View QSA Statement of Purpose.

About Quaker Service Australia

Quaker Service Australia Inc. (known as QSA) is the service and overseas aid organisation of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia. QSA is a tax exempt charity. Its role is to channel the concern of Australian Quakers for building a more peaceful, equitable, just and compassionate world. Read our Statement of Purpose here.

We currently work with partners in countries throughout the world including Cambodia, India, Indigenous Australia, Zimbabwe and Uganda. QSA has supported work in the areas of health, education and human rights, but the main focus has been in providing people with the skills to create small vegetable gardens and earn a decent livelihood.

To read more about the projects we support, click here.

QSA was established in 1959, and began as just a few boxes in a garage in Melbourne. From those humble beginnings, trust in Quaker development work grew, and so did the organisation. Although our current office is no bigger than a garage, we have expanded in other ways.

To find out more about the history of QSA click here.

QSA turned 50 in 2009. It's hard to believe how much has been achieved and how many lives have been affected in less than a lifetime of work. To commemorate this anniversary, a book 'Friends in Deed' has been written based on the stories of those involved in our work over the past fifty years.

To find out more about this book, click here.

QSA has a small office of staff, based in Sydney. They are managed by a Management Committee which meets monthly, and are accountable to Australia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

To view the qualifications of our staff and Management Committee here.

Each year, QSA produces an Annual Financial Report, in accordance with the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct.

To view our financial statements and Annual Report here.

quakers Australia

Ai Leen Quah - African Prihect manager

Ai Leen Quah - African Project Manager

Ai Leen has worked with various agencies including the UNDP, and local and international development NGOs in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. She comes to QSA with policy and programs experience in community and economic development, agriculture, health and education. She loves her bicycle and is passionate about social justice issues. Ai Leen holds a Masters in Development Studies and has recently begun Graduate Diploma studies in Political Economy.


October 2014 – September 2015

Report from the QSA Management Committee Convenor

2016 has been somewhat of a turning point year for Quaker Service Australia (QSA) as it drafted a constitution to become a company limited by guarantee.  This has been a long journey as original plans to submit a new constitution as an Association in New South Wales were rethought after consultations with our stakeholders in Australia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Legal advice helped clarify that way forward. During this process of change we farewelled some longer serving management committee members and welcomed replacements, including some keen to serve again bringing valuable past experience and continuity with them. Earlier in the year QSA changed its income receiving bank accounts moving away from the Big Four banking arrangements to now bank with CUA (Credit Union Australia)
Changes in the regulation of Not-for-profit companies (including Charities) that come under the watch of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) saw a new streamlined compliance framework emerge having a better regulatory fit for Quaker Service Australia.  Increasingly the ACNC will play a larger role while state Fair Trading departments play a lesser role for the development sector in coming years. The timing to make the shift in regulatory oversight became just right for Quaker Service Australia at the time of its constitutional development.  After many years of a compliance focus 2017 will now see this bedded down with a focus on getting on with development work taking prominence in the newly constituted company.  In essence most of our donors will just notice the slightest of change in name from Quaker Service Australia Inc to Quaker Service Australia Limited as the QSA bank accounts will remain the same. The governance of QSA though will be clearer with a core local management committee and a new regional based Linkages Committee that has a greater focus on two way communication and increased involvement in supporting QSA. A newly redeveloped and enhanced website will greatly assist this approach in the coming years.
Projects are the lifeblood of any development organisation and 2016 was a year of stresses and strains in trying to get the most value out of each dollar donated while operating in at times challenging community dynamics. Longer term working with partner organisations on the ground in country has proven to be a good model that allows for mentoring of new partner organisations to occur.  Sometimes this mentoring is a slow and not so easy fit resulting in either change with the new partner or a phasing out of involvement.  QSA saw both of those scenarios play out this year and we have learned much from this interaction helping fine tune and strengthen our policies and procedures .

Relationships and capacity building continue to be key factors in the QSA theory of change in delivering outcomes that benefit the communities in which we work. This year the African Projects in Uganda were visited by Ragna Gilmour and the Cambodian and Indian Tamil Nadu projects visited by Jackie Perkins.  Jane Drexler also carried out an independent assessment overview of some longer term projects in Cambodia reviewing these and providing helpful recommendations that are now being implemented, as well as technical support for one of these partners as it transitioned to a new phase.
The work of the QSA volunteer fundraisers, whether local meeting stalls, the Quaker Shop or individual efforts with open gardens and musical events continue to provide vital funds as do regular donations and bequests received. The finance team of John Dundas (Treasurer) and Alis Middleton.(Financial Officer) have brought together some wise insights in tracking donation trends. From this a greater focus on fundraising is on the agenda for the coming year as we seek to inspire a younger generation to take up the cause of QSA.
On behalf of QSA I thank all of those who have helped make this a defining year and we look forward to the future work we seek to do in an increasingly complex, troubled and challenging world.

Michael Morrissey and Garry Duncan- QSA

Garry Duncan - Convenor

Report from the Executive Administrator

QSA’s project partners have again produced some amazing results to bring about significant and positive change in the lives of the project participants. For some people this has meant access to a wider range of fruit and vegetables which they have grown themselves, and the improved nutrition has meant more robust health, less sickness and a stronger constitution. In other projects, training and skills enhancement has meant successful small businesses have been established, often as a result of securing a small loan from the local group for set-up costs. All of this is reported to QSA from the project partners in their quarterly reports, and the monitors get the chance to see for themselves during their regular visits. During the year Ragna Gilmour visited three projects in Uganda, and I visited projects in Cambodia and india. It is great to be able to meet the project participants and witness their sense of achievement and pride in what they have created during the year, and they are always very happy to demonstrate their new skills.
 Many of the training courses provided as part of the projects also discuss ideas about human rights, child protection and ways of reducing child and family violence. This is particularly evident in a project being supported in South Australia, working with Aboriginal men and youth to reduce incidence of depression and family violence, working with existing soccer clubs as a means of sharing this knowledge.
 The sharing of ideas between project partners overseas is encouraged via hub meetings in the region, enabling a sharing of resources and ideas, as well as peer support and mentoring. During the year two projects in Cambodia collaborated with an evaluation exercise, giving the staff valuable training in new skills, as well as provided some useful information to assist with the planning of future projects. Collaboration also works well for QSA as it shares ideas and resources with other development NGOs in Australia, particularly through its membership of and support for the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and its various country or sector specific communities of practice, and also with the members of the Church Agencies Network. It is through these informal settings that ideas can be discussed and developed so that QSA learns new ideas to pass on in turn to the project partners.
 So yes it has been another busy year, and we continue to be grateful, on behalf of our project partners, for the financial and other support we receive which enables their work to continue, and for new projects to be taken on and supported as well. 

Jackie Perkins - QSA

Jackie Perkins, Executive Administrator