These Aussie charities are bringing communities together and making the world a better place.
While each organisation is unique, they are united in their goal to make real change. By supporting each other and those who are less fortunate, these Aussie charities are doing their part to protect local communities.
Backpack Bed for Homeless
In 2019-2020, over 82,000 requests for shelter from homeless people in Australia couldn’t be met. This is the reality Tony Clark hoped to change when he founded Backpack Bed back in 2007. With his wife, Lisa, he designed Backpack Beds, a shelter and bag to store belongings. It’s water and wind proof, rolls up into a backpack for easy travel, and offers protection for all seasons.
Now, Backpack Bed for Homeless has delivered over 36,000 of these life-saving beds to homeless people across the country. They have also partnered with over 800 homeless agencies to offer mental health support, emergency shelter, and outreach programs focused on helping homeless Aussies get back on their feet. The not-for-profit is all about offering dignity and protection to everyone, with a mission to see all homeless people set up with a Backpack Bed in the future. They also deliver hypothermia packs, which help to protect individuals from harsh weather and keep them warm during the night.
In 2011, Backpack Bed was awarded the Australian Human Rights Award for Best Community Organisation, demonstrating their commitment to helping everyone, and their life-saving work in the homeless community. By donating, you can ensure homeless Aussies have a warm, comfortable place to sleep, and help Backpack Bed and their partners to continue providing support across the country.
Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation
Waltja is an organisation that works with Indigenous communities in central Australia. The directors are all Indigenous women elders who come from remote communities, giving them the knowledge to find the best ways to support locals. Primarily, Waltja focuses on the gaps these rural communities experience in receiving crucial services for children, youth, elders, and people with a disability.
The organisation is based in Alice Springs, however their services extend all across the state to around 13,000 people in 9 different languages. Waltja means ‘family’, and is all about supporting members of Indigenous families and communities, focusing on social issues that are overlooked by other organisations. Each project aims to promote self-determination and capacity in the area.
These projects include the Reconnect Program, which helps young people at risk of homelessness to reconnect with their family and community, and secure a safe and strong future. This is achieved over a number of steps including helping them to set up bank accounts, and training them to be job ready.
Another recent Waltja program targeted suicide prevention in women and young girls. Delivered by elders, it was all about building a long-lasting support network in several different towns.
To support this amazing charity, you can donate directly, or purchase artworks and jewellery made by Indigenous locals from their shop.
Brightside Farm Sanctuary
Founded in 2006 by Emma Haswell, this not-for-profit animal shelter is located on 50 acres of farmland in Tasmania’s Huon Valley. Primarily, Brightside Farm Sanctuary rescues sick and neglected animals and rehomes them with loving Aussies. Each year, around 400 animals find new families to support them. The farm also serves as a permanent home for around 250 farm animals, offering services including medical treatment, vaccinations, and food.
As well as protecting animals in need, Brightside also offers education programs to nearby schools. So far, they have spoken to around 30,000 students about animal welfare and the impact of factory farming. Students are welcome to visit the farm and meet the animals, or Brightside will come to them with their staff of passionate animal-lovers. Emma and her team also campaign regularly to end animal cruelty.
To support the farm and the animals, you can make a donation on their website. Or sign up for the adoption program, and welcome a furry friend into your home.
To learn about other Aussie charities spreading love and support, click here.