WaterAid Australia's history

WaterAid Australia has been working with some of the world’s poorest people for over 13 years. With your support, we have been helping them to improve their lives with access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

WaterAid Australia was founded in 2004 in collaboration between the water industry and the international aid sector, and officially launched at Parliament House by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Alexander Downer, in 2005. Tony Kelly was WaterAid Australia’s Founding Chair.

We began funding projects in Papua New Guinea in 2004. And in Timor-Leste in 2005.

PNG girl in a toilet blockWaterAid/Tom Greenwood

We had an annual operating budget of over $1 million by 2005.

WaterAid Australia became one of four founding members of WaterAid International, along with the United Kingdom, America and Sweden. And now Canada, India and Japan have joined. We work together to help transform lives.

We have supported water, sanitation and hygiene programs in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nepal, Mozambique and Tanzania with funding from the Australian government.

Timor-Leste child using a handpumpWaterAid/Tom Greenwood

Our institutional and philanthropic fundraising has grown to over $10 million annually. We have many committed corporate, foundation, community and individual supporters, as well as dynamic fundraising committees who run successful events including gala balls and golf days.

In the last 13 years we have launched national campaigns to boost public awareness and government support for our work.

The Grant Hill Graduate Program was launched in honour of one of WaterAid’s founders in 2012 to provide young professionals with the opportunity to intern at WaterAid.

We employ approximately 30 full-time staff in Australia and 40 staff in the country programs we fund.

Child in Cambodia holding cups of waterWaterAid/ Tom Greenwood

We established a country program in Cambodia in 2013, in the Solomon Islands in 2015 and in Myanmar in 2016.

We are working towards a world where everyone, everywhere has access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene by 2030.

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