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History and Background

Our History

Since its inception, Austcare has managed projects in more than 30 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

Austcare was established as a permanent national organisation on 31 July 1967, and in 1978 the organisation was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee.

Austcare''''s original goal was to focus the attention of the Australian community and government upon the needs of the growing number of displaced people around the world.

Initially, Austcare raised funds through its member agencies for specific refugee projects, for which they were accountable to Austcare. In 1986, changes were made to allow Austcare to determine its own priorities and funding arrangements.  Austcare then began to select, fund, and administer its own projects through a global network of partner agencies in the field. Local partnership and empowerment remains a feature of our work.

Austcare broadened its focus by becoming involved in the landmine action sector in 1989 when we saw the impact of this deadly legacy of war for people returning to rebuild their lives in Cambodia. Since then it has worked to reduce the impact of landmines in countries such as Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia and Mozambique, and continue to grow this aspect of our work.

In 2001, an Austcare office was established in Cambodia to support the implementation of work to rehabilitate and reintegrate refugees/returnees, as well as our extensive landmine action programs for the most excluded rural poor in Cambodia.

Following the success of the Cambodia Office and its capacity to support local ustainable development, Austcare has continued to become more operational in the field. In 2004, Austcare also established an office in Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) where we have been undertaking projects since 1981.

Following the response to the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, the scale of Austcare''''s work in Indonesia increased, and an office was opened in Aceh in 2005.  In 2006, we were given permission by the Indonesian government to extend our work throughout Indonesia and now have a presence in Jakarta.

In late 2006 we appointed a Middle East Representative based in Jerusalem/Ramallah, servicing our current programs in the occupied Palestinian Territories and Lebanon, as well as our plans to expand our work in the region. 

Currently close to two thirds of Austcare staff work outside of Australia, and many of them are local nationals.

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