make poverty history

A world without poverty

Australian Aid helps the world’s most promising people as they break down the barriers of poverty that prevent them from realising their potential. Make Poverty History believes we can shape a better and fairer future.

In the last 20 years, humanity has made great progress towards a more just and equal world – including almost halving the number of children around the world who die before their fifth birthday. Together, we have all played a part in that story.

Make Poverty History encourages Australians to come together and celebrate our important contributions on the world stage.

Join us in celebrating the power of Australian Aid

What it’s about

In 2000 all 191 member countries of the United Nations – including Australia – committed to eight targets to halve poverty by 2015. These became known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and are a crucial step towards making poverty history.
If we are to achieve true progress in tackling global poverty, Australia must contribute our fair share to achieving the MDGs by 2015.

Overseas aid spending

Australia has one of the leading economies in the world.  According to the International Monetary Fund, we have the seventh highest income per person.  Furthermore, our level of debt is by far the lowest of any major developed country.

We can afford to do better to help provide lifesaving support such as health, education and clean water to the world’s poor. Have a look at how some other countries are achieving this global agreement on overseas aid spending:


1.02% / GNI

  • Exceeding 0.7% fair share


0.7% / GNI

  • Committed to reach 0.7% fair share in 2013


0.4% / GNI

  • Scheduled to reach 0.7% fair share in 2015


0.37% / GNI

  • No firm commitment to achieving 0.7%

Do something about this

Join the campaign!


Stand up for one of our greatest national accomplishments

When we work together to break down the barriers of poverty, one classroom inspires a generation, one vaccination stops a preventable disease and one seed becomes a harvest, building a brighter future for all.

A world of difference

Australian Aid is the name we give to the many significant ways that we come together to help communities reduce poverty and build a better and fairer future.

In the last 20 years, humanity has made great progress in shaping a more just and equal world. Together, through Australian Aid, we have played a part in that story. We want to call Australians to celebrate our important contributions on the world stage, and ensure that as a nation we are for Australian Aid.

Why Now?

Australia’s overseas aid budget has suffered from successive cuts, and has lost the bi-partisan support it once held. These have dramatically set back our national contribution to the crucial progress of international development.

Australian Aid makes an incredible difference in the lives of people across our region, and across the world. Now is a critical time for us to stand up for this life-changing work.

Join us!

Now, more than ever, Australia needs strong support behind the life-changing work of aid.

The Campaign for Australian Aid is a joint initiative of the Make Poverty History and Micah Challenge coalitions, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation- for all Australians who believe we can and should do more as a nation to end extreme poverty around the world.

About us

Make Poverty History was the name of a campaign that exists in a number of countries, including Australia. The various national Make Poverty History campaigns are part of the international Global Call to Action Against Poverty campaign.  Though the different campaigns focus on different issues according to the circumstances within their country, they generally focus on issues relating to 8th Millennium Development Goal such as aid, trade and justice.

The Australian campaign is a coalition of more than 60 member organisations, drawn mainly from the Non Government Aid and development sector, including World Vision, Oxfam, Caritas, The Oaktree Foundation and more.  We work together to raise awareness of global poverty and achieve policy change by the government.

In November 2006, Melbourne hosted the Make Poverty History Concert to align with the G20 Summit. Since then, the Make Poverty History campaign has continued to create awareness for the need for increased overseas aid and greater measures of effectiveness, through the yearly Stand Up Against Poverty campaign, as well as major campaigns for the federal elections in 2007 and 2010, including Make Poverty History Roadtrips.

Our current campaign focus is the Campaign for Australian Aid.

National Team

Tony Milne
Tony Milne

Tony Milne is the Executive Officer for Make Poverty History.  From Christchurch, NZ, Tony is now based in Melbourne.  Tony was previously the National Manager of Public Health for the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand and spent five years working for MPs and Ministers in New Zealand.  Follow on twitter at @tonyrmilne

E Cliffe

Emma Cliffe

Emma Cliffe is the Program Support Officer for Make Poverty History. Working for Oxfam Australia since 2013, Emma has also previously worked for a number of domestic and international NGOs and spent two years as the International Schools Manager – Asia for World Challenge, a global student expedition company. Emma is currently undertaking a Masters of International Development, specialising in post disaster and humanitarian response.

Steering Committee


Marc Purcell – ACFID CEO

Marc Purcell is the Executive Director of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), a position he has held since mid-2009. Marc has worked for 18 years in the community development and human rights sectors in Australia starting out working with intellectually disabled people in transition programs to independent living.

tim cropped

Tim Costello – World Vision CEO

Tim Costello is one of Australia’s most recognised voices on social justice, leadership and ethics, having engaged in public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.  Since 2004, as Chief Executive of World Vision Australia, Tim has also been instrumental in ensuring that the issues surrounding global poverty are placed on the national agenda.


Dr Helen Szoke – Oxfam CEO

Dr Helen Szoke is a human rights advocate who has worked for many years to stop race discrimination in Australia and who is passionate and vocal about women’s rights and gender equality here in Australia and around the world.  Helen commenced as Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia in January 2013. Prior to this appointment, she served as Australia’s Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, following seven years as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner.


Matthew Maury – Tear Australia CEO

Matthew Maury is TEAR Australia’s National Director. Previously serving as head of the Africa and Middle East programs of Habitat for Humanity, over the past 18 years he has served in a variety of roles and organizations involved in supporting holistic community development with the poor and marginalized in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


Ian Wishart – Plan CEO

Ian is one of Australia’s most experienced development professionals. Since 2001, he has taken Plan in Australia from an $11 million operation to a highly respected and influential Australian development agency with revenue of more than $50 million (FY2012).


Paul O’Callaghan – Caritas CEO

Paul O’Callaghan has held senior leadership roles in the not‐for‐profit sector and in the Department of Foreign Affairs, including time as High Commissioner in Samoa and Australian Representative to the South Pacific Regional Environment Program.  Mr O’Callaghan has served as the Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) and Secretary to the Bishops Commission of Health and Community Services since 2011.


Maree Nutt – RESULTS CEO

Maree has been RESULTS Australia’s CEO since 2007. She has held many positions within the organisation since first starting as a grassroots volunteer with RESULTS in 1989.  She has represented RESULTS at international fora, spoken on radio, been quoted in various national newspapers and presented to Parliamentary and Department briefings.


Martin Thomas – Habitat for Humanity CEO

Martin began his career as a journalist, before moving to the not-for-profit sector more than a decade ago. Martin has worked for World Vision, UNICEF and Mission Australia, with a focus on housing-centred aid and development programs, and social welfare and employment services.


Dr Julia Newton-Howes – Care CEO

Dr Julia Newton-Howes AM has been CEO of CARE Australia since 2007. During this time she has focused on ensuring that gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to CARE’s programs, growing CARE’s revenue and ensuring effective management.  On Australia Day 2014, she became a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia in recognition of her significant service to the international community through executive roles with aid organisations, and to women.

Who’s on board

Join thousands of Australians taking action and advocating for us to provide our fair share in overseas aid.

These prominent Australians are on board

Ita Buttrose

Ita Buttrose
Australian of the year, 2013

Simon McKeon Australian of the Year, 2011

Simon McKeon
Australian of the Year, 2011

Prof Patrick McGorry Australian of the Year, 2010

Prof Patrick McGorry
Australian of the Year, 2010

Prof Michael Dobson Australian of the Year, 2009

Prof Michael Dobson
Australian of the Year, 2009

Prof Tim Flannery

Prof Tim Flannery
Australian of the Year, 2007

Prof Ian Frazer

Prof Ian Frazer
Australian of the Year, 2006


Prof Fiona Stanley
Australian of the Year, 2003

Gus Nossal

Sir Gustav Nossal
Australian of the Year, 2000

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