About ChildFund Australia

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Last time you were here, you were looking to help vulnerable children and families. Your support can save and change lives.

Every child should experience a childhood in which they are nurtured, protected and given access to opportunity.

ChildFund Australia is an independent international development organisation that works to reduce poverty for children in many of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

We partner to create community and systems change which enables vulnerable children and young people, in all their diversity, to assert and realise their rights.

ChildFund Australia is a member of the ChildFund Alliance – one of the world’s oldest and most experienced child-focused development agencies. With a global network of 11 organisations, the ChildFund Alliance assists nearly 36 million children and families in 70 countries.

ChildFund Australia directly manages and implements programs in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Vietnam, while also supporting projects delivered by partner organisations throughout Asia and the Pacific, Africa and North and South America. Our work is funded through public donations and government grants.

We are committed to public accountability and transparency. Annually, our accounts in Australia are audited by independent consultants KPMG. Read our latest Annual report.

As a member of the Australian Council for International Development, and a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct and the ACFID Fundraising Charter, ChildFund Australia must meet high standards of corporate governance, public accountability and financial management.

In addition, ChildFund Australia is fully accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which manages the Australian Government’s overseas aid program. Accreditation is a stringent process in which all operational activities – financial, managerial, fundraising and program – are analysed. This not only requires that ChildFund demonstrate that funds are distributed to community projects, but that they are spent effectively in those communities for the benefit of children.

ChildFund Australia is also a member of Accountable Now, a platform of international civil society organisations that strive to be transparent, responsive to stakeholders, and focused on delivering impact. As a member, ChildFund has signed 12 globally-agreed-upon Accountability Commitments and will report annually to an Independent Review Panel on our economic, environmental and social performance according to the Accountable Now reporting standards.

ChildFund Australia is proud to be a founding member of the Emergency Action Alliance. The Emergency Action Alliance (EAA) is a simple and effective way for Australian donors to help in an international humanitarian emergency. The EAA is made up of 15 Australian-based member charities who are experts in humanitarian aid and specialise in different areas of disaster response. By combining the expertise of the 15 members, the EAA can focus the desire of Australian donors to help into a targeted response to an international emergency.

ChildFund Australia is committed to an equitable and inclusive workplace, in line with our organisational values, where everyone’s rights are protected. We are a member of the Diversity Council of Australia. In addition to our Organisational Inclusion Policy, we have an Action Plan and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee through which we work to strengthen our workplace culture so that people feel safe, respected, connected, contribute and progress.

ChildFund Australia is committed to reduce our impact on the environment. Following a Green Audit performed by 180 Degrees Consulting, we have committed to reduce our CO2 emissions & waste, increase awareness amongst staff, and offset all our carbon emissions through a partnership with Greenfleet. Greenfleet supports Australian native reforestation projects. Our carbon offset contributes to future carbon sequestration and ensures we are leading the way on climate action.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at ChildFund Australia

While ChildFund Australia does not implement national programs, as a child-focused development organisation we recognise the special place of First Nations children and young people in Australia. We also acknowledge the vital place of First Nations peoples and their knowledge and language systems in creating sustainable development. As a whole organisation and as individual staff members we therefore commit to a process where we self-examine, learn, and grow, as reflected in our Reconciliation Action Plan.

Our History

After beginning work in China in 1938, ChildFund is now one of the world’s oldest child-focused development organisations. ChildFund (or China’s Children Fund as it was known then) was started by an American humanitarian, Dr J Calvitt Clarke, following the second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Amidst reports of widespread devastation and the displacement of millions of families, Dr Clarke decided to take action to support the relief effort. From his home in Virginia, USA and with the support of wife Helen, Dr Clarke launched a nationwide appeal for funds for displaced children in China. In the midst of the Depression, and using his own money for stationery and postage, Dr Clarke found enough willing supporters to enable him to establish China’s Children Fund (CCF) in 1938, sending the organisation’s first contribution of US$2,000 to support local initiatives in China. Dr Clarke continued to write and appeal for assistance and, by the end of 1939, CCF had sent a total of US$13,000 to support the KuKong orphanage and a school in China. Eight decades later and CCF has transformed into the ChildFund Alliance, a global network of child-focused development organisations assisting children and families in 70 countries.


China Children’s Fund (CCF) is established to help children devastated by the Sino-Japanese war. Donations are used to support a school and the KuKong orphanage.


CCF implements a child sponsorship program, which enables sponsors to donate funds to support an individual child.


CCF’s work grows to include the Philippines, Burma, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. After World War II, CCF expands its work to Europe, focusing on providing education, food and shelter for children, particularly those children displaced and orphaned by war.


To recognise the global nature of the organisation, the CCF acronym is changed to represent Christian Children’s Fund. Work commences in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and South Korea.


A change in philosophy begins, with CCF focusing on providing assistance to children through family support, replacing assistance for children in orphanages as the main program approach. Work expands to Taiwan and Brazil. CCF Canada is established.


CCF makes another shift in its work to ensure that local programs are led by local leaders, whenever possible.


CCF ends its work in Europe and the Middle-East to concentrate on programs in Africa, starting in Kenya. New CCF members are established in Denmark Germany and elsewhere.


CCF Australia is established by a group of eminent Australians including Dr Adrian Johnson, Sir Roden Cutler VC, Bob Stevenson and Bill Joris. It focuses on raising sponsorship funds to support the programs delivered by CCF around the world.


CCF begins to play a greater role in delivering humanitarian support during disasters, including food, water and emergency shelter and the establishment of Child Centred-Spaces which provide a safe place for displaced children.


CCF Australia establishes its first community development programs in Papua New Guinea, partnering with the Salvation Army.


CCF Australia begins work in Vietnam, working with ethnic minority communities in remote areas in the north of the country.


The CCF Child Poverty study is undertaken, which finds that children experience poverty through three dimensions: deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability. This research gives added emphasis to CCF’s community development program approach.


CCF Australia changes its name to ChildFund Australia, to clearly reflect its values and vision: to assist children in need regardless of their gender, religion or ethnicity. ChildFund Australia becomes one of 12 global members of the newly formed ChildFund Alliance.


ChildFund Australia begins work in Cambodia, supporting rural communities still recovering from the aftermath of three decades of civil war under the Khmer Rouge. ChildFund Cambodia helps to establish the country’s first ever child helpline.


ChildFund Australia begin work in Laos, implementing programs in Xieng Khouang Province; one of the poorest regions of the country with significantly high unexploded ordnance contamination.


ChildFund Australia begin work in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) as the country emerges from decades of military rule, implementing child-focused development programs in partnership with local civil society organisations.


ChildFund Australia takes over the management of the ChildFund Timor-Leste office, and iCARE becomes a wholly owned subsidiary.

Our People

Our Expenditure

Where your money goes

82 cents

in every dollar goes directly to helping children in poverty

Nearly 36 million

children and families being supported in 70 countries