Home / Charity Reviews /

Destiny Rescue Australia

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.  Use the ‘Search charity names’ box to see if there is a later review.  If the latest review has a message like this, you are welcome to make your case for an updated review via email to ted@businessbythebook.com.au.

This is a review[1] in the series ‘Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Members’. ACFID ‘is the peak body for Australian non government organisations (NGOs) involved in international development and humanitarian action.’ It requires Members to adhere to a Code of Conduct. ‘Destiny Rescue Australia’ is one such Member.

The name in the ACFID membership list links to a website for ‘Destiny Rescue’. Here they seek donations from the public.


The ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

1.Check the charity’s name.
2.Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
3.Be careful of online requests for donations.
4.No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one, and
5.Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Destiny Rescue Australia’, with consideration also given to the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[2]

Question 1

A search on the ACNC Register for ‘Destiny Rescue Australia’ gives a Nil result. Dropping ‘Australia’ gives three charities:

The footer on the Destiny Rescue website above shows that it is the first one, Destiny Rescue Limited (Destiny Rescue). This charity, together with the third one, forms the ACNC GROUP (the second charity above).

Although the Register doesn’t show it, the GROUP is effectively no longer operating, and you should therefore go to Destiny Rescue Limited for reports..

Destiny Rescue comment

“In regards to our ACNC register entries. The ACNC is unable to consolidate the three entities in their register, as such they suggested we include a note on our register page. The following note is included in our summary of activities: 

 “* June 2020 Please note the ACNC register entries for Destiny Rescue Overseas Aid Fund and Destiny Rescue_ACNC GROUP have a Voluntarily Revoked status, this is due to their consolidation into Destiny Rescue Limited and not the result of any action taken against the charity by the ACNC.””

Reviewer’s response

The issue is not the lack of consolidation, but the inaccurate information given to the public:

1.A search shows that the Group is still registered (see above), and
2.The Register entry for Destiny Rescue says that it is still part of a Group[3].

Question 2

There is nothing to indicate that Destiny Rescue uses either door-to-door or street collectors.

Question 3

The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above].

But there is nothing about the security of your information on the giving pages.

Destiny Rescue comment

“Please see our Privacy Policy  you can find it here: https://www.destinyrescue.org.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/12/Privacy-Policy-v1.2-FINAL.pdf “

Reviewer’s response

Privacy is something different to ‘security of [donor] information on the giving pages’. Even if it was relevant, there is no link to the policy on those pages.)

Question 4

Destiny Rescue’s ABN record (via the ACNC Register) shows that your donation will entitle you to a tax deduction:

But there is nothing about this on the donation pages.

Question 5


The first half of ‘About Us’ on the website describes the overseas work, not the work of Destiny Rescue[4]. Destiny Rescue (Australia) is a fundraiser for this work:

Destiny’s main revenue items also show what it does [Financial Report 2019]:

(There is no obvious invitation to sponsor anybody on the giving pages, and the result of a search of the site, www.destinyrescue.org.au/blog/category/child-sponsorship, leads to a 404 error.)


There is no report of what was done during the year. (The Annual Information Statement (AIS) is meant to do this, but, as we will see below, this just repeats the description of the overseas work.)

Destiny Rescue comment

“Please refer to our annual report for a more complete overview of our 2019 activities you may find it here: https://www.destinyrescue.org.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/12/2019-AUST-Annual-Report-3.pdf

 .Our 2020 annual report should be released around the end of Q1 2021 or the beginning of Q2.”

Reviewer’s response

The only Australian content in this report is the financial report (which is already on the Register). (Even if the Report were relevant, it is not easy to find, being within a small ‘Financial Integrity’ link in the footer. And a Google site search fails to bring it up.)

Sharing the Gospel[5]

These reports (here and here) would suggest that they do.

Destiny Rescue comment

“It is important to note that while Destiny Rescue’s mission is built on Christian values the rescue of exploited children is our central mission, second to that is the rehabilitation of those rescued which serves to aid against these victims return to exploitation. Sitting over all of this the Christian values of our team who care for each of the victims that we work with. The children we work with are exposed to the gospel through our rescue and rehabilitation teams.”

How much is sent overseas?

The Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income (with last year in the second column) [Financial Report 2019] should allow us to see how much was sent overseas (the rest being the cost of raising the money):

The amount sent overseas is ‘Program distributions’ in Note 4 in the Notes to the Financial Statements:.

This shows that only 30% of the expenses were distributions to the rescue, reintegration and prevention programs overseas.

In contrast, their ‘financial integrity’ page on the website says that 81% went to ‘programs that benefit the children we defend’:

There is no functional classification of the expenses in the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income, so we can’t see how they calculated these figures. So, a reconciliation between the 30% and the 81% is not possible..

Destiny Rescue comment

“The pie chart and figures you refer to on this page (https://www.destinyrescue.org.au/financial-integrity/) are based on 2020 figures as 2020 was a huge year of change mainly due to COVID-19 and we had to totally revamp and re-work the way we operated.”

Reviewer’s response

For this explanation to make sense, the second ‘2020’ should read ‘2019’.

Please see the attached [see below] Finances document, this will soon be integrated with the website, this will serve to support the pie chart on our financial integrity page.”

Destination of the money sent

The largest distribution, 34% of the total, was to ‘Destiny Rescue International’.

 There is no mention of this organisation on the website.
 Google shows that a ‘Destiny Rescue International Inc’ recently became the holder of the ‘Destiny Rescue’ trademark and is the entity specified in the privacy policy for a fundraising campaign.
 It is Destiny Rescue USA, not ‘Destiny Rescue International’ that holds the ECFA membership promoted on destinyrescue.org.

No destination organisation is given for any of the other money sent overseas.

The Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2019 says that all the money is sent to one (unidentified) organisation:

How do Destiny Rescue ensure that the money sent overseas (a) reaches the intended recipient, and (b) is used for the purpose(s) for which it was given?

Destiny Rescue comment

“Destiny Rescue is a global organisation with Destiny Rescue Limited (Australia) being one part of that global family of organisations. Many of our partners are Destiny Rescue entities, making it easy for us to track how funds are received and utilised. Destiny Rescue also partners with third parties in the communities we work in, each entity we partner with undergoes a due-diligence assessment process to assess their suitability as a partner against our own internal measures. Each partner (Destiny Rescue or Third Party) is subject to six monthly reporting back to Destiny Rescue Limited.

 Destiny Rescue International Inc. is registered and operates in the USA – it’s used as “vehicle” to get funds into the non-christian countries that we operate in. As Destiny Rescue is a Christian Organisation we are banned from operating in certain countries – by sending funds to Destiny Rescue International Inc. then through intermediaries in the country concerned we can still carry out our rescues and not be arrested or deported. In other countries, we operate as Destiny Rescue (then Country name, Destiny Rescue Thailand for example) and we send funds from our account directly to the country concerned (as listed on financial reports) – they, in turn, have to furnish financial reports in the countries they are in and the send back a reconciliation of how funds were expensed both to us and Destiny Rescue International Inc., as noted above.”

The other expenses

Nearly 50% of the expenses ($1.44 million) went on the 17 full-time equivalent employees. An average of $85K p.a.

The average paid to ‘key management personnel’ was only $57K p.a.[6] Why such a difference?

‘Other expenses’ are 14% of the total, but there is no further information on them.

Destiny Rescue comment

“Employee expenses include a lot more than just the wage please note below:

Salaries: Staff                                  $1,097K

Superannuation Contributions                  $96K

Temporary Staff                                           $24K 

Workers Compensation                              $29K 

Staff Training                                                $10K

Annual Leave Expense                             ($19K)

Staff Amenities                                              $13K

Human Resource Management              $124K

Outsourcing Staff                                        $86K

Long Service Leave Expense                     ($18K)

Total Personnel Cost – CON                   $1,441K

We currently have 20 FTE staff, plus 3 contract staff in the Philippines – Please note the cost of Philippines Staff is the Outsourcing Cost above.

It is also important to note that the key management personnel figure only includes the Gross Wage & total Superannuation paid to them over the 12 months.”

Reviewer’s response

There is no suggestion that the $1.44 million we quote is just wages. The figure comes from Destiny Rescue’s accounts:

The listing of inclusions shows that Destiny Rescue has overstated this figure by including in it some items that are not, under the Accounting Standards, ‘employee benefits’.

‘The ‘responsible people’ (directors)

These are the people who agreed to the Financial Report 2019 (from the Directors’ Report):

  Tony Kirwan

  Lachlan Anderson

  Joshua Evans

  Chris Lawley.

The same four people are shown on the website. The ACNC Register, however, incorrectly includes William Allan.

Destiny Rescue comment

“William Allan is the Company Secretary – so has to be listed on the ACNC & Companies register – but he is not a Director.”

Reviewer’s response

    The ACNC says that it is incorrect to list William if he is not a director.

The directors are responsible to the members. But with only four members (at 31 December 2019) [Financial Report 2019], there is no accountability here.

Destiny Rescue comment

“Please note also the only Member is Destiny Rescue International Inc., Tony Kirwan, Lachlan Anderson, Joshua Evans and Chris Lawley are the directors.” 

Reviewer’s response

    That is not what the Financial Report says:


Everything Destiny Rescue is doing may be being done ‘properly’[7], but unless the money is producing the change in people that the charity intends (i.e., an impact[8]), the money would be better used elsewhere. And the same applies if the impact is less than is being achieved by another charity.

Nothing systematic on impact found.

Charity response

Contrary to the ACFID Code, Destiny Rescue does not invite feedback. And its Complaints Policy leads to a 404 error.

Destiny Rescue comment

The 404 error on the page noted has been resolved –“

Please note the text next to our complaints form says the following: 

 “Destiny Rescue is committed to excellence and listening to those with concerns or grievances. If you have a complaint, please fill out the form below and one of our staff will get in touch with you.””

Reviewer’s response

The 404 error was still there when the review was published.

“If you have a complaint” does not invite feedback.

We sent them a draft of this review. The ‘Destiny Rescue Team’ responded with the comments included above. On seeing our planned response to those comments, they said they did not want to make any change to what they had said.



  1. See here for the previous review.

  2.   A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering:

     Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.
     Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?
     Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?
     Is the charity being transparent about its activities?
  3. .

  4. The Director’s Report (Financial Report 2019] makes the same mistake:

  5. ‘When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett says this about sharing the Gospel: ‘A host of contextual issues determine the best manner and the appropriate time to present the gospel verbally, particularly in militant Muslim or Hindu settings. But without such a presentation, it is not possible for people to be personally transformed in all their relationships, which is what poverty alleviation is all about [Kindle Locations 1262-1264, Moody Publishers].

  6. From the Financial Report 2019:


  7. The behaviour of its people, its use of money, and how it goes about its business.

  8. The ACNC has previously – the Fact Sheet is no longer on the site – explained impact this way: Every charity has a mission that is associated with producing a public benefit. As this mission is pursued, the changes produced in individuals and their communities can be referred to as the charity’s ‘impact.’ If you are donating to a charity, you may wish to make sure that your donation is creating the greatest impact possible.’ There is no reason why this wouldn’t still be their view.