Our Story

Where Useful Gifts began.

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

It's 1994. Bryan Adams' "Please forgive me" is number 1 on the Aussie charts, Christopher Skase is arrested in Spain and phone numbers are about to get an extra digit. In Melbourne, TEAR's then National Director Steve Bradbury is becoming increasingly frustrated at the growing commercialisation of Christmas.

Inspired and agitated, Steve and a small team created an educational resource to put the focus of Christmas back on the call of Christ to serve the poor.

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

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

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.

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

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, TEAR Australia remains committed to the idea that giving more 'stuff' isn't what the world needs. Giving more usefully is.

TEAR Australia

TEAR 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.

TEAR 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!


TEAR's partners

There are no TEAR offices overseas. Instead, TEAR has more than 130 partners - community-based Christian groups, churches, and relief and development agencies – in Africa, South and South-East Asia, the Pacific and in Indigenous Australia.

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


TEAR Australia
A Company Limited by Guarantee
ABN: 85 085 413 832
ARBN: 085 413 832
IRN: A0036369M