APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad


In their own words“…Our work aims to build self-reliance through support to educational and training projects for workers and their organisations.”



Concerns of Australian Funding

  • In July 2018, Australia suspended funding to APHEDA after it was revealed that members of a terrorist organization were being employed by one of the NGO’s partners. The funding resumed in 2019 after an independent audit found “no evidence of the diversion of Australian government funds from correct project purposes, or to any sanctioned entity.”
  • During a July 2, 2011 hearing of the Australian Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Legislation Committee, Senator Eric Abetz asked officials from the Australian Agency for International Development questions regarding funding to APHEDA.
    • “What are the safeguards in place that prevent AusAID funding being used by APHEDA [‘overseas humanitarian aid agency of the Australian Council of Trade Unions’] or any of the others in a manner that contravenes Australian government policy on Israel? Let us just pluck an example out of the air like BDS—Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.”
    • Senator Abetz continued by identifying indirect Australian government funding via APHEDA for Ma’an Development Center, which “is heavily involved in the BDS [anti-Israel boycotts, divestment, and sanctions] campaign… On their website the Ma’an Development Center published a guide to grassroots and international BDS campaigns in 2009… and it is quite clear that the ACTU and APHEDA have no difficulty with the BDS campaign.” (Following an October 2010 hearing, where these issues were first raised, AusAid stated that “Ma’an Development Centre received approximately $1,219,320 from Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA in the 12 months to 30 April 2010.”)
    • At the same time, these organizations did not repudiate their involvement in BDS activities. APHEDA and Ma’an argued that “Palestinian civil society organisations are significant forces for democratisation, and should be free to adopt and voice policies and advocacy positions,” and that “Decisions on project funding should be made only on merit – on whether the projects are achieving the results that are contracted – rather than external political criteria.”

Political Advocacy


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