Hagar exists to restore the lives of women and children who have survived severe abuse, slavery and sexual exploitation.
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Hagar Australia
From our CEO

Without a doubt, the highlight of my first ten weeks at Hagar Australia has been getting to know some of the remarkable people who make up the Hagar community.
From the outset, it was clear that Hagar has some really impressive staff. Their areas of expertise are diverse – from fundraising to social work; and from primary education to the law. Yet, one thing unites them: a passionate commitment to see broken lives restored. 
Because we operate so leanly, much of what Hagar does relies on volunteers. These generous individuals - like Natalie Durkin, who tells of her experience working on Cocktails for a Cause below - bring enormous energy and a broad range of skills to help advance Hagar’s mission.   
Our experienced Board is comprised entirely of volunteers and I would particularly like to thank the wonderful Susie Condron for stepping in to lead Hagar Australia over summer, and for her ongoing contribution to Hagar on so many levels.   
It was fantastic to meet many of our supporters at Cocktails for a Cause. Without your generous support for Hagar’s work, none of what we do would be possible. Thank you.
I have also enjoyed getting to know some of our corporate partners, such as Corrs Chambers Westgarth, who have kindly hosted me at a number of events to share about Hagar’s work with their clients and staff.
Perhaps most inspirational of all was the opportunity to meet some of the survivors of trafficking, slavery and abuse who, with the support of Hagar, are rebuilding their lives in the wake of severe trauma. 

While most of us have not experienced the same kind of trauma as they have, these survivors - each on a unique journey to healing and wholeness - reminded me that we are all on a journey of our own. In a world full of distractions and injustices, our challenge is to focus on the things that really matter and where we can make the most difference. 

I was also reminded that, regardless of where you are in the world, every class has a cheeky character! (See if you can find the character at Hagar’s Community Learning Centre in the image below. Let’s hope the Principal doesn’t see this!)

Jo Pride
Chief Executive Officer
Human Rights Tour

The first Human Rights Tour for 2016 feels just like yesterday. Perhaps that is because of the enduring impact it leaves on all who travel to Phnom Penh to experience Hagar’s work first-hand. 
Fifteen diverse supporters from lawyers and digital media experts to social enterprise mavericks immersed themselves in all things Hagar for three jam-packed days. A visit to the Killing Fields and hearing from senior Australian Embassy officials and an investigating judge in the Khmer Rouge trials helped participants understand the context of Hagar's work in Cambodia.

Meeting Hagar's local staff, the resilient students and dedicated teaching staff at the Community Learning Centre, and the loving foster families caring for our clients, highlighted the life-changing impact of Hagar's work.

The tour reminded all who attended that the road these brave survivors walk to recovery is not always straight and smooth. Hagar is there for the whole journey and will do what ever it takes for as long as it takes to restore a broken life.
Now that we are all back home and have slipped into our comfortable lives its important to not forget what we heard and saw. The needs are large. Our incredible staff on the ground in Cambodia cannot do what they do without the generous support of Hagar's supporters in Australia. Fifteen of those supporters have clearly emerged from this experience even more committed to helping make a difference.

Mel Connell 
Partnership Manager
Generosity from the Ashes of Trauma
Nick Hall (centre) with tour participants

Driving through the dusty roads on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the houses were so crude they looked unfinished. As participants in Hagar’s Human Rights Tour, we were on our way to meet two foster families who between them provide care for seven of Hagar’s child clients. According to Hagar, these families were among the wealthier in their communities. Yet, as we arrived at their houses, it was clear that life in Phnom Penh is far more difficult than I imagined.
With the help of a Hagar Case Manager to translate, we had a discussion with each of the families, who I found to be the most generous families I’ve ever met.
The similarity between them was uncanny. Both had several of their own sons and daughters. Both had significantly increased the size of their families by fostering three or four additional children from Hagar. This raised the question, ‘Why did you decide to become foster parents?’ Both fathers offered the same answer.
The genocide in Cambodia left them with no one.
They lost both parents.
They lost siblings.
They lost friends.
These people knew first hand what it was like to grow up alone. The stories were so harrowing the Case Manager’s voice quivered when translating for the group.
It’s a tragedy that stories like these are commonplace in Cambodia. Worse still was learning about the injustices still being committed against children and women. But knowing there’s an organisation like Hagar pairing these generous parents with children who have survived severe abuse gives assurance and hope for things to come.
Everyday since the Hagar Human Rights Tour I have thought back on these families. Here were two parents with several of their own children to look after - which is no easy task when seeing the conditions in the provinces of Phnom Penh. Despite all odds, these loving people found a way to support, nurture and love three or four more kids from Hagar.
To see these people with so little, open their hearts and their homes to children in need will forever shape my definition of generosity.
Nick Hall

Human Rights Tour Participant
A Volunteer's Labour of Love
Natalie Durkin (left) with Hagar volunteers Amanda Tolhurst, Teneal Smoli, Caroline Gibbs and Hagar Australia's Partnership Manager Melissa Connell (second from right) 

In 2015, a friend invited me to 'Lunch to Liberate', where I was introduced to Hagar and its work to combat human trafficking.  
There, I listened to the moving story of a young woman, who shared her personal experience of sexual violence while living in her village in Cambodia; and whose life had been restored through services provided by Hagar. I understood then, the vital work that Hagar does, case by case.
I knew that I could help Hagar in a practical way. Over summer, I joined its passionate event committee of volunteers, to help bring "Cocktails for a Cause" to life. 
Throwing a party is always exciting, especially if it's for a good cause. Collectively, we reached out to our networks. The event attracted new and existing supporters, and received generous donations of goods and services that made the night a huge success. $60,000 was raised for Hagar's programs in Afghanistan.
Volunteering on this project became my labour of love. It is deeply satisfying to know that our efforts have translated into services that provide hope to women and children who have survived unimaginable cruelty and abuse.
Natalie Durkin

Cocktails for a Cause Volunteer
Hagar Australia's Patron Rachel Griffiths (second from left) and our Style For Life Day Ambassadors for 2016; Joey Scandizzo, Travis Cloke and Elyse Knowles.
Cutting the Chains
of Slavery

Hagar Australia is thrilled to announce the ambassadors for Style For Life 2016:  social media influencer Elyse Knowles and Collingwood Football Club's Travis Cloke. Alongside Hagar Australia’s Patron Rachel Griffiths and Eleven Australia’s creative director Joey Scandizzo, we are confident this campaign will be our best yet.

Style for Life is an Eleven Australia and Hagar initiative, partnering with hair salons around Australia, whose stylists give up their time on Sunday 31 July, donating all proceeds to support Hagar. Funds raised provide survivors of severe abuse with a opportunity to learn a new skill like hairdressing, empowering them to rebuild their lives.
Style for Life 

Sunday 31 July 2016
Ask your salon to participate 

Book an appointment at a participating salon

For more details on how you and your favourite salon can get involved, go to:

Be a part of cutting the chains of slavery this July.
Updates From The Field
Your support has enabled the Lighthouse-Transitional Care Centre to provide 65 clients with access to education, including basic literacy, 'catch-up' or accelerated learning, government curriculum education, and informal education such as life skills training. . 
As a result of your generous support between July and December 2015, 87% of Hagar's women clients in Cambodia received employment training to help them secure jobs.  
Hagar supports its clients in Vietnam to take part in therapeutic arts activities such as music, fine arts, dance, handicrafts and baking. These activities help clients to communicate what is sometimes difficult to put into worlds. They also provide a sense of achievement and help to manage stress, anxiety and depression.  
Birthday Fundraiser
For their 13th birthday, Gigi, Sophie and Claire have forgone presents and instead, have asked their friends and family to donate to Hagar. Through their online fundraising page, these amazing girls have raised an incredible $3,308! We at Hagar are extremely proud of their efforts. Thank you Gigi, Sophie and Claire!  
Volunteer For Us
In Australia

Hagar Australia is looking for an experienced international development professional who has worked in program quality or program management in an Australian international non-government organisation. 

Having recently received full Deductible Gift Recipient endorsement, we are developing new program appraisal, reporting and evaluation processes to continue to ensure the programs we support are of the highest quality. 

If this sounds like you and you are able to volunteer time to manage or support this process over the coming months, please contact Jo Pride at

In Cambodia 

Hagar is seeking a volunteer 
Grant and Proposal Writer to join its Phnom Penh team.  

This position will support
the Grant Acquisition Manager in preparing grants and proposals, coordinating input from technical, project management and budget perspectives and ensuring an excellent quality of writing. 

For more information, please visit our website
Ah Ny's Story
Before I came to Hagar, my life was extremely difficult and my siblings and I lived with violence.

I came to Hagar in 2007 with my 4 siblings to live with a foster family at Takeo Province. For safety reasons, we were unable to return home. 

When I was old enough, in December 2014, I was transferred to live semi-independently.  

It’s not easy to live semi-independently because I need to be responsible for my own expenses, budgeting, and solve my own problems. When I lived with my foster family, everything was the parent’s responsibility and they helped me with everything. But I have to be on my own because one day I need to be responsible for my own family too.

So far, this has been a good experience for me because I have more freedom but I also know my limits.

I know that I can always go to my foster mother to talk about my problems. Hagar’s counselor always supports and encourages me and I feel everyone’s love and support.

Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for its clients; names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled
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