Feedback, complaints & policies


ALWS values and welcomes all feedback.  Do you have a suggestion on how we can improve?  We’d love to hear it. You can call us on 1300 763 407 or email us [email protected]


Your experience is important to us. We aim for the highest possible standards of effectiveness and integrity, but we don’t always get everything right. If you have a complaint we would like to hear from you and work with you to resolve it effectively.

We will take your complaint seriously, address it in a fair and objective manner, and respect your privacy and the confidentiality of the information you provide. All complaints are recorded in a complaint register and reported to our governing body where appropriate. 

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within a week, if not immediately, and aim to resolve complaints as quickly as possible and within 30 days. 

We are able to receive complaints orally, in person or by telephone, and in writing by post or email.

Complaints can be made through the following channels:

Phone: 1300 763 407 from within Australia or +61 2 6021 5329 from overseas, and ask to speak to the Complaints Manager.

Email: written complaints can be sent by email to [email protected]

Post: written complaints can be sent by post to the Complaints Manager, ALWS, PO Box 488, Albury NSW 2640 Australia.

In person: Complaints can be made in person at the ALWS Office, 10 Somerset Drive, Albury, NSW 2640, Australia. In addition, where a complaint cannot be made by phone, email or post, it may be made directly and confidentially to an ALWS employee who will forward the complaint immediately to the Complaints Manager.

Via ACFID:  If the complainant believes ALWS has breached the ACFID Code of Conduct, a complaint may be made to the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee

If the complaint is about the Executive Director, please contact the ALWS Board Chair Ms Jodie Hoff at [email protected] or (07) 5540 8888 or PO Box 1475 Beenleigh QLD 4207.

Download a copy of our Complaints Policy here

Program Policy Statements

NON-AID AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY ALWS has been called by the Lutheran Church of Australia to follow Christ’s example of reaching out in love through justice. It represents one of many parts of the church and has a clear mandate to serve people unconditionally by promoting social justice and addressing the causes of poverty through working...

ALWS Code of Conduct

1. Our Commitment As God’s Chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them in perfect unity.  Colossians 3: 12-14 At ALWS we are inspired by Christ’s example and endeavour to model his behaviour as we work to...

Policy on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse & Harrassment

Download policy as PDF 1.     Rationale and commitment In a harsh world all too often marked by hostility and malice, God’s people are called to act with compassion, gentleness and reasonableness. (Gal 5:22–23; Eph 4:2; Matt 5:1–9)[1] ALWS is committed to ensuring that all those with whom we come into contact are treated with dignity...

Child Safeguarding Policy

1. PURPOSE This policy provides a framework for protecting children from exploitation and abuse of all kinds in ALWS supported programs and within ALWS itself. 2. SCOPE This policy applies to all ALWS employees, volunteers, study tour participants, members of congregational tours, board members, interns, contractors and consultants (referred to as ‘personnel’). This policy also...

Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct

ALWS CHILD SAFEGUARDING CODE OF CONDUCT This Code of Conduct is for ALWS personnel who have not signed the ALWS Code of Conduct. All aspects of this Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct are included in the ALWS Code of Conduct. ALWS personnel are responsible for maintaining a professional role with children, which means establishing and...

Child Safeguarding Reporting Procedure

This reporting procedure is to guide the process and follow up of reports relating to Child Safeguarding concerns.   WHO CAN REPORT Reports concerning the safety of children can be made by anyone, including, but not limited to: *ALWS personnel (staff member, board member, volunteer, casual helper, contractor). *Personnel of partner organisations. *Children and adults...

Open Information Policy

RATIONALE ALWS believes that the people and partners to whom it is accountable have a right to information about who we are and what we do. As a reflection of our commitment to be accountable to our supporters, partners, funders and other stakeholders, this policy aims to articulate the type of information which can be...

Conflict of Interest Policy

1.      Rationale & Guiding Principles As God’s servants in the world, we are called to live with an honest heart and to act towards others in an honourable manner (Heb 13:18, Luke 8:15). In alignment with Christian responsibilities for honesty, truthfulness, integrity and compassion, and acknowledging corporate codes of ethical behaviour, ALWS recognises...

Privacy Policy

1. Background Australian Lutheran World Service ABN 36 660 551 871 and its related entities such as the Lutheran Church of Australia, (which is referred to throughout this manual as we, us, our or ALWS) are committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), including the...

Website Terms and Conditions

WEBSITE TERMS AND CONDITIONS Welcome to the website of Australian Lutheran World Service (ABN 36 660 871) (“ALWS”). ALWS is the overseas aid and resettlement agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia (“LCA”). ALWS operates in compliance with the objects of LCA under a constitution approved by the General Synod of the LCA. The National...

Delivery Policy

DELIVERY POLICY BACKROUND Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is the overseas aid and resettlement agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia. It operates under a constitution approved by the General Synod of the LCA, and is consistent with the objects of the LCA Constitution. ALWS is committed to fairness and transparency and respects the financial...

Refund Policy

REFUND POLICY BACKROUND Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is the overseas aid and resettlement agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia. It operates under a constitution approved by the General Synod of the LCA and is consistent with the objects of the LCA Constitution. ALWS is committed to fairness and transparency and respects the financial...

ACFID Fundraising Charter

As part of our accreditation with ACFID, ALWS is committed to the ACFID Fundraising Charter.

ALWS Constitution

NAME The name of the organisation is Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS).   RELATIONSHIP TO  THE  CHURCH ALWS is an agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia Inc (the Church) and shall fulfil its responsibilities in keeping with the Constitution and the policies of the Church.   PURPOSE ALWS shall serve as the overseas humanitarian...

Annual Reports

Strategic Plan

Each of the following principles is important to the work of ALWS. Collectively they shape and determine the work of the organisation.


We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). 

Jesus said, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me in. Naked and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me… Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers or sisters of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me” (Matt 25:35, 36, 40).


ALWS envisages a world where love comes to life (cf 1 John 4:9-12). 

A world where all people live in just societies, where we are all empowered to achieve our full potential, uphold our rights and the rights of others for a life with peace and dignity; and where we are all inspired to remember, welcome and support those who suffer from poverty and injustice (cf Gal 2:10 & Lev 25:35).


ALWS reaches out in love, for justice.

We bring together people willing to work in service to help end suffering.

As partners, we work openly and accountable, supporting programs which welcome, respect and bring hope through care to those fleeing from, or hurt by, disaster, poverty and oppression.

We add our voice to those of the unheard and the excluded, together crying out for justice so that we can all live in just and sustainable communities.

Guiding Principles

Each of the following principles is important to the work of ALWS. Collectively they shape and determine the work of the organisation.



We serve all people who are poor or marginalised, expecting nothing in return.
1 John 4: 19; 1 John 3: 17; Matt 25: 35-46



We work to ensure that people have the opportunity to be included in the planning, implementation and assessment of the work which is designed to support them. Particular effort is taken to ensure that those who are marginalised by age, gender, disability, ethnicity, social class, religion, political opinion or other characteristics are included.



Our intention is to enable people to determine and control their own development, guided by a focus on long-term sustainability.


We uphold human value and dignity which have their basis in God’s act of creation, where all people are made in God’s image, and in the redemptive love that is won through Jesus Christ.
Gen 1:27; Gen 9:6; 2 Cor 5:17-19



Consistent with the church’s prophetic vocation, we express our solidarity with people who suffer from poverty and marginalisation through advocacy for justice – aspiring to speak out with courage and enabling others to speak out and be heard.
Isaiah 1:17; 58:6



We seek alliances with others who share a commitment to alleviating poverty and promoting justice. Our partnerships are marked by mutual respect, interdependence, and learning from and with each other so all are transformed.
Romans 14:19; Ephesians 4:16


We recognise what we are able and unable to do as an organisation and are honest about what support and resources we can provide and why.
Matt 25:14-23



We are accountable to those we seek to assist, working with them to ensure the best use of available resources. We will be transparent with those who support our work, enabling them to experience the joy of sharing in such a partnership.



We work collegially for the good of the organisation and each other. We recognise the dedication and talent of those who work with us and promote their well-being. We welcome the commitment, interest and generosity of supporters.


We do not have absolute knowledge and seek to learn and improve so that our work for others will be the best that we can offer. In doing this, we also recognise what our limitations are as an organisation.


ALWS’ understanding and preferred approach towards the realisation of the change that we seek to achieve through our Strategic Plan is articulated here. This document explains ALWS’ approach and includes:

1. Our understanding of poverty and injustice 

2. Contributing to an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people 

3. Informing and inspiring the Lutheran family about poverty and injustice 

4. Improving and strengthening our work

5. Assessing what we do.


The ALWS guiding principles provide the foundation for ALWS to manage its work across the next six years, within the dynamic context of international development and aid. For further information about ALWS’ context, refer to page 4 of the Strategic Plan.

There are a range of emerging challenges facing international NGOs:

  • As inequality grows within countries, development efforts will have to be carefully targeted to reach the most poor and marginalised people.
  • There are likely to be more disasters, especially disasters caused by people, and these in turn are likely to be more complex and more enduring.
  • Problems of inequality and poverty will be more complex, and NGOs and others will have to work together to develop solutions.
  • The focus of much of this work will be on enabling and empowering people to work for change and supporting them to address poverty and injustice.

By virtue of its location, ALWS’ particular context is Asia/Pacific where climate change is already impacting the people with whom we work. 

Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly East Africa, has also emerged as a geographic focus for ALWS. 

While the context is challenging and ALWS will have to adapt, it can build on its existing strengths. ALWS’ work is highly valued by overseas partners because it is adaptable and flexible in its approach.

The organisation has nurtured several alliances and partnerships with other organisations, including the Church Agencies Network, which enables it to expand its influence and work effectively for change. ALWS’ approach to change is built on many years of learning and practice, enabling it to shape an informed and high-quality approach to change (see Annex A).

ALWS is inspired by a belief in a gracious and loving God, and so plays a unique role in supporting work through churches or church-based partners which have a close relationship with rights-holders and duty bearers. 

ALWS is recognised by both the Australian Government and the Australian Council for International Development as being highly accountable and compliant with standards for government funding. These forms of accreditation are independent verification of the high development standards of the organisation.

ALWS is part of the Lutheran Church of Australia. The ALWS Strategic Plan complements the Strategic Direction of the LCA. ALWS provides the LCA with the opportunity to address poverty and injustice in other countries. It is in turn able to draw upon the support, knowledge and experience of the Church.

ALWS’ Guiding Principles shape the work of the agency as it moves forward in this context. Building on its strengths and addressing the challenges outlined above, the agency has formed specific goals to be addressed over the next six years.


These goals identify the change that ALWS will seek to achieve over the next six years. Each goal is equally important to ALWS. The goals are underpinned by the strategic approach of the agency and guided by ALWS’ principles. Refer to page 5 of the Strategic Plan for more details.

GOAL 1 ALWS will help through partners to ensure people live in more just and sustainable communities through long-term development programs, and that people affected by emergencies receive life-sustaining care.

GOAL 2 ALWS will inspire and enable the Lutheran family and friends1 to reach out in love for justice.

GOAL 3 ALWS will strive to improve to enable it to best serve people, communities and supporters.

GOAL 4 ALWS will strengthen as an organisation to ensure it is transparent and accountable to people, communities, partners and supporters.

GOAL 5 ALWS will partner with others to leverage wider change and increase its impact.

GOAL 6 ALWS will resource its work with the people, funds and time needed to sustain the work of the organisation.