60years-splash
1950s

1953

Our beginnings

In this video, historian Susan Blackburn looks back at Oxfam Australia’s origins, from the Food for Peace Campaign to Community Aid Abroad.

1953

Food for Peace is born

A quote from Father Gerard Tucker who founded the Food for Peace Campaign.

1960s

1960

PINNIES PROVE POWERFUL

2,000 hand-made aprons were donated to raise money for the Food For Peace campaign. Prizes were …

1960

Global hunger campaign

The Australian Government issues a press release announcing that Australia will support the United Nation’s Freedom From Hunger Campaign. It …

1961

Freedom From Hunger begins

Volunteer Anne Batt joined the Freedom from Hunger campaign in 1962. Here, she tells her story, recalling the merger between Freedom From Hunger and Community Aid Abroad in 1992 before going onto become Oxfam Australia in 2005.

1962

Changing times

Food for Peace becomes Community Aid Abroad and David Scott takes over from his uncle, Father Gerard Tucker, as National Director. His drive and leadership over the coming decades lay the foundations for us becoming one of Australia’s leading humanitarian …

1963

Our grassroots origins

During the 1960s Community Aid Abroad achieved significant growth at grass roots level. Christobel and David Mattingley share their story about starting the first Group in South Australia.

1963

Our Volunteers – Dianne

My name is Dianne Sackelariou and I started volunteering 50 years ago as a “door-knocker” for the Freedom From Hunger …

1965

Oxfam Trading

Christobel and David Mattingley share the story of how the original Community Aid Abroad shops were set up.

1968

Our volunteers – Ros

My name is Ros Lewis. I am a campaigner and group member in Launceston, Tasmania. I joined the Launceston Community Aid Abroad group when it formed in 1987 …

1969

Sri Lanka land development programs

By the late 1970s CAA develops strong relationships with local partners in Sri Lanka. A national strategy is developed and focuses on the development of credit cooperatives and agricultural training.

1970s

1975

Supporting Timor-Leste

We embark on our journey of support for Timor-Leste that continues to this day.

1975

The famous Adelaide bookshop

Don Gobbett tells the story of the Oxfam bookshop in Adelaide which has now raised $1.5 million.

1977

India Program

Mini Bedi shares her story of being our first Field Director in India. At the time it was a groundbreaking move to appoint a woman. The program focused on women in regional areas.

1978

Our Song

In celebration of our 25th Anniversary, this catchy tune called “Jubilee” was written and recorded by Caatalyst, a group of Community Aid Abroad supporters from Adelaide …

1979

Our volunteers – Judy

My name is Judy Warrell and I started volunteering in 1979 for Community Aid Abroad [CAA]. I found out about the …

1980s

1980

You’ve got mail

I’m Bernie Omedi. I first became involved with Oxfam in 1977. I was a lecturer in Mathematics. I started thinking about …

1980

Going digital

Brian and Sandy Loffler recount our radical and revolutionary move to digitise our database, which was not without some hurdles along the way.

1983

Ethiopian Famine

Graham Romanes tells the story of our work in Ethiopia during the famine.

1986

All aboard the Community Aid Abroad bus

The One World bus served as a mobile billboard for Community Aid Abroad in Perth.

1986

Indigenous Australia

Our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples grew out of a question: “If we are so interested in reducing poverty overseas, what about our own?” Glenyys Romanes tells …

1987

REBUILDING SHATTERED LIVES

In Mozambiqe, a brutal civil war forces more than a quarter of the population to flee their homes as “bandits” unleash a campaign of sabotage and terror. This results in severe food shortages and a massive refugee situation …

1988

Pushing boundaries at Boggo Road

Mike Dendle and Susan Black recall CAA’s work in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Queensland in the late 1980s.

1988

Apartheid in South Africa

From the Community Aid Abroad archives, we’ve dug out this historical footage with Graham Romanes talking about the apartheid regime in South Africa.

1990s

1990

Meeting Mandela

In this powerful piece, Graham Romanes shares the story of how he met Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison.

1991

Hey Hey, it’s Walk Against Want

In 1991, Daryl Somers puts his best foot forward to help promote the annual Walk Against Want …

1991

Our volunteers – Kevin

My name is Kevin McNair and I first started volunteering with Community Aid Abroad in 1991. It was initially a two-week work experience course I had signed up to …

1995

Oxfam goes global

A first hand account of the decision of Community Aid Aboard to become part of Oxfam International from Ian Anderson, current Deputy Chair of the Oxfam Australia Board.

1996

JUST STOP IT!

Our Nike campaign is launched to highlight the ugly reality behind the gloss of Nike’s sportswear range …

1998

Every drop counts

One of Oxfam’s greatest water innovations is also one of its most simple — the Oxfam bucket …

1999

Trailblazers

Sarah Williams started with Oxfam Australia in 1997 as a volunteer. She was integral in getting Trailwalker started.

1999

First time leading an international emergency

For the first time we are the leading Oxfam affiliate in an international emergency in Timor-Leste. We focus on delivering clean water and sanitation.

2000s

2002

SOUTH AFRICA HIV AND AIDS PROGRAM

Bridgette Thorold and Pumla Mabizela tell the story of our early, integrated response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in South Africa.

2004

PLAY FAIR AT THE OLYMPICS

Drawn from our Oxfam News archives from 2004, Jeff Atkinson writes about our “Play Fair at the Olympics” campaign in support of factory workers who make big brand sportswear.

2004

Asian Tsunami – our largest emergency response

Nalini Kasynatahan tells the story of our response in Sri Lanka following the Asian Tsunami and how we included women in the recovery process.

2005

Changing gift-giving

Oxfam Unwrapped is launched. A unique way to buy a gift for friends and family and, at the same time, help people living in poverty.

2007

Close the gap

The Close the Gap campaign is launched to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ health. We are a founding member of the coalition.

2007

Solomon Islands tsunami – emergency response

A series of earthquakes, generating a tsunami, struck the western provinces of the Solomon Islands on 2 April 2007. Oxfam Australia worked to help around 3,500 people in the Gizo …

2010s

2010

Keeping your cuppa fair

The Oxfam fair brand of tea and coffee is launched — and available nationally in Oxfam shops and supermarkets around Australia. Fair Trade empowers disadvantaged communities by paying them fair …

2010

Cash-for-work in Pakistan

More than 20 million people were affected when floods inundated almost one-fifth of Pakistan. Australians donated $3.7 million to our appeal, which helped Oxfam reach almost 2.5 million survivors …

2011

WORST DROUGHT IN 60 YEARS

A crippling drought left 13 million people across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia in dire need of food and clean water …

2012

WEST AFRICA FOOD CRISIS IN PICTURES

More than 18 million people were affected by a severe food crisis in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa; caused by drought, a failure of several crops …

2013

Making history with the United Nations

My name is Ben Murphy. I am a Humanitarian Advocacy Coordinator with Oxfam Australia. I was in New York when the Arms Trade Treaty was finally passed by the United …

2013

Papua New Guinea literacy program

Our gender programs in Papua New Guinea empower women, helping them to live free from violence and discrimination, run their own businesses, become community leaders, be treated equally, learn how …

2013

60th anniversary greetings in Zulu

Oxfam Australia’s 60th Anniversary festivities go right around the world. Here, a group of South African children sing to our Chief Executive Helen Szoke.

60years-splash