Read all your submissions here.


“I am a relatively new Australian citizen. This is something I value deeply and as I get to know better the “Aussie way of life” one thing has become clear to me, Australians are deeply generous and we do not hesitate to help each other in times of need.” – Tania, Brisbane

“Australia is a financially strong, globally responsible state that has the capacity to significantly affect the welfare of the globe around it. It is vital in the area of foreign aid especially that we do not lose this chance.” – Robert, Canberra

“I am so very grateful to be living in Australia and was able to see my own children thrive and make it to adulthood. I strongly believe that Australia has a major role to play in supporting people living in developing countries have the same chance at life.” – Emmanuelle, Melbourne

“My vision for the Foreign Affairs Taskforce is that Australia actions sustained increases in overall resources for the aid program over the next 10 years. This will support independence and hope in the hearts of the poorest people on the planet and contribute to global security.” – Sue, Melbourne

“In an increasingly interconnected global community it makes sound political sense to invest into the health systems and countries that feed into our own economy.” – Ros, Canberra

“Helping to facilitate human flourishing is ultimately in everyone’s interests and I want Australian ODA, as part of our wider foreign policy, to do this by being courageous, just and equitable” – Michelle, Sydney

“I am a mother of two and I understand the challenges faced by parents because of the weaker immunity of children and how important and valuable medical assistance is…I would like to see Australia offer more aid to countries where access to health care and education is poor.” – Bianca, Melbourne

“With each policy considered by the Australian Government in the White Paper, we encourage that the potential diseases eliminated, children that can be fed, and the lives that can be saved, are never forgotten.” – Michelle, Dhia, Pooya, Mahsa, Jonathan and Daisy, Sydney

“The main goal of Australian aid should be ending poverty, not promoting Australia’s interests. The purpose of aid is to break down the barriers of poverty that stop vulnerable people from reaching their potential. Australia can help the world reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and it’s time we did so!” – Dina, Sydney

“My country of birth is Israel. In my three decades living there, I have seen, often at first hand, the impact of conflict, prejudice and economic inequality on everyone. When fences proliferate, it gradually becomes hard to tell whether you are being fenced in or out.” – Idan, Melbourne

“I think that Australia’s foreign policy needs to focus on ensuring basic rights are met so that people’s capabilities are not constrained by poverty; so that communities can help themselves, escape the vicious cycle of poverty and nurture their surroundings too.” – Linley, Adelaide

“I believe that we should all have the same capabilities to achieve the life we value, which in turn will enable us to better contribute to the development of our immediate as well as global communities. I believe in a non-zero-sum world where we can all be winners and I wish for a more sustainable, equitable and collaborative international development.” – Marina, Brisbane

“I am dismayed with the current trend of decreasing Australia’s foreign aid spending with a corresponding increase in the defence (especially the military) budget. There is plenty of evidence to show that well directed foreign aid is more effective in promoting security and world peace than is military muscle.” – Bruce, Canberra

“I maintain we can, we as a collective consciousness can rise to meet this challenge that is before us, we can make the world a better place for all of us to live in, we can embrace and be all encompassing of those in need, whether for a place to live, more food on the table or fresh water and education for children, we owe it to them. Let’s stop being entitled, we don’t own the outcome, we own the process, let’s choose wisely, not poorly. Don’t let future generations accuse Australia of being followers, not leaders, let’s lead the way, be brave and stand out, humanity will thank us.” – Wallis, Melbourne

“Now is the time to ‘redress the balance’ for our development aid funding, and to work towards fully resourcing the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, on our way to their 2030 target.” – Tom, Adelaide

“I am calling on the Australian Government to consider the impact our aid program can have on achieving those goals. It’s not just about children dying, it’s about lifting communities out of poverty. It’s about empowering women. It’s about access to education. It’s about more than living, it’s about having a life worth living…Having a life worth living is surely a human right, not one reserved for the privileged.” – Ruby, Melbourne

“At my core, I am a proponent for fairness. I don’t believe however that the rhetoric of the White Paper needs to appeal to benefit of saving lives – this work speaks for itself. Rather, in order to be prioritised by the private sector and the concept adopted across Australian social classes, aid needs to be redefined as investment or ‘good’ trade.” – Alyssa, Sydney

“In the past, w​hen ​fighting inequality ​poverty and hunger ​seemed hopeless, ​Australia and the First World was off the hook. But if ​I am right, ​and the statistics would suggest that I am, ​​Australia and the First World can make a difference​ – we must ​step up and ​do something.” – David, Canberra

“As an individual I endeavour to live by the principle that, if I can do good, then it is my responsibility to do so. I hold my country to the same principle.” – Lindsey, Hobart

“It must be noted that these [aid] cuts also portray Australia as a nation that, despite 25 years of economic growth, has turned inward and become a less generous global citizen. I strong believe this is an international relations and foreign policy failure.” – Maree, Sydney

“Some of my family comes from Kenya, so African poverty breaks my heart and makes me cry. I would like to feel proud to say I’m Australian again, I would like us to start contributing our fair share towards international poverty alleviation measures.” – Elisha, Melbourne

“I want to keep believing that Australia is a ‘giving’ country – a country that embraces multiculturalism, and treats all individuals with dignity and respect. As social inequities continue to rise and certain cultural groups continue to be discriminated against and marginalised, I hope that our leaders can step up and champion a movement to promote equality, justice and sustainable global progress.” – Christine, Sydney

“One of the first things I noticed on settling here was the degree to which everybody helped each other. Someone was sick, a range of meals were organised. Someone was pregnant – prams, cots clothes etc. miraculously appeared. In recent times however, we have become increasingly begrudging as a government with aid to those outside our own borders. I know people say “aid begins at home” but I say it should not end there.” – Barbara, Sydney

“The argument that “charity begins at home” must end. Our federal government commits just 0.85% of the entire budget to overseas aid expenditure. That means 99.15% of the budget is spent here in Australia. If we cannot solve our domestic problems with 99% of total budget expenditure, an extra 0.85 percent is simply not going to help. While we should not dismiss some of the major domestic issues we have in Australia, we should all acknowledge that Australia needs to be a stronger player in tackling poverty and eradicating major diseases. Giving others in our region a fair go is not only in our national interest. It’s what Australians do. It’s part of who we are.” – Ryan, Adelaide

“I appreciate and encourage aid and political support for all the regions, but urge in this opportunity that more focus must be given to Latin American countries as well through international scholarships, aid, research and innovation and community development programs adapted for each reality.” – Carolina, Melbourne

“Australian Foreign Policy should empower communities to reach their potential through better health, education, nutrition, security and economic stability. The results will greatly benefit Australia.” – Diana, Sydney

“Official development assistance should not fund projects that are at cross-purposes to fulfilling human rights or reversing climate change. Consistent with this, a commitment should be made to funding no new fossil fuel projects – oil, coal, and gas must be left in the ground, and renewable energy promoted in its place. Aid should also not be used as a bargaining chip for the offshore detention of asylum seekers; processing and settlement should occur in Australia for all who seek asylum here.” – Jeremy, Hobart

“If Australia is to make a significant contribution to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, it will be essential for Australia to commit to a growth path which initially reverses cuts to the aid program in recent years, and increases development assistance to a level of approximately $10 billion per year by the mid 2020s.  This will enable Australia is to contribute to each of the important objectives for the aid program without these objectives competing with each other for scarce resources.” – Mark, Brisbane

“I pay quite a lot of tax, and see substantial benefits to Australia in the use of that tax to fund aid. My money is where my mouth is: I have been a monthly Oxfam Australia donor for many years. Please use the tax I pay in a statesman-like way, honouring how Australia is viewed and valued globally.” – Martin, Sydney

“It is hard to reconcile that as our nation prospers our national identity is becoming more mean spirited and unsympathetic. Restoring overseas aid must be a government priority.” – Steve, Hobart

“Investing in education and health lays the foundation for a country to thrive. Without it, even the soundest and best-intentioned interventions will be undermined.” – Gina, Hobart

“No parent should lose a child because they couldn’t get to a hospital or doctor because their child didn’t get a simple vaccination, these are the sorts of programs Australia should be funding.” – Monique, Sydney