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YWAM Tahlee

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This is a review of ‘YWAM Tahlee’. This YWAM was discovered while reviewing Youth With A Mission Newcastle Incorporated (YWAMN). (YWAM Tahlee appears to be controlled by that charity.)


YWAM Tahlee accepts donations (Financial Report 2020, ACNC Register]. Currently payments to YWAM Tahlee are made via YWAMN’s website, but no doubt the new website that is said to be coming will have a ‘Donate’ or similar button.


The charities’ regulator, 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 organisation’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.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘YWAM Tahlee’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1]

Question 1

A search of the Register of charities for ‘YWAM Tahlee’ gives a registered charity in the name ‘YWAM Tahlee Limited (YWAMTa

Question 2

There is nothing to suggest that YWAMTa to use door-to-door or street fundraisers.

Question 3

The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure. The YWAMN ‘Donate’ page says that ‘This is a secure SSL encrypted payment[2].

Question 4

No tax deduction is available for any payments to YWAMTa.

Question 5 How donations are used

The context

In 2019, YWAMTa took over the property run by Tahlee Ministries.

Presumably the ‘Community Values’ in the YWAM Newcastle Staff Handbook[3] apply to YWAMTa.

On the website.

From the AIS 2020:

See also the Chairman’s Report in the Financial Report 2020.

Sharing the Gospel?[4]


How their money is used

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2020 on the ACNC Register.


The directors are confused as to what kind of statements they’ve produced. In Note 1 (a) (Notes to the Financial Statements) they say that they are special purpose financial statements, but this is contradicted in the Directors’ Declaration.


This shouldn’t affect the expenses though. Here are the ones over $10K (from the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income):

‘Insurance’ $75K

‘Community Life’ $49K

Electricity and Gas $28K

IT expenses $10K

Total expense $234K


There’s no explanation of the second largest expense, ‘Community Life’[5].


The statements were given a ‘clean’ audit opinion. The auditor, Neil Watson, KLM Accountants, also gives contradictory messages about the type of financial statements. (Neil also audited YWAMN.)


From the Directors’ Report [Financial Report 2020], these were the people responsible for the accounts:

David Stephenson

Michael Thorpe

Christopher Ryburn

Julianne afPetersens

Since signing the accounts, David’s wife, Carolyn (Carrie) Stephenson, has joined the Board.


All five directors are staff members of YWAM.


The directors are responsible to the members, but there are only five [Notes to the Financial Statements].


The external YWAM body that, from the constitution [ACNC Register] needs to be involved in the appointment and removal of the ‘Managing Director’,[6] appears not to exist[7].


This lack of accountability is typical for YWAMs, documented by us in reviews, and recently by Ministry Watch.



Nothing on impact was found.

YWAMTa’s response

YWAMN’s Staff Handbook says that they ‘encourage openness and transparency’:

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




  1. 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? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].
  2. Better practice is to also include at least the logo of the provider of the security.
  3. To find this you will have to do a Google (or similar) site search: site:ywamnewcastle.com staff handbook.
  4. ‘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].
  5. There a few other things wrong:
    • The Directors’ Declaration does not comply with the ACNC Act.
    • Note 1(a) refers to the wrong legislation.
    • No depreciation has been charged.
    • Note 1(b) says that there are no comparative figures, yet they are shown.
    • Borrowing is classified as ‘Trade and other payables’.
    • And they haven’t charged any depreciation. (The amount is small though.)

  6. Text, letter Description automatically generated
  7. The only mention of Australia in a long list of ‘global contacts’ all around the world is ‘Pacific & Asia Field Convenor’.