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YWAM Byron Bay

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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] for those thinking of getting involved with YWAM Byron Bay[2], especially as a student or a donor.

If this is you, then please pause and consider the following:

  • This is an organisation that has a public invitation to young people to enter agreements, at not insignificant cost[3], that are likely to be life-changing[4],
    • that is governed by a Committee of two couples and one other[5]
      • five people when there should be seven (see below)
    • that does not identify these people, nor the people directing the operation, on its website
    • that has a Committee that that has no outsiders (even from another YWAM)
    • that has a Committee composition that breaches the requirements of Missions Interlink (see below).
  • This is an organisation, a registered charity, that had revenue of $805K in the 2020 year, but where the responsible persons continue to show their disdain for their legal responsibilities by
    • again submitting a Financial Report that is grossly deficient
      • two of the four required financial statements missing
      • a long out-of-date format for the ‘Income and Expenditure Statement’
      • a non-compliant director’s declaration
      • 34% of the expenses in an item with no breakup
      • most of the required Notes missing
    • again submitting their annual reporting one and a half months late (with the due date being a generous six months after the financial year-end)
    • still not meeting their responsibilities as the owner of a fund that has deductible gift recipient status[6]
    • still operating without having the required registration for its name
    • continuing to have a committee that is two short of the required number[7].
  • This is an organisation that gives no information on what it achieved (outcomes, results, or impact) from all that it does, and is doing (using labour funded by donors[8]).
  • This is an organisation that is part of a movement where
    • periodically there are credible reports of abuse of students
    • there is a lack of accountability: the external YWAM body that this and many Australian YWAMs constitutions say needs to be involved in some of the important decisions[9], appears not to exist[10]
    • the members resist independent scrutiny of their information.

A draft of this review was sent to the charity.

The organisation is a member of Missions Interlink[11]. As such it has agreed to comply with a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

The organisation….did not respond.



  1. For the previous review, see here.
  2. This is the name under which they trade – see, for example, the website – yet, contrary to the law, they have not registered it.
  3. https://www.ywambyronbay.com/adventure-dts-ywam-australia-byron-bay/:Text Description automatically generated
  4. https://www.ywambyronbay.com/about-intro:Text Description automatically generated
  5. Katja VirolainenKevin and Tiffany SticklSteven and Susan Clark
  6. Compare who is on the Committee with who is required by the government to be on the Committee [clause 43, constitution, ACNC Register].
  7. Clause 14 of the constitution requires a Committee of seven.
  8. Not on their website, but common to YWAMs:Text Description automatically generated
  9. For instance, in accountability to the government because of a fund’s tax deductible status:Text, letter Description automatically generated
  10. The only mention of Australia in a long list of ‘global contacts’ all around the world is ‘Pacific & Asia Field Convenor’.
  11. Missions Interlink is the Australian Evangelical Alliance Inc‘s ‘network for global mission. Here’s the membership (https://missionsinterlink.org.au/membership/mi-members-and-associates):Graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message Description automatically generated