BAPTIST WORLD AID AUSTRALIA
John Hickey, CEO
In a Year of Global Catastrophe, the generosity of our churches and supporters and the relevance of our mission has never been greater. In a period of great turmoil, we have remained equipped to support our partners and the most vulnerable in communities across the world. Highlights:
Our consolidated holding company, Transform Aid International, achieved revenue of $19.7 million in FY2020, an increase of 5% on FY2019 income. In a period of enormous uncertainty, we ended up with a record result with significant generosity from churches and individual supporters.
We were also one of the few agencies to receive an increase in DFAT accredited funding both last financial year and again this financial year, due to our strong efforts to grow our international programming, advocacy and supporter / church education programs over the past three years.
Given the much of our sector is experiencing declining revenue from both government and private sources, we remain thankful that both the consistent faithful engagement of our supporters, and our standing with the Australian government, has enabled us to increase core revenue with both groups over the past three years.
Our overall revenue can be volatile, due to specific circumstances in given years. This can be through major specific disaster appeals and leadership roles in major disasters in the Asia/Pacific region that we often take on behalf of the global Baptist movement, but also generosity of major donors at various times for specific purposes. As with most other denominational-based agencies, we find it continually more challenging to engage with churches, but we firmly believe that supporting and encouraging pastors and leaders to equip and disciple their church communities to engage with social justice and global poverty as an integral part of God’s mission is a core element of our own mission. We really focussed in the months after the onset of the pandemic to encourage and stand beside pastors and supporters, but also carefully encourage them to consider the plight of people in the developing world in a far more difficult state, which drew a very strong positive response and sense of mission together.
In FY20 our “impact investment” exceeded $14 million. Our mission and strategy is to achieve sustainable impact in transformed lives out of poverty and vulnerability globally. We aim to steward the resources faithfully offered to us through the support of churches and individuals in the Baptist movement in Australia, as well as Federal Government (approx. 20% of our revenue), through a process of leverage. On our own we can only do so much, but through partnerships and alliances where we learn together, build others’ capacity, we are able to facilitate the growth in scale of our impact. Some key areas are:
- International Programs: In FY20, our International Programs made a measurable positive difference in the lives of more than 600,000 people. The key statistics:
- 85 projects through 41 local partners.
- 20 countries in 6 regions – Africa, Middle East, South Asia, South-East Asia, Pacific, Central America.
- Advocacy: In October we issued the seventh version of the Ethical Fashion Guide / Covid Edition – working with companies in the fashion industry and consumers to act ethically with respect to workers in supply chains, but more intentionally given their vulnerability as consumer demand was under pressure and significant flow-on to workers in developing countries. It is estimated that more than 40 million people in Asia / Pacific work in fashion supply chains, most living in poverty. Our other key campaign was in coalition with Micah and several faith-based and secular groups to the Australian Government: “End Covid For All”. This campaign has been successful, with the government committing for the first time in a decade to increase overseas development assistance to countries in the Indo-Pacific region, to help them recover from the pandemic and have potential access to vaccines when available.
- Education: We have rebuilt a national network of pastors and leaders for BWAA, co-employed with each respective State union, to build engagement with church leaders and their communities to educate, preach, disciple and promote not just the work of BWAA, but the theological and practical framework for incorporating social justice in the lives of Christians. Marbuen Diaz and John Lewis have been representing us in NSW / ACT as excellent ambassadors and leaders. John has recently resigned for family reasons, and we have promoted Marbuen to National Manager of our Church Relations Team. We are also excited to announce that Nathan Reid is also about to join as NSW Church Relations Manager.
- Global Alliances: We play a leading role in seeking to leverage and influence greater capacity in the Baptist movement globally, and wider faith-based sector, to address poverty together. Some highlights:
- Baptist World Alliance / Baptist Forum for Aid and Development (BFAD). We helped to establish this group over the past few years to improve collaboration and awareness of the need to respond to disasters and undertake development and advocacy at a much improved level. John Hickey now Chairs BFAD and is a Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance. We have been the primary underwriter, in partnership with BWA and several other Baptist agencies, in providing a funding pool administered by BFAD to enable projects globally for Covid – across Asia / Pacific, Africa, Latin America and South-east Europe / Middle East.
- Church Agencies Network. We have also played a pivotal role in developing strategic intent and collaboration among the 11 denominational aid and development agencies in Australia. BWAA is the second-largest after Caritas. We have also collaborated as a consortium to participate in the government’s Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP), particularly to help build resilience of communities across the Pacific.
- Integral Alliance. This is a collaboration of 22 faith-based agencies globally, which gives us the capacity to respond to significant disasters around the world, on behalf of Australian Baptists.
There are many other collaborations and alliances that enhance and expand our work.
Thank you to all church leaders and supporters across NSW / ACT who commit to our efforts, and praise God for His provision and guidance!