Our Story

Where Useful Gifts began.

Tearfund in Australia was founded in 1971 and created the first Gift Catalogue of its kind in 1994.

It's 1994. "Love is all around" is Australia's highest selling single and Bryan Adam's "Please forgive me" is Australia's number 1 song. Christopher Skase is arrested in Spain and phone numbers are about to get an extra digit. In Melbourne, Tearfund's National Director Steve Bradbury is becoming increasingly frustrated at the growing commercialisation of Christmas.

Inspired and agitated, Steve sits down to create an educational resource to put the focus of Christmas back on the poor.

Tearfund's Useful Gifts Catalogue was born in 1994 and quite by accident, became one of the world's most successful fundraising concepts.

We hope you enjoy the Useful Gifts Catalogue and that it inspires you, your family, and your community to buy a gift for a better tomorrow.

Photo: This edition of the Gift Catalogue, from 1995, was one of the first.

The times have changed - and so have the gifts, but underneath it all, Tearfund remains committed to the idea that giving more 'stuff' isn't what the world needs. Giving more usefully is.

Tearfund in Australia

Tearfund Australia was founded in 1971 and produced the first Gift Catalogue of its kind in 1994. We work in partnership with local Christian organisations around the world and with Indigenous Australians to help them address root causes of poverty and marginalisation.

Inspired by Jesus' call to love our neighbours, regardless of background or belief, we focus on projects that seek to improve the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people, uniting communities and empowering men and women as they work together to direct their own future.

Tearfund is fully accredited by the Australian Government, and a signatory to the Australian Council For International Development Code of Conduct.

Photo: The very first Gift Catalogue cards featured hand-tied ribbon bows!

Tearfund's partners

There are no Tearfund Australia offices overseas. Instead, Tearfund Australia works with local partners - community-based Christian groups, churches, and relief and development agencies – in Africa, South and South-East Asia, the Pacific and with Australia's First Peoples.

These committed, local professionals work alongside disadvantaged people – of many faiths and cultures – in their own countries, to run a variety of long-term integrated development projects tailored to meet community needs and address community problems.

Photo: Tearfund partner World Concern Laos has been working on an integrated community development project with Keo Chan’s (centre) community.