What are Jubilee's main areas of work?

Since we were founded in 2001, Jubilee has been involved in three main areas of work: first, advocating for economic justice (especially the issue of illegitimate debt); second monitoring problematic mining, oil and gas projects; and third, advocating for better behaviour of Australian corporations. Recently, we have taken up a fourth area of work: investigating the issue of illegal land grabbing and deforestation in our region.

What countries do we work in?

Jubilee's focus has generally been on the Asia-Pacific region as that if the part of the world where Australia has the greatest impact. The Philippines and Indonesia were a focus for a number of years. More recently, we have been very active in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville. Generally, our focus is quite naturally the Pacific region as that is the place where Australia’s government, banks and corporations are the most active. However, we also cast our eye more broadly is there is something happening elsewhere in the world which is of particular concern to us.

How does Jubilee choose which specific countries and projects to work on?

In choosing particular international projects and issues to work on, we take into account a number of calculations. How serious is the issue? Are there any other groups working on it? Do we have any local partners in the country who we can work with? Is there an Australian connection to what is happening? What are the chances of our involvement making an impact to the outcome? And, most important, do we have the capacity to take this on?

How is Jubilee funded?

Jubilee has three sources of funding. First, and most important, are the monthly donations and one-off pledges from individual donors. Second, we do receive support from other civil society organsations, such as aid organisations, human rights and environmental groups. The third source of funding is from project grants from philanthropic foundations in Australia and overseas.

How are our finances managed?

Most of our financial administration is done by staff at our parent organisation, The Australia Institute. Finances (donations and spending) are overseen by our Jubilee Advisory Group and by The Australia Institute senior staff and Board. Our budgets are audited every year. 

Are donations to Jubilee tax deductible?

Yes. Jubilee Australia is a Research Institute with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, so all donations to us are tax deductible.

Where Does the Name Jubilee come from?

A number of Jubilee groups were formed in the late 1990s in different countries to use Old Testament concepts as a way to talk about economic justice for poor countries.

Does Jubilee still work on debt?

After landmark deals in the early 2000s that saw the reduction and cancellation of the bilateral and multilateral debts of a handful of the poorest countries, many people thought that the debt issue was resolved. Jubilee found that support from its allies in civil society for it to work on the debt issue waning. Part of the reason for this was because other issues, such as the injustice of the international tax system, were being ignored. Thankfully, there is a lot more focus on these other issues.

Nevertheless, debt still remains a huge problem. Although the creditors have changed a lot, there are still many countries, including in our own region, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, whose populations are struggling while their governments devote huge part sof their budgets to debt service. The rules of the game are still skewed to favour richer countries and exploit poorer ones, even if there has been a change in who the richer countries are. Because of this, the risk of a new debt crisis is ever-present. This is why we continue to work on this issue.