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Archived: People International Australia, charity review

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity People International Australia (PIA).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about PIA.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 24 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They responded but chose not to submit either corrections or comment for publication.

Organisation of this review

  • The review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry.
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)


  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • PIA’s website.
  • Not on social media. (The two buttons top left of each webpage lead to People International UK sites.)
  • Not on LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews yet on Glassdoor.


Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The first primary objective in the constitution supports this:
    • To take Christ’s love to the people of Central Asia primarily, by establishing and enabling His church, as in the International Covenant of PI.


Legal Name

  • PIA is, since 5 February 2016, a NSW incorporated association (No. 1501785).
    • This means that PIA is no longer entitled to the Basic Religious Charity concessional status (see below).
    • The ABN record (see below) has yet to catch up with either the name change (from People International) or the incorporation.

Charity ABN

  • Although the Australian Business Register says that PIA (in the its old name People International), is an unincorporated association, PIA is now incorporated (see Legal Name, above).
  • Tax deductibility: Your donation to PIA will not attract a tax deduction.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: P.O. Box 2177 Carlingford NSW 2118.


  • From the website: 0478 820 828.



  • AIS 2015
    • This is PIA’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It was lodged a few days before the expiry of the (generous) seven months allowed by the ACNC.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • As a ‘Small’ charity, PIA doesn’t have to submit a Financial Report.
    • As a Basic Religious Charity it doesn’t even have to include financial information in its AIS; however, it chose to do so.
      • Now that it is incorporated (see Legal Name, above), it will no longer qualify for this designation.
      • Income ($98K) was entirely from ‘Donations and bequests’.
      • Despite the fact that PIA said elsewhere that it had no employees, it shows $14K – 29% of total expenses – as ‘Employee expenses/payments’.
      • PIA reported that its accounting method was ‘Cash’, a method that doesn’t generate assets (or liabilities); therefore they had to record assets ($66K ) outside the double entry system.
    • Although AO is a member of Missions Interlink[ii], and one of their requirements is that members ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor’ [Standards Statement, 4.1], they
      • did not choose to lodge one with the ACNC voluntarily, and
      • did not respond to my request for a copy of this ‘statement’.
    • I have therefore been unable to review the latest report.
    • You will therefore have to rely on them being faithful to this ‘Core Value’:
      • Integrity and Stewardship

We are diligent in using the resources God has entrusted to us, acting with integrity in our dealings with those we serve, our members, donors, partners and governments.


    • In the middle here.
    • Roll down for PIA’s ‘Core Values’.

 Date Established

  • No history of PIA found. Here’s a history of People International.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision and Mission
    • None found
  • Activities (What did PIA do?)
    • From the AIS 2015, very little disclosed and not necessarily specific to 2015:
      • Raised funds to support gospel work in Australia and overseas.
        • The AIS 2015 shows no ‘Grants and donations…for use in Australia’ and only 29% of ‘Donations and bequests’ received used for the similar item outside Australia.
    • ‘What we do’, from the website.
  • Outcomes (What did PIA deliver?)
    • PIA did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • Nothing found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing on the website.

Financial Year End

  • Before the due date for the next report, the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

Basic Religious Charity

  • If you believe that PIA couldn’t be registered as another subtype of charity then you can agree that, until it incorporated recently, it qualifies as one of these special cases.


Operating State(s)[ii]

  • PIA’s office is in NSW, but it is not clear from the website in what sense they are operating in Victoria.
  • It has a fundraising licence in NSW only.
  • It calls for donations on the website. Whether this means it should have a fundraising licence in one or more of the other six states that have a licensing regime, depends on whether those states interpret this call as ‘fundraising’.

Operates in (Countries)

  • It is not clear from the website what PIA (as opposed to People International more generally) is doing in this country.


  • An Annual Report/Review could be lodged here.
  • There is no Annual Report/Review on the website.


No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iii]

Stephen Ellis         This function was not working at the time of writing

Cathryn Thew

Pamela Tow

Victor Tow

John Thew

John Keighley

Graham Crane

  • Out of seven directors, there appear to be two couples. There is therefore a strong argument for a change.
  • Is Pamela Tow this one?
  • There is no mention of the board on the website.

(End of review)



[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iii] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.