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Whitley College The Baptist College of Victoria (sic)

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being the Australian Evangelical Alliance Inc‘s ‘network for global mission‘. We review these charities because their membership means that they must sign up to a set of standards, and this, at least on paper, makes them a better bet for your donations (or other involvement).

Whitley College’ is one such member. It seeks donations on the website linked from Missions Interlink.

COVID-19 There’s nothing specifically about COVID-19 on the website.


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 ‘Whitley College’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[2]

1.  A search on the ACNC’s Register for ‘Whitley College’ leads to a registered[3] charity in the name Whitley College The Baptist College of Victoria (sic). The website for this charity is the same as the one linked from Missions Interlink.

Whitley has Whitley College registered as a business name.


2.  There is nothing to indicate that Whitley uses either door-to-door or street collectors.


3.  Online giving is temporarily disabled.


4.  Whitley’s ABN record says that it is entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts. The donation page supports this.


5.  The use of your donations

For context, see here.

The audited account of how a charity uses donations is the Financial Report on the ACNC Register.

Directors have a choice between two kinds of reports, special purpose or general purpose. The requirements of the former are less onerous than the latter. The directors of Whitely continue with their choice of special purpose. The auditor, Peter Shields, of Saward Dawson, agreed with this decision.

This is what his professional body, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealandhas to say about the choice between the two types of reports[4]:

With 22 employees, and enough students, donors, grant makers, and investments to produce a gross income of $5.02 million, the evidence is against Whitely being one of the exceptions. But that is the choice that the directors made.

One of the implications of their choice is that you can ring Whitley’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity. We strongly doubt that they will agree[5]. And if they don’t then the accounts presented by the directors are not for you. In fact, they say (in the Notes to the Financial Statements) that you don’t exist:

If you are still happy to rely on the financial statements, here’s what they say about where the money goes:

Where the money went

From the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income (with last year’s figures in the second column):

Plus two in the ‘capital activities’ section below this:

(In each year the large deficit was covered by either the gain on the sale of assets or the gain on the $20+ million holding of investments, or both.)

Who’s responsible?

The directors who agreed to the Report are not disclosed; these are the directors who are on the board now:

Brett Rice

Brian Teh

Daniel Bullock

Jennifer Ward

Is it this Jennifer Ward?

Katrina Lambert

Peter Francis

Is it this Peter Francis?

Philip Batterham

Is it this Peter Batterham?

Rene’ Erwich


There is nothing on the website about the impact of the donations.

Charity response

The introduction to the Mission Interlink standards (see above) includes this statement:

We sent the member a draft of this review. They….did not respond.



End of review.

  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. The ACNC implies, therefore, that it is a ‘legitimate’ charity. But this is not correct – as the ACNC itself points out, registration is voluntary.
  4. Enhancing Not-for-Profit Annual and Financial Reporting, March 2013, accessed from their website March 2020. 
  5. The accounting profession says that you are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose financial reports’, the other kind of report. [From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au].