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United Way Australia

United Way Australia forms a part of a worldwide network which believes that everybody deserves the chance of reaching their full growth.

United Way Australia forms a part of a worldwide network which believes that everybody deserves the chance of reaching their full growth. The focus is enhancing early literacy to facilitate children in communities that are disadvantaged to begin school ready for reading, learning and succeeding in life. This is done through mobilizing individuals, government, corporate partners and community organizations. United Way Australia believes stakeholders should work together towards overcoming deep-rooted social issues in order to leverage the maximum potential of those skills and resources that each brings along.

United Way Australia History

United Way Australia was founded 128 years ago in 1887, by a Denver woman, a rabbi, a priest and two ministers who acknowledged the need for joint action towards addressing the welfare problems of their city. They came together to map the initial joint campaign for welfare and health. They formed an organisation serving as an agent towards collecting funds for local charities plus coordinating relief services to advise and refer needy clients to the cooperating agencies, and where necessary, give emergency aid grants to those whose cases they are unable to refer.

That year, $21,700 was raised and it gave birth to a movement which would later spread across the entire nation to become today's United Way. Today, over 100 years later, United Way Australia is remains focused towards the mobilization of the power of caring in communities and in making some differences in the lives of people.

Currently, there are almost 1,800 United Way community-based groups in some 41 nations and territories, and about $5 billion is raised annually for those local communities. This is a network throughout Australia having offices in Melbourne, Queensland, Sydney, Glenelg, Central Coast Ballarat, Perth and South Australia. Every year, $6 million is invested and over 3400 volunteers are engaged into various community projects all over the country, improving the lives of some 18,000 people in Australia.

United Way WA began in Western Australia some 20 years ago. Disturbed by the increasing want in the community and ensuing rising charitable requests, an assemblage of Perth businessmen set up United Way West Australia Inc in the year 1986. It operated a 12-month program on a pilot basis, then started full operations in the month of July in 1988.

United Way Australia is united locally and globally by the Community Impact mission for the mobilization of communities towards creating lasting changes in conditions in the community that enhance lives.

Get Involved

United Way Australia believes everybody has a role towards ensuring young people and children in communities that are disadvantaged get the best opportunity of succeeding at school and even beyond. United Way Australia invites you to partner with them and assist in delivering education programs so that young people can "Read. Learn. Succeed."

This will go towards delivering evidence-based programs which empower children and young people in those communities that are disadvantaged, boost their literacy, improve school retention and being ready for work. United Way Australia invites you to unite with them in charting the way towards social change and "Give. Advocate. Volunteer."

The UWA Board

The national body responsible for United Ways throughout Australia is the United Way Australia (UWA) Board. The Board incorporates United Way Central Coast, Sydney, Queensland and Melbourne's operations, with each branch operating as a UWA division. The organisation retains the United Way license in all Australia and has got membership from individuals from all the communities throughout Australia. It is trustee of the Public Ancillary Fund, which is United Way Australia's Donations Fund (the UWA Trust).

Community Impact Approach

United Way Australia believes in working with all organizations and sectors to leverage on the available resources towards making a collective felt impact in the communities.

United Way Australia is uniquely placed as a 'neutral broker' in terms of bringing together government, businesses, citizens and community organizations, all which are basically required towards overcoming social issues. This is the way United Way strategically tackles issues. Strategically they operate in high want geographic communities, to directly support and engage children and families. This approach is referred to as the Community Impact.

Annual and Financial Reports

United Way Australia endeavors to become transparent in all that gets done. The Annual audited accounts and report published yearly in Mau includes disclosure consistent levels with this commitment.

United Way's Mission and Values

To improve human lives through the mobilization of the caring power of our communities towards advancing the common good.


To achieve the mission, do this, United Way aspires to:

  • To inspire and energize people towards making a difference
  • Offers meaningful opportunities to individuals towards realizing their potential
  • Increasing investments in the community through diversifying and expanding own fundraising and resource development efforts and in supporting efforts of others
  • Ensuring investments have identifiable impact
  • Strengthening the United Way Brand and movement at the national and local levels


United Way values are to:

  • Demonstrating trust, transparency, inclusivity, integrity and respect
  • Measuring, communicating, and learning from the effort impacts
  • Endorsing innovation, strengthening partnerships and joint action
  • Encouraging and promoting volunteer and volunteerism leadership
  • Embracing diversity

United Way's Volunteers

Through the solid work done by in excess of 3000 volunteers who are helping support 300 community organizations in grassroots, United Way Australia is focused on producing a real difference to 3 broad sectors in the Australian communities: Education, Health and Income. These form the critical building blocks towards good quality life, as identified through United Way's Common Cause research. UWA is not just searching for fleeting solutions but for change that is permanent.

Partnering With Others

It takes action through everybody in the community functioning together to build a brighter future for all. United Way Australia corporate partners and their workers are pioneering this charge in all communities throughout Australia via their dedication to Community Impact.

The Community Impact approach offers leaders in the corporate world with opportunities of investing their organization's technical, human and financial resources in unique initiatives which could:

  • Generate high engagement for their employees
  • Embrace social innovation, permitting employees and organizations to strategically collaborate and become joint-creators in social change
  • Demonstrate proof of sound responsiveness and understanding to the fundamental nature of most social problems
  • Demonstrate learned lessons and improvement compared with past practices
  • Focus combined resources and energies on a few select core issues towards achieving better Community Impact

The United Way's Australian network facilitates work with many corporate partners at the local, state and national levels across the entire country.

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