Global Education

Teacher resources to encourage a global
perspective across the curriculum

Australia's aid

  • Tukijem received microfinance training to help improve her dried cassava business in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, leading to improved income and livelihood.
  • Group shot of young people with volunteer Pierre Johannessen in Bangladesh.
  • Solomon Islands women are receiving better nutrition information to promote healthier diets for themselves and their families.
  • A woman has her ration card checked at the Ifo refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya.
  • Somali children attend an outdoor classroom at the Friends Primary School in Ifo Refugee Camp, Dadaab, Kenya.
  • An instructor assists two young men to examine an engine.
  • A weather-monitoring station in Kiribati.
  • Father Pat MacAnally and villagers care for the young mulberry plants in Timor-Leste.
  • Villagers prepare the mulberry seedlings in the newly built sheds.
  • Cocoons are boiled to loosen the fibres before being spun into yarn.
  • An Afghan man in traditional dress collects a green leafy vegetable from an agricultural demonstration plot.
  • Citizens were educated about who can vote and how to vote.
  • Mock poll booths helped people understand the electoral process in the 2012 PNG general elections.
  • A woman wearing a face-guard and protective apron walks down a marked path, using a hand-held metal-detector
  • A Tamil woman stands inside the shell of her bombed out home in northern Sri Lanka.
  • Three soldiers in military uniform carrying guns stand in front of a tree.

Quick facts

  • In 2014–15 the Australian Government plans to spend almost $5.032 billion on development assistance or 0.28% of its Gross National Income.
  • Each Australian taxpayer contributes around $0.08 per week to Australia’s aid program.
  • From 2014–15 the $5 billion aid budget will grow each year in line with the Consumer Price Index.
  • The Australian Government will contribute $134 million to non-government organisations (NGOs) in 2014–15. 
  • In 2011–12 1.9 million Australians contributed $871 million to NGOs.
  • In 2011–12 there were 45,751 volunteers in NGOs.


Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australian aid 
Australian Council for International Development – Annual Report 2013 

Contributors' notes

Contribution guidelines

(appears on page)



Aid is necessary to build an environment where policies and infrastructure can be in place to support other sources of finance. Aid to developing countries is only a small proportion of the total level of external financing provided to them. International trade, foreign direct investment, debt forgiveness, remittances from citizens working overseas and domestic savings all contribute to the development of the country.

Why Australia gives aid

Australians value a fair go for all and so help people in need by contributing money, goods, personal time and knowledge.

The Australian Government’s overseas development assistance or aid program aims to promote Australia's national interests by promoting prosperity, reducing poverty and enhancing stability by strengthening private sector development and enabling human development.

The delivery of aid

The Australian Government works to deliver aid in partnership with country governments and international oganisations such as: the United Nations, business and government agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) and volunteers.

  • Bilateral aid – Aid given from the government of one country to the government of another country for long-term development. Australia works through the country’s own systems, helping to strengthen policy and programming as well as deliver aid.
  • Multilateral aid – Aid given by the governments of many countries to international organisations such as the United Nations, specifically its World Food Programme, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for large-scale projects. This form of delivery helps Australia benefit from the organisations’ specialist expertise and extends its reach and impact.
  • Scholarship programs – Australia Awards (which enables students from developing countries to study in Australia) and the Government’s new foreign policy initiative, the New Colombo Plan (which enables Australian students to study in the region).
  • NGOs – Grants to accredited NGOs to deliver programs that address Australia's aid priorities.
  • Community involvement – Engagement with Australian business, volunteer and academic research to better inform and strengthen programs.

Priority areas

  • Infrastructure, trade facilitation and international competitiveness
  • Agriculture, fisheries and water
  • Effective governance: policies, institutions and functioning economies
  • Education and health
  • Building resilience: humanitarian assistance, disaster risk reduction and social protection
  • Gender equality and empowering women and girls

Australian aid

The Australian Government is providing $5 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2014–15, 0.29% of Gross National Income (GNI).

Australian aid is strongly focused on the Indo–Pacific region but it also has a strong commitment to Africa and South Asia. Programs outside the region, where other developed nations have primary responsibility, are being either phased out (e.g. in Latin America and the Caribbean) or scaled back (e.g. sub Saharan Africa). 

The top ten countries for Australia Government aid in 2014–15 (in millions of dollars)

PositionCountryAid (millions $)
2Papua New Guinea502.1
6Solomon Islands92.7


How Australians support overseas aid

In 2011–12 1.9 million Australians contributed a total of $871 million to NGOs for their overseas programs through regular and one-off donations, fundraisers and bequests. Of this 1.2 million Australian were regular donors supporting child sponsorship or other regular donor programs. Also, 45,751 volunteers contributed their time to the work of NGOs. In addition, 739 Australians were volunteering overseas with NGOs.

Making aid effective

Effective aid depends on the partnership between donors and recipients. Donors need to deliver sufficient and predictable aid without unrealistic conditions such as multiple forms of reporting or being tied to purchases from the donor countries. Recipients need good governance, to be able to address corruption, and adopt policies that sustain economic growth and improve human development. To be effective the aid program must adapt to the circumstances in each country.

Some factors which influence the effectiveness of aid are:

  • a sound and stable policy framework
  • an emphasis on social development
  • enhanced participation by the local population, particularly by women
  • good governance, transparency and accountability
  • support for health, education, agriculture and public infrastructure development
  • policies and practices that are environmentally sustainable
  • a means of preventing and resolving conflict and fostering reconciliation.

Further information

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australian Aid 
Australian Council for International Development – Annual Report 2013


International responses

In 1970 the United Nations set a target for developed countries to contribute 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) in aid to developing countries. In 2012 the 24 member countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, the world’s major donors, provided US$134.8 billion or 0.30% of GNI.

Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom all exceeded the 0.7% of GNI target. The USA was the world’s largest single aid donor (US$31.5 billion or 0.19% of GNI), followed by United Kingdom (US$ 17.8 billion or 0.72% of GNI), Germany (US$14 billion, 0.38%), Japan (US$11.7 billion, 0.23%) and France (US$11.3 billion, 0.41%).

The international community has committed itself to the effective delivery of aid through the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005), the Accra Agenda for Action (2008) and the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (2011) to contributing to higher quality, more transparent and effective development cooperation. 

United Nations Millennium Development Goals
OECD Development Assistance Committee

Teaching activity

More content coming soon.

Case studies

Cholera in Papua New Guinea

Lack of safe drinking water and unsanitary conditions in Daru, Papua New Guinea, increase the risk of cholera and other water-borne diseases.
Provision of safe water, proper sanitation and the promotion of improved hygiene and food handling practices are the most effective ways of improving health limiting the spread of cholera.
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Conserving tree kangaroos

The tenkile is very difficult to see in the dense rainforests of Papua New Guinea’s Torricelli Mountains.
Holistic development is improving health and protecting the environment and endangered tree kangaroos in Papua New Guinea.
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Silk tais production in Timor-Leste

Father Pat MacAnally and villagers care for the young mulberry plants in Timor-Leste.
In Timor-Leste, traditional knowledge is used in new ways to produce silk tais, helping villagers reduce poverty.
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A 'Silent Tsunami'

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A 'Silent Tsunami': Global Food Security in the 21st Century (2008) booklet investigates the issue of food security, equity and sustainability.
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Year level: 7-8,9-10
Issue: Australia's aid, Food security, Globalisation, Human rights, Poverty reduction
Country: Australia, Bangladesh

About Australian Aid

Through its aid program the Australian Government assists developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development in line with Australia’s national interest. This video provides a brief outline of the role Australia plays in international development.

Through its aid program the Australian Government assists developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development in line with Australia’s national interest. This video provides a brief outline of the role Australia plays in international development.

Issue: Australia's aid
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Australian Aid

The Australian Government's Aid program website gives an overview of the aid program by theme and country through a range of publications. It provides links to its photo and video collections.

Australian Red Cross

Australian Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement whose mission is to provide assistance and improve the lives of vulnerable people, particularly during emergencies and armed conflict. Red Cross offices are to be found in each state and territory and support a variety of participation programs.

Australian Volunteers for International Development

Australian Volunteers for International Development is a partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australian Aid and Australian Volunteers International, Austraining International and Australian Red Cross. It provides volunteering initiatives for Australians. The website provides case studies, videos and stories about the work of volunteers in a variety of countries.

CARE Australia

CARE Australia is an independent member of the CARE International aid network. It is a non-political, non-religious overseas relief and development organisation. CARE undertakes projects that focus on fighting global poverty, with a special emphasis on the empowerment of women and girls. The CARE website provides case studies and suggestions for learning more about global poverty and for taking action.

Caritas Australia

Caritas Australia is a Catholic agency for international aid and development. It is part of the international Caritas network that supports aid and grassroots programs in communities throughout the world, including Indigenous communities in Australia. The Caritas Australia website provides information about the organisation's projects, education programs, campaigns and fundraising activities.

Developing Global Citizens CD-ROM

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The Developing Global Citizens (2010) CD-ROM integrates global perspectives into five primary and five secondary units of work using multimedia.
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Year level: 3-4,5-6,7-8,9-10
Issue: Australia's aid, Environment, Food security, Globalisation, Human rights, Poverty reduction

Dying to Go to the Toilet

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The Dying to Go to the Toilet: The Sanitation Challenge (2008) booklet develops knowledge and understanding about the issues of sanitation and its importance in delivering outcomes for Millennium Development Goal 7.
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Year level: 7-8,9-10
Issue: Australia's aid, Environment, Poverty reduction, Water and sanitation
Country: Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea

Food for All

The Food for All (2008) booklet introduces teachers to factors contributing to food security for all people.
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Year level: 5-6,7-8
Issue: Australia's aid, Food security, Globalisation, Human rights, Poverty reduction
Country: Australia

Forests: A Global Perspective

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The Forests: A Global Perspective (2011) booklet uses information, maps, graphs, photographs, and data to develop understanding about forests, the uses made of them and the actions taken to manage them sustainably.
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Year level: 7-8,9-10
Issue: Australia's aid, Environment, Food security, Globalisation, Human rights, Poverty reduction
Country: Australia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam

Global Perspectives

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The Global Perspectives: A Framework for Global Education in Australian Schools (2008) booklet is a concise, practical and philosophical guide to including a global perspective across the curriculum.
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Year level: F-2,3-4,5-6,7-8,9-10,11-12
Issue: Australia's aid, Environment, Human rights, Peace building, Poverty reduction

Globalise Me!

Globalise me! CD image
The Globalise Me! A Student's Guide to Globalisation (2004) CD-ROM presents a range of resources to explore globalisation through the themes of people, culture, economy, trade, development, technology, politics and environment.
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Year level: 9-10,11-12
Issue: Australia's aid, Environment, Globalisation, Human rights

International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization is the United Nations agency for overseeing international labour standards. It sees cooperatives as important providers of sustainable employment with the ability to improve the living and working conditions of employees.

Lifting the Lid

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Lifting the Lid: A Teaching Resource for Primary Teachers for the International Year of Sanitation (2008) is packed with useful background information, case studies and teaching activities exploring the importance of sanitation.
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Year level: 3-4,5-6
Issue: Australia's aid, Environment, Poverty reduction, Water and sanitation
Country: Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Philippines


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The Microfinance: A Global Education Resource (2005) CD-ROM introduces the concept of microcredit as a tool for reducing poverty.
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Year level: 3-4,5-6,7-8,9-10
Issue: Australia's aid, Poverty reduction
Country: Indonesia

OECD Development Assistance Committee

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental organisation, with 34 member countries, which aims to improve the economic and social wellbeing of their member populations. Its Development Assistance Committee (DAC) contributes to developing better policies, collection of data and improved development cooperation practices and policies.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

The OECD works to improve development policy and strengthen aid effectiveness for development agencies and partner countries. It provides policy advice on how donors can best support good governance, reduce corruption and protect human rights through their aid programs.,3746,en_2649_34565_46582751_1_1_1_1,00.html


Oxfam Australia is an independent, secular, community-based aid and development organisation, which is affiliated with Oxfam International. It promotes social justice and poverty alleviation through campaigning, education and advocacy. Its website includes exploration of current issues, a range of actions for change and resources for teachers.

Pacific Neighbours

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Pacific Neighbours: Understanding the Pacific Islands (2009) is a resource book to develop understanding of the region, its history and geography, its political and social development, and its people and their cultures.
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Year level: 7-8,9-10
Issue: Australia's aid, Environment, Human rights, Globalisation, Peace building, Water and sanitation
Country: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Australia


Plan in Australia is part of Plan International, a children's development organisation working in fifty countries. Its programs equip communities with the tools and skills to overcome poverty. Its website provides information about poverty and children's rights, education materials and copies of the annual report series The State of the World's Girls.

Stop Disasters Game

Stop Disasters is an online strategy game from the UNESCO Cyberschoolbus site. It aims to teach upper primary and lower secondary students about preparing for the impact of natural hazards (fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis) by taking a range of factors into account.

Thinking Globally

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Thinking Globally: Global Perspectives in the Early Years Classroom (2008) provides a detailed description of teaching with a global perspective through cross-curricular activities and multimedia.
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Year level: F-2,3-4
Issue: Australia's aid, Environment, Poverty reduction, Human rights, Peace building
Country: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vietnam


UNICEF works in countries around the world to promote and protect the rights of children. Its programs support child health and nutrition, provision of clean water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence and exploitation. Its website provides copies of its annual publication The State of the World’s Children, education materials and suggestions of ways to be involved in poverty alleviation.

United Nations Millennium Development Goals

At the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, 189 world leaders from rich and poor countries committed themselves to a set of eight time-bound targets. These Millennium Development Goals focus on reducing poverty and hunger, child mortality and the spread of disease and improving education and gender equality: MDG 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; MDG 2 Achieve universal primary education; MDG 3 Promote gender equality and empower women; MDG 4 Reduce child mortality; MDG 5 Improve maternal health; MDG 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; MDG 7 Ensure environmental sustainability; MDG 8 Develop a global partnership for development.

Water for All

Oxfam UK's Water for All contains interactive whiteboard-friendly classroom activities for upper primary and lower secondary students. Using photos, quizzes, case studies and maths, students explore a range of water-related issues and their impacts and celebrate improving access to safe water.

World Vision

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Its website provides information on global issues, responses to these, actions for change, and resources for learning.

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