, they are able to seize opportunities to earn an income, have sustainable livelihoods, and develop the resilience to withstand the increasing impacts of climate disasters and emergencies.

Read Arifa’s story
of individual empowerment.
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Change relations

We work with families, communities, within economic and government spheres, marketplaces, and entire societies to change the power dynamics that sustain gender inequality. 

This helps women claim their fair share of resources and opportunities, assume leadership positions, and participate in decisions that affect their lives. 

Read Roslyn’s story of community leadership.
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Transform power structures

We seek to shift resources and decision-making power to those most impacted. We are reshaping the very systems which exclude people from power by advocating against discriminatory laws and working with leaders to transform harmful and discriminatory practices. We strive for more diverse representation in social, economic and political spheres, to ensure people of all genders can realise their full potential. 

Listen to CARE Australia Chief Executive Peter Walton discuss the shift in power.
Collaborating with local partners at these three levels  of society leads to mutually reinforcing change that tackles gender inequality, reduces vulnerability to crisis, and defeats poverty. Look for these icons throughout to see how we’re working at all three levels.
We support women to defeat poverty

Highlights from our work on gender justice:

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In Timor-Leste, family planning sessions are helping women take control of decisions that affect them, and helping couples overcome gender inequality.
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In Laos, women coffee farmers have been selected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to visit seven villages across the country and deliver advanced technical training to other coffee farmers.
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In Cambodia, after years of advocacy by CARE and our partners, the Government of Cambodia has endorsed the inclusion of sexual harassment prevention in the third National Action Plan on Violence Against Women.

Women mean business

Working in partnership with local businesses to help women build the skills, knowledge and resources they need to succeed.

Women's economic justice is about rewriting the rules that prevent women from controlling economic resources, assets and opportunities. We work to lift the voices of women so they can claim their fair share. This year, we helped women access dignified employment opportunities and financial decision-making opportunities they have too long been denied.

Arifa works in a garment factory in Bangladesh. Until recently, she had little say over how her family’s income was spent, and was often overlooked for promotions at work. 

Discrimination like this stalls women’s career progression, prevents them from earning equal pay, and leaves them vulnerable to sexual harassment in the workplace. These are the very issues CARE Australia is working to address with our Empowering Women Workers project  — in partnership with Cotton On Group — which trains women to advocate for themselves, improves their self-confidence at work and at home, and ensures employers treat people of all genders fairly.

After joining the project, Arifa began understanding and standing up for her rights, and has even set her sights on a better job:

“I believe that I will get a promotion shortly,” Arifa beams. “I was nominated for a supervisor role.”

Arifa says she feels qualified to take on more responsibilities and is proud to have learnt skills she never dreamed she could master. “I can identify, analyse and solve problems now at work … I have also learnt how to communicate better at work. I learnt about leadership, and I have the courage to speak up now. I can now talk clearly so ten people at the table can hear me.”

This self-empowered attitude is the best possible outcome of the project. And it’s not just helping Arifa at work — she’s using these skills at home too: “I feel more comfortable talking with my husband. Before participating in the training I would talk with my husband very carefully … but I learnt that I am a lot more confident and my self-esteem has increased, and so has my decision-making capacity … my confidence creates a space for me.”

Arifa’s renewed self-confidence means she is now sharing decision-making in her relationship, and having an equal say in how money is spent and saved. This was especially vital when COVID-19 forced garment factories across Bangladesh to close down, and Arifa and her husband lost their income. Arifa organised a loan to support her family through the lockdown, and that sustained them for the months before they returned to work.

Abeda Sultana, Project Manager for CARE Bangladesh says Arifa’s financial decision-making proves she has taken on an equal role in her marriage: 

“I am very proud of Arifa. Her marriage is very respectful now. Her confidence helped her speak openly to her husband, and now she’s making decisions. This is the very kind of thing CARE is teaching women workers in Bangladesh: that the power is in their hands.”

Arifa agrees: “I think if another crisis happens … I will overcome it. I have learnt how to solve problems. I was always afraid and I also had low self-esteem.” Now, though, Arifa says: “I want every other girl to have the opportunity to do this training and learn her rights. I want no one left behind. I don’t know what my career pathway will be, I just want to keep developing.”  

Highlights from our work on women’s economic justice:

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In Laos, women are saving money for the first time in their lives thanks to CARE Australia-supported savings groups.

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In Papua New Guinea, married couples are training other families in the advantages of sharing financial decision-making equally between both people in a marriage.

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In Vietnam, women workers have joined together with Trade Unions in workshops to strengthen their voices and have influence over workplace policies and practices to keep them free from harassment and violence in the workplace.

Change must come

Partnering with local communities to achieve climate justice and ensuring women don’t pay the price of inaction.

Climate change is increasing the gap between the rich and the poor, because those who don’t have access to savings, insurance or social services are forced to rebuild their lives from scratch when disasters strike. Our work on climate justice is about tipping the scales so women like Roslyn don't pay the price.

Roslyn lives on Pentecost Island, a remote community in Vanuatu, which is especially vulnerable to climate disasters. The night Tropical Cyclone Harold struck in April 2020, Roslyn was terrified, thinking:

“If this house was to fall down … everyone would be dead inside.”

But the house remained standing. And her family and friends were safe. The reason: Roslyn knew how to save lives, because she is a member of the Community Disaster and Climate Change Committee — established by CARE Australia’s partner organisation, the Vanuatu Christian Council. 

“I told everyone, ‘now we must get ready! Put the rocks on top of the houses! Get your torches ready! Check around your house to see what trees are close to the house and cut them down!’” says Roslyn.

Around 17,000 houses were destroyed by Cyclone Harold that night, but not the one Roslyn had gathered everyone in.

In the morning, Roslyn immediately began assessing the needs of her community and started repairing the damage. She distributed forms from the National Disaster Management Office all over the island, and organised deliveries of food and equipment to be transported from the mainland. 

“We arrived as soon as we could with support,” says Jessinta Natu, Shelter Assistance Officer for CARE in Vanuatu. “We counted on Roslyn to direct the distribution of the items to those who needed them most because she knows the community. She knows the households, and who needs what.” 

This is why CARE Australia works in collaboration with local leaders like Roslyn — because no one knows the place and the people like they do. CARE Australia supplied families with shelter kits, kitchen supplies, and tools to rebuild based on Roslyn’s expertise and advice.

As cyclones like this become more frequent across the Pacific, inequality between those who can protect themselves and those who can’t is on the rise. Access to food, clean water, and the very safety of people’s homes are compromised. And tragically, women and children in the Asia-Pacific region are 14 times more likely to die or be injured in an emergency and its aftermath, because the vast majority of emergency and disaster relief is not designed for, or by, women. But Roslyn shows that adaptation and resilience is possible when women lead.

“Men won’t often consider issues like the need for privacy,” says Jessinta. “Or menstrual hygiene management, the increased risks of sexual assault, or other issues women will face in a crisis. Roslyn took the lead to advocate for solutions that best meet the needs of women.”

Jessinta explains that Roslyn is also helping shift attitudes about women and leadership: “Women and girls see what’s possible when a woman realises her full potential, and men and boys are forced to rethink long-held attitudes and beliefs about ‘men as natural leaders’ and can start to celebrate women’s contributions to society. Roslyn’s role as leader in her community is helping tackle inequality, and her whole community is benefitting.”

CARE Australia’s role is to work with local partners working alongside local leaders like Roslyn to help overcome deep-seated community biases that keep women out of power, and enhance their ability to independently lead responses to disasters.

Highlights from our work on climate justice:

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In Tonga, women have been trained in construction techniques to help them improve their homes to withstand cyclones, and how to farm in climate-smart ways.

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In Samoa, women have been linked to the National Disaster Management Organisation to ensure early warnings are available to them, and they can have their voices heard and lead their communities to safety.

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In Tanzania, women farmers have created a sustainable, resilient agricultural sector thanks to training in soya bean farming — a highly nutritious, climate-resilient crop that helps to enrich the health of the soil. The Tanzania Meteorological Authority is directly linked to the farmers to help them proactively prepare for, and respond to, extreme weather as a result of climate change.

Shifting the power

An update from Peter Walton, Chief Executive Officer, CARE Australia

Click here to read a transcript.

Our global community

Snapshots from the people we work with: our partners, communities and supporters.

Local partner spotlight: The Rainbow Pride Foundation in Fiji

Without the incredible work of local leaders like Ilisapeci, none of the amazing things we’ve achieved together this year would have been possible. When emergency strikes in Fiji, Ilisapeci is one of the first humanitarian responders to leap into action — and no one knows her community like she does.

Ilisapeci works for the Rainbow Pride Foundation, one of CARE Australia’s local partners in Fiji. They are an organisation dedicated to making sure LGBTIQ+ communities, often overlooked, are prepared for disasters, ready to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and protected, represented, and supported during crises like the pandemic.

Like in many nations, Fiji’s traditional customs can make life difficult for the vulnerable communities the Rainbow Pride Foundation represents. So the perspectives and sensitivities that Ilisapeci brings are especially vital.

“Having endured discrimination for my sexual identity and orientation — from my own family and church — I know there is a need to educate our Fijian communities,” Ilisapeci explains. “And the risks of discrimination are heightened during a disaster, when we lose access to our support networks, and can find oursleves in especially vulnerable circumstances. Being a bisexual woman, I am so proud to be the voice for diverse women who face violence, stigma and discrimination just because of who we are. I will fight for our human rights — in all spaces — so that we are recognised and respected as human beings, and supported during disasters.”

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“I will fight for our human rights — in all spaces.”- Ilisapeci, Fiji. Photo: © The Rainbow Pride Foundation.

The Rainbow Pride Foundation trains government officials in the importance of considering diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics in policymaking. They also run training sessions with community groups to increase the understanding and needs of their LGBTIQ+ members and link individual survivors of homophobic or transphobic violence with support sysyems and legal options to help them seek justice.

“Hearing the stories and challenges that LGBTIQ+ people face every day encourages me to advocate more for the rights of my community. I have had enough of the bullying and the beliefs in traditions and norms. Let’s not forget we are human beings as well, and we have every right to live our lives and make our own choices. I especially want our young members to feel empowered to stand up for themselves and fight for their human rights — especially when disaster strikes, because that’s when the risk is greatest.”

CARE Australia is proud to partner with the Rainbow Pride Foundation in Fiji because, like us, they stand for equal rights and opportunities — for all people. 


The global CARE International confederation is committed to embracing the power and capability of our partners, who are the real agents of change; particularly feminist and women-led organisations, and those leading social movements for gender equality. The life-changing work done by these partners is supported by our dedicated staff, and is all enabled thanks to our generous supporters. 

Highlights from our global community:

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Our partners

86% of all CARE Australia’s partners are locally-led.

In 2020/21 CARE worked with 150 local partners, and one third of all our partners around the world were women-led. This is why our new strategy includes a commitment to ensuring even more of our work is led by women, and is as local as possible.

This is how we can achieve a much greater impact, because when programs are led by women and grounded locally, everyone benefits.
"We know our land, our resources and community best. And we have the right to determine our own future." 
- Ilisapeci, Community Engagement Liaison, The Rainbow Pride Foundation, Fiji.
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Our staff

97.2% of our Country Office staff were locals of the country in which they work.

Our staff are central to achieving our mission, and bring compassion and skill to their work supporting local communities to change their lives.

CARE Australia employs 815 staff across eight countries, and we are striving to ensure that as many of our staff and leaders as possible are local to the countries in which they work, to ensure that our programming is being led by those most impacted. 
"As a young ni-Vanuatu woman, leading is about being able to walk with my people, put myself in their shoes, and for us to be involved in making decisions together about matters that affect us. I'm proud to be leading CARE's work in my country.”
- Julia Marango, Resilience Program Manager, CARE Vanuatu.
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Our supporters

22,785 donors contributed $11,762,607 to CARE Australia’s poverty-fighting work in 2020/21.

Every story you read in this report has only been possible thanks to our incredible supporters.

And to every one of you lovely, generous people, we say thank you!
"I donate because I care. I care about women who are facing struggles. We need to help each other. If everybody helps a little bit, it makes a lot of difference. Even if we can't do very much on our own, when you add it all together, it is life-changing." 
- Mary Hartley, CARE supporter since 1991, Australia.

Together, we have:

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Assisted more than 2.3 million people across 24 countries.

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Responded to 15 emergencies across 19 countries.

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Provided lifesaving support in the fight against COVID-19 in all 24 countries simultaneously. 

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Delivered humanitarian assistance in times of emergency or crisis to more than 903,000 people.

CARE Australia thanks these generous individuals, trusts and foundations, and organisations who supported us in 2020/21, and acknowledge and thank those who have chosen not to have their names published.

A matter of trust

Our commitment to transparency and accountability 

The communities we work with, our staff, donors and other stakeholders can trust us to act ethically and transparently to maximise the impact of our vital programming. 

An accredited and registered not-for-profit

CARE Australia is a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC) and is fully accredited by Australia’s aid program, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. CARE Australia has the ACNC Registered Charity Tick and through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is a deductible-gift recipient. We are a member of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association and the Fundraising Institute of Australia.

CARE Australia is a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct, which sets out standards of management, communications, and spending, and we ensure that ACFID Code of Conduct training is completed and understood by all staff. CARE Australia is also a signatory to several international codes of conduct ( 

Privacy and cybersecurity

Protection of our participants’ and donors’ data and privacy is a priority for CARE Australia and we have established an IT environment which is stable and secure. We constantly assess and mitigate the risks of cyberattack, and as a result of our efforts, there were no breaches of privacy in 2020/21, and therefore no impact on our business or the information we hold.

CARE Australia has been fully accredited as compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), ensuring all online transactions are secure and protected against identity theft.

CARE Australia is an Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) Privacy Awareness Week partner. CARE Australia is a member of AusCert, Australia’s pioneer cyber emergency response team.

Preventing Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse

CARE Australia is constantly vigilant in seeking to prevent sexual misconduct. Our zero tolerance culture encourages reporting concerns, and discourages the bystander behaviour of turning a blind eye. And our work to empower our staff, partners, and project participants to report suspected misconduct helps overcome cultural taboos which often keep survivors silenced.

“We invested heavily in awareness-raising about the importance of reporting sexual misconduct and child abuse. Receiving those reports actually reflects the trust in CARE Australia to respond quickly and appropriately.”
- Justine McMahon, Country Director, CARE Papua New Guinea 

In 2020/21 we received 10 reports relating to Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) concerns.
Click here for more information on these reports.

Our organisational response to every report was considered, appropriate, and proportionate, and our investigations found seven reports to be substantiated. Our priority is always with the survivor, and we make every effort to support people who experience misconduct, with responses and disciplinary measures tailored to the circumstance of the situation, and survivor wishes taken into account. 

Our response to the seven substantiated reports led to four staff members’ employment being ceased, with each of them, as well as one former staff member, having records placed on their files to ensure that they will not be re-employed by CARE, and are listed under the inter-agency misconduct disclosure scheme.

We are also aware of incidents where CARE Australia staff were subjected to domestic and gender-based violence by perpetrators from their personal life — an unfortunately common occurrence. Being unrelated to their employment with CARE Australia, we respect the survivors’ rights to elect not to report the incidents to us. We do still offer appropriate support to these staff members, as well as guidance and referral pathways. These measures are above the requirements of our reporting standards, but are an important part of CARE Australia’s mission to support women, and our commitment to gender equality. 

Our people strategy: diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism

CARE Australia chairs the Trust Alliance, which has piloted a digital credential mechanism to support the Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. This helps ensure that people who are dismissed after being found to have breached codes of conduct in their workplace cannot be recycled through other workplaces. We apply this to every new applicant before recruiting them to make sure we’re only bringing good people to CARE Australia.

We’ve taken big strides in our Reconciliation Action Plan, and our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. One area of focus has been increasing our awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities. We work hard to ensure CARE Australia is an organisation in which people with disabilities can fully enjoy their rights through accessibility and participation in both our programming and our own operations. 

It is a continuous priority to be an organisation committed to anti-racism, and is something that permeates all aspects of the way CARE Australia operates. We made a firm commitment in 2020/21 to ensure that programming decisions are made by the individuals and communities most affected, and for our organisation to find every opportunity to improve. We still have a long way to go, but we’re working hard to achieve that goal.

No tolerance for fraud and corruption 

Fraud and corruption are not acceptable and are dealt with swiftly and rigorously. All allegations of fraud are investigated and, where substantiated, disciplinary action and recovery of loss are pursued.

Reporting of suspected fraud and corruption is encouraged, with a number of avenues provided to support in person, telephonic, email and online reporting with the option to remain anonymous. Further, our financial management training focuses heavily on fraud prevention. Our financial policies and processes are designed to prevent fraud and corruption and to support the identification of such activity as early as possible, and staff and suppliers are screened for links to terrorist organisations. 

In 2020/21, there were 30 allegations of fraud reported to CARE Australia. In accordance with CARE Australia’s zero tolerance policy on fraud, all allegations have been appropriately investigated. Fortunately only 16 of the reported cases were substantiated following rigorous investigation processes, The total value of alleged fraud was $35,438, of which $25,569 was recovered. Recovery levels have remained high over time as we move quickly on fraud investigations. The total financial loss to fraud in 2020/21 was only $9,869 — roughly 0.01% of our total expenditure. Given the complex and vulnerable environments in which we work, this minimal loss is a product of strong systems and nurturing a strong culture of zero tolerance, and where reporting is encouraged. We consider just 16 cases of substantiated fraud to be a testament to the integrity and professionalism of the overwhelming majority of the 2.3 million project participants, staff, and partner organisations involved in CARE Australia’s work.

Number of fraud cases in 2020/21

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Details on CARE Australia’s approach to preventing and responding to fraud and corruption are available on the CARE Australia website at

Making an impact

A story of success despite adversity

CARE Australia is committed to building on our leading position in measuring impact. We are one of the few multi-mandate international non-government organisations able to explain our contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, and we use our learnings to improve our programs and advocacy work. 

Our future is one where local and women-led organisations are empowered to determine where funds can be best spent for long-term, systemic change and demonstrable impact. It’s about multigenerational change. And that can’t always be captured in a pie chart of dollars and cents. We work as hard as we can to get as much value out of every dollar we spend — and we spend them very wisely: on building strong and trusting partnerships with local organisations where there is mutual respect, shared values and a joint mission of working to overcome all of the reasons that keep women in poverty.

In the last year we have continued to build upon, and expand beyond, traditional donor/recipient relationships, in order to focus on developing even more meaningful measures of success. Reach and spend are important indicators of efficiency, but to show true impact, we complement these with other measures which show real, positive and lasting change to women and their communities.

Shifts like this are important — it is smarter, more sustainable, and better supports the communities we partner with. It’s the very essence of what CARE Australia is working towards: a world where everyone can determine their own future.

Despite being an overwhelmingly challenging time for everyone, Australians were incredibly generous with their donations. We saw tremendous contributions to our emergency appeals, which, combined with new grants, saw our revenue increase by 10% this year.

How you supported CARE in 2020/21

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CARE Australia recorded an operating surplus of $4.9m in 2020/21. A significant portion of this surplus is committed to essential development and humanitarian action which will take place in the coming year. Given the uncertainties around the global pandemic, CARE Australia exercised tight and prudent cost control to ensure that it remained capable of responding to needs during vulnerable times. Pleasingly, with tremendous support from our donors, we were able to see a 10% revenue increase to $77.1m. This is a reflection of the increased grant revenue from overseas donors, as well as the incredible public support for emergency responses to COVID-19, the Beirut explosion, the Rohingya refugees, and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

The impact of your investment in 2020/21

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Our expenses increased by 3% to $72.2m in 2020/21 — which covered the cost of our programs, including program support costs, administration, and fundraising costs.

Development and Resilience Programming refers to 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. 

Emergency and Humanitarian Action refers to the lifesaving measures taken to support women and marginalised groups to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters and conflicts. 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.

Advocacy and Community Education 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.
Program Support 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. 

Administration 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 investment in technology and infrastructure, 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 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.

Thank you

From the Board of Directors

I’d like to offer an enormous thank you and congratulations to the entire CARE family for the outstanding achievements in this most challenging of years. I extend those sentiments to all: our dedicated CARE Australia staff, our passionate Executive Team, and, most importantly, the women leading their communities out of poverty. And to our incredibly generous donors who help enable this life-changing work, I extend my thanks on behalf of the aforementioned. We couldn’t do it without you.

This year has seen significant changes to the way CARE Australia operates. We looked at the structure of the entire organisation and made adjustments to ensure we are fit for the future, and also led by local expertise and experience. This approach is the right thing to do, and I’m proud to chair an organisation that values localisation, and is moving so determinedly in this direction.

This year marks 75 years since the first CARE Package was delivered to post-war Europe. So much has changed since then — those first humble CARE Packages contained desperately needed food and basic supplies to support hungry families — a simple solution for a simple problem. Now, our goal is to overcome inequality — a much larger, complex challenge.

Globally, including in Australia, matters of equality, including gender, remain unaddressed for too many organisations. CARE Australia values diversity as a vital component of our mission, and we strive to do better every day. This year two new Board Members joined ensuring our Board remains gender-balanced and equipped with the skills needed to navigate challenging times. We will continue to make changes to ensure greater diversity of the Board in the future. 

As part of a global confederation, we continue to work closely with the entire CARE International team. I am proud that CARE Australia takes an active role in leading initiatives and decision-making at the global level.

The pandemic continues to disrupt all of our personal and professional lives. CARE Australia’s programming was affected from the very beginning, and we continue to adjust our interventions to accommodate the new normal. One constant, however, has been the capacity of generous Australians to give. Despite lockdowns, job losses, and a total change to our lives, Australians continued to support women all around the world to defeat poverty. 

I’m excited to see the continuation of our new strategic direction, which has the full support of the Board. A key part of this is ensuring CARE Australia is led by the women we work with. We know from 75 years of experience working in partnership with communities, that when one woman breaks free from poverty, she brings four others with her. Women bring the courage, resilience and strength needed to take control of their futures. Our job is to help provide the opportunities they need. 

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Marcus Laithwaite,
Chair CARE Australia

Our Board

Marcus Laithwaite
Director since 2017,
Chair from 2020

Colin Galbraith, AM
Director from 2004–2021,
Chair from 2016–2020

David Feetham
Director since 2013

Diana Nicholson
Director since 2019

Jo Thomson
Director since 2021

Joseph Tesvic
Director since 2016,
Treasurer from 2020

Morgana Ryan
Director since 2021

Peter Varghese AO
Director since 2019

Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope
Director since 2018

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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 manage (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Vietnam); the six countries in which we work through partners with no direct CARE presence (Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu); the nine Country Offices which are managed by other CARE Members (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine (West Bank/Gaza), Syria, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe). 

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.

All dollar figures in this report are presented in Australian Dollars (AUD). All reach and impact figures in this report are from the 2020/21 financial year.

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 organisations. 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. 

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CARE Australia retains management and contractual responsibility for the projects we undertake. We also ensure internal procedures and reporting guidelines adhere to current regulatory and legislative requirements. We uphold the highest standards of practice, as demonstrated by our commitment to the:

•  ACFID Code of Conduct
•  Code of Conduct for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief
•  Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards
•  CHS Alliance (as CARE International)
•  Fundraising Institute of Australia’s Principles & Standards of Fundraising Practice.


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, GPO Box 2014, Canberra ACT 2601 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.