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Presbyterian Church of Australia…World Mission Committee

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.

.Presumably you have arrived at this page because you are a current or prospective stakeholder, most likely a donor, of the entity called Australian Presbyterian World Mission (APWM).

If you are a donor, the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests some things that you should check before you donate.

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

1.  There is no charity in that name on the ACNC Register.

With an abbreviation of ‘Australian’ to ‘Aust’, there are two registered[4] charities that have that name included in theirs:

Although both are in Burwood (NSW), and, from their Register records, have the same ‘Address For Service email’, and a Stephen Smith as one of their two ‘Responsible People’, the website above shows that APWM is the second charity above[1].


2.  There is nothing to indicate that APWM uses third-party (donation) collectors.


3.  The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure. If you use the PayPal option, your information should be secure. But there is nothing about the security of your information on the form you complete to donate by credit card.


4.  APWM’s ABN record says that it is not entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts. The website supports this.


5.  The use of your donations

Although APWM seeks your donation, it neither offers nor gives any accountability for its use:

The ‘Annual reporting’ section on APWM’s Register entry directs you to a ACNC Group:

This means that the figures for AWPM are included, along with the figures for 10 other charities, in the Financial Report 2019 for this Group[2].

This shows $60.58 million revenue and $264.48 million in assets. But no information about APWM. So, no accountability[3].

Knowing this, you might think that APWM would offer you the information you need. But the website does not mention accountability, financial statements or audit.

(Missions Interlink, ‘the Australian network for global mission’, and the source for an income tax exemption, have admitted APWM as a member[4]. (Even though it is only a Committee of the Presbyterian Church.) This means that APWM is obliged to give you financial statements if you ask for them. We are not at all confident that this will be successful, but it is worth a try.

Who’s responsible for this lack of accountability? From the ACNC Register it’s Peter Merrick and Stephen Smith. But the ‘Governing Document’ on APWM’s Register entry shows that these are two are probably just minor agents in a much bigger machine:

Charity response

Missions Interlink members have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

We sent the member a draft of this review. They continued their practice of not responding.



  1. APWM still haven’t registered either ‘APWM’ or ‘Australian Presbyterian World Mission’ as a business name.

  2. Even if APWM wasn’t a member of an ACNC Group, their status as a ‘basic religious charity’ would mean that they didn’t have to submit a financial report. The legislators responsible for the ACNC Act apparently thought – I’ve not been able to find the reasoning – that there was enough accountability and transparency for you in the requirements of the religious system to which these charities belonged. Is that the case for Presbyterians? The evidence suggests otherwise.

  3. And poor accountability by the Group: they have used the wrong financial reporting framework.

  4. .