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Transform Aid International Limited: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 review[1] in the series ‘Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Members’[2].  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‘Transform Aid International (incorporating Baptist World Aid)’ is one such Member.

Covid-19 Transform Aid International:  nothing on the website; Baptist World Aid.

The website linked from the ACFID list goes to a website in the name ‘Transform Aid International’This website has no online giving facility, but ‘Baptist World Aid’ does.


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 ‘Transform Aid International (incorporating Baptist World Aid)’ with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[3]

1.  There is no registered charity in that name.  But without the phrase in parentheses, and with the addition of ‘Limited’, there is[4].

Transform Aid International Limited (Transform) is a member of an ACNC Group.  The other members are Baptist World Aid Australia Limited and Baptist World Aid Australia Public Ancillary FundHence the ACFID membership name.

Since it is the Baptist World Aid website, a website belonging to the other members of the Group, that seeks donations, the answers to question 2 to 4 will be about those charities.


2.  There is nothing to indicate that Baptist World Aid collects donations either door-to-door or in the street.


3.  The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above]. The giving page says ‘Secure transaction’ but doesn’t say why.


4.  Baptist World Aid Australia Limited’s ABN record says that it is not entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts.  But it has the Public Ancillary Fund for that.


5.  The use of your donations

As context, see ‘What we do’.

Sharing the Gospel? [5]

No. From the Financial Report 2019:

Cash spent

This is the only information about where the cash went on operating activities (with the figures for last year in the second column)[6]:


Resources consumed (i.e. accrual)

This is how that activities translated into expenses incurred:

Only two of the seven terms – the second and third smallest – are defined.

No connection with the giving options is given[7].

There is no information on the destination – even the country – of the $10.95 million sent overseas.

That Transform think that more information is useful to donors is shown by the inclusion of these tables in the (unaudited) Annual Report Year Ended 30 June 2019 [pages 13 and 18]:

There is nothing in the Financial Report 2018 on how Transform ensures that (a) the money reaches the overseas organisation, and (b) it is used for the purposes given.


From the Responsible Persons’ Report [Financial Report 2019], these are the people responsible for the 2019 accounts:

Philip Noel Newman

Michael Raymond Turnbull

Simon Mark Lynch

Meredith Downey

Allan Demond

Michelle Farrall

Heidi Tak

John Vincent Hickey

Tara Reid

Bradley Charles Entwistle

Paul Oates

Tabitha Mathew[8]

The ACNC Register shows that the current board is the same except without Lynch and Entwistle.

The Baptist World Aid board consists of only Hickey, Turnbull, Oates, and Newman from the above list.


‘Impact’ means the changes for the better in the beneficiaries as a result of Transform’s activities. Transform report on ‘impact’ in two places:  the website, and on pages 19-29 of the FY2019 Annual Report.  The first has a few individual stories of change, the second reports like this across six ‘impacts areas’:

Charity response

In its Complaints Handling Policy, Transform says that

Baptist World Aid Australia welcomes feedback’.

We sent Transform a draft of this review, to both the address for feedback and the address on the ACNC Register, on 29 April 2020. They did not respond.



  1.  See here for the previous review.
  2. Transform Aid International is also a Member of Missions Interlink, so it’s a review in that series as well.  Missions Interlink is ‘the Australian network for global mission’ (and a means for a Member to get income tax exemption when it might not otherwise be available).   
  3.  A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering:
    1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.
    2. Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?
    3. Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?
    4. Is the charity being transparent about its activities?

  4.  The ACNC implies, therefore, that it is a ‘legitimate’ charity. But this is not correct – as the ACNC itself points out, registration is voluntary.
  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.  Although many argue that this level of disclosure is compliant with the letter of the applicable Accounting Standard ( AASB 107), it is not consistent with either the intent of the Standard and paragraphs 14 and 19, or what is reasonable to expect from a major Christ-led charity. 
  7.  Note 21 [Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements] shows that it is tracked though:
  8.  The directors are accountable to the members, but with 12 directors and only 10 members [Responsible Persons’ Report, Financial Report 2019], there’s no accountability there.