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About us

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children.

About Save the Children 

Here in Australia and around the world, we give a powerful voice to children and champion their rights. As a global organisation, Save the Children directly reaches millions of children whose rights are threatened across more than 100 countries every year. 

Our history

Eglantyne Jebb, a pioneering teacher and sociologist, founded Save the Children in England in 1919. With a strong vision for children’s rights, in 1923 Eglantyne wrote what she believed were the fundamental rights of every child. This powerful statement was adopted by the League of Nations in 1924 (forerunner to the United Nations [UN]), and now underpins the current UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Nine decades later, these fundamental rights continue to create the foundation for everything we do. At a time when women had only just won the right to vote, Eglantyne was a pioneer for child wellbeing and revolutionised the way we treat children.

In the same year Save the Children began in England, our first Australian branch opened in Melbourne to assist refugees affected by war in Europe. Over the next 50 years, state divisions and more Australian branches were established to assist children in Europe and the Middle East. Improving the health and education of children in Australia became a priority in 1951. Welfare centres and preschools for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Victoria were among our first Australian projects.

In 2022 we revealed a new name for our work in Australia – 54 reasons. The children we work with asked for something accessible, relevant, playful and engaging. The name is inspired by the 54 articles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our services continue to support children and young people to learn, grow, dream big, feel safe and supported. 

Your support is critical in helping ensure every child gets a healthy start in life, an education and the chance at a better future. Thanks to supporters like you, our services are helping improve the lives of children here in Australia and all around the world. 

We simply couldn’t do the work we do without you.

You can help us give kids a better start at life. Watch to learn how we do it.

Becoming a global movement

As we continued to grow, so did other Save the Children offices around the world, and today Save the Children has become a truly global movement for children, working in 117 countries. Globally, we share one name, one strategy and one vision of the change we want to achieve in the world. In this way, we can work both as Save the Children Australia, and as part of a global movement with Save the Children International.

With the generous support of more than 116,000 Australians, corporate partners, trusts and foundations, and local, state and federal Australian governments, Save the Children Australia supports some of the hardest-to-reach children and young people around the world.

In 2019 we supported 41 projects in 15 countries. In Australia we reached 33,674 children and adults in 199
communities. We are also a leading member of the Save the Children Association (registered in Geneva) – a group of 30 Save the Children organisations that share a global vision and strategy for improving the lives of children worldwide.

To take advantage of our global scale and ensure we are as efficient and effective as possible, the members of the Save the Children Association work through a single structure, Save the Children International (registered in London), when implementing projects internationally. This means Save the Children’s projects in Australia and the Pacific are implemented directly by us, while our international projects are implemented through Save the Children International and local Save the Children partners.

Read Save the Children's 2022 Annual Report to learn more about our work around the globe or watch our video.

Our ambition for children by 2024

Take a look at Save the Children Australia’s 2022-2024 Strategy that sets out our ambition for what we want the world to look like for children by 2024 and how we’re going to help make that happen.

Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation


Our work tackles all the issues that affect children, including access to health and education, saving lives in a disaster, stopping climate change and protecting children from harm.

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Where we work

We work around the world to protect children from abuse and neglect, provide access to healthcare and education and to assist children in times of emergency.

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Our team

It's our passionate and talented team – our volunteers, members, employees, executive team, Board and ambassadors – that make it possible for us to protect and support children around the world.

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We run programs for children, young people and adults in Australia and overseas. We stand up for children's rights. We're here because we want all children to be educated, healthy and live a life free from violence.

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Accountability is one of Save the Children’s key values. We take responsibility for using resources efficiently, achieving measurable results and being accountable to supporters, partners and children.

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Our policies

Our policies, procedures and guidelines ensure we uphold the integrity of our work and that we are always working in the best interests of children. Save the Children's policies guide our employees to understand their roles and responsibilities to children and assists them to positively and respectfully engage and empower children and families.

Here's a snapshot of some of Save the Children's policies:

Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct

Our Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct outlines our responsibilities for protecting and promoting the rights of children. Read our latest annual report to find out about our current performance.

2016–19 Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan

We are committed to realising the rights of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Read our 2016–19 Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan to find out how we're advancing on our journey to a truly reconciled nation.

Privacy Policy

Our Privacy Policy explains how we record and store personal information and uphold the confidentiality of those who support and work with Save the Children.

Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct provides clear guidance on what we expect of our people and other representatives, as well as providing examples of conduct that will always be unacceptable. It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure our behaviour is consistent with the values and principles of Save the Children, set out in the Code of Conduct.

Policy and Advocacy

Save the Children's Policy and Advocacy Strategy is designed to help us use our knowledge and expertise to provide lasting change in children's lives.

Government and Risk

We are committed to ensuring all our activities are conducted legally, ethically and in accordance with high standards of integrity. Read more about our governance procedures and how we manage risk.

Fraud and Corruption

Fraud and Corruption: We are committed to monitoring and reducing fraud and corruption. Read our latest Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy here.


We are committed to creating and maintaining an open and accountable working environment and encourage all stakeholders including children, young people and families with whom it has contact to report concerns in good faith.

Where a person feels unable to raise a concern through standard feedback channels because of reasonable grounds to fear reprisal, they may use the mechanisms provided by our Whistle-blower Policy. To provide effective protection over disclosures, including allowing continuous discussion with anonymous reporters we has chosen to use an external, secure, online service from Whispli.

Environment and sustainability

As an organisation dedicated to creating lasting change for children, we understand the importance of responding to a new environmental landscape and ensuring development gains are not lost to the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. Read our latest annual report to find out about our current performance.

Program evaluation

We use evaluation reports to assess our program outcomes and ensure we are constantly learning from and improving what we do. The reports allow us to learn about the effectiveness of our interventions, whether they involve direct services for children, or our policy and advocacy work to fulfil children’s rights. Read our recent evaluation reports.

Stay up to date on how Save the Children is creating a world where every child has a safe and happy childhood