Motivation Australia Annual Report 2019-20

On the side of a dirt road, surrounded by forest and mountains, a large car with a red cross on it has stopped. A man looks in the back of it, while a woman using a thin stick as a cane, and another man wait patiently.

A year of adaptation

“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.”

Max Mckeown

Dear friends and supporters

This year saw the departure of our founding CEO, Kylie Shae, and the appointment of a new CEO, Louise Coventry. Kylie, Louise and Board Chairperson, Lloyd Walker, reflect on the year that was and the year to come.

From Kylie Shae

Leaving Motivation Australia brings up mixed emotions, most notably pride at all that has been accomplished. A highlight of the past year was the opportunity to work with co-authors from across the Pacific to draw together paper sharing lessons learned in ten years of building increased access to assistive technology (AT) in the region. Presented at the World Health Organization (WHO) global consultation for the first World Report on AT, the paper celebrated the growing awareness, demand and action to increase access to AT and the positive impacts that AT has on people’s lives. Most importantly it highlighted the many individuals and organisations that have worked together over time to create this change, and the great value of partnerships.

I am proud of Motivation Australia and the role our team, partners, members, donors and supporters have played in the Pacific journey towards increasingly inclusive communities. I look forward to maintaining a strong connection to the region in my new role at the World Health Organization, where I will continue to be a collaborator in championing the rights of people who will benefit from improved access to assistive technologies.

I am truly delighted to have handed over the ongoing stewardship of our collaborative mission to Louise, who I recognise as a person with great integrity, and a passionate commitment to social justice for all.

Kylie Shae, Outgoing CEO

From Louise Coventry

It is a privilege to be entrusted with the stewardship of such an important organisation that is transforming lives in the Pacific and beyond. Moreover, I feel blessed to be inheriting an organisation that is in such good shape. Motivation Australia has proven its capacity to adapt to rapidly changing global and local circumstances, staying true to its vision that everyone’s right to inclusion and participation must be realised.

I thank Kylie for her tireless work to build and lead Motivation Australia and am both relieved and pleased that she will remain involved as a board member, continuing to offer guidance and advice as we enter a new phase of work: reimagining our engagement with our partners and contributing to the sustainable development goals for health and wellbeing for all.

Please read on to learn more about how we have adapted and risen to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and its ripple effects. I look forward to working with you in our shared efforts to respect, protect and fulfil people’s rights to be included in community life and participate in making the decisions that affect them.

Louise's signature.
Louise Coventry, CEO

From Dr. Lloyd Walker

Dear friends of Motivation Australia,

Like most years, 2020 seems to have rushed past, but nothing like I imagined this new decade would start! A global pandemic in the age of travel and instant news has convulsed our world. Rapid spread of an invisible virus with significant risk to our elders and those who are already vulnerable, has created fear and disrupted our connectedness. Border closures, strict quarantine measures, and reduced access to services and facilities have precipitated wide-ranging economic shocks across Australia and Pacific. For many, uncertainty, grief and trauma follow close behind. As our health systems refocus as a result of the pandemic, there is the risk that decades of improvements in the quality of people’s lives for enabling support will be reversed.

In this context, Motivation Australia’s work is more important than ever. We are drawing on our years of compassion, resilience and agility to effectively meet these rapidly changing needs. Only highly adaptable organisations survive. As a small and flexible organisation, Motivation Australia is well-equipped to navigate the challenging times.

Motivation Australia’s vision is clear – that everyone’s right to inclusion and participation must be realised – and this vision has consistently guided our work. We understand that the right to inclusion and participation is built on the bedrock of access to appropriate assistive technology, support to reduce the impact of disability and disabling health conditions, and locally accessible and relevant services provided by trained, skilled people.

This year Motivation Australia has adapted to challenges by creating opportunities. We adapted to COVID-19, and a pause to face-face activity, by increasing the digitisation of our services. We adapted to the planned departure of Kylie Shae, our founding Chief Executive Officer, by recruiting a skilled and passionate leader, Louise Coventry, for our next phase of growth and development. We are looking to the future and embracing the Sustainable Development Goals and continuing in our local and global partnerships in our contribution to good health and wellbeing.

This is also our most accessible annual report to date, built onto our new web platform. We hope you enjoy reading more about our adaptive capacities, digital transformation and our tireless work to respect, protect and fulfil people’s rights to fully and safely participate in their communities.

Lloyd Walker, Chairperson


Our projects

This year Motivation Australia presents our programme work under the framework of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).These goals are relevant to everyone, and address many aspects of peoples’ lives.

“The SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.”

The United Nations

Motivation Australia directly contributes to the achievement of SDGs for good health and wellbeing and reducing inequality.

Sustainable Development Goals logo

Good health and wellbeing

A group of 11 people all wearing the same t-shirts stand in front of the ocean, smiling happily.

Target 3.c

“Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States”.

Motivation Australia’s work is directly relevant to SDG 3. Our programmes include training and mentoring of local personnel in least developed and small island developing states. Prior to COVID-19, this involved a mixture of directly delivering in-country short courses and supporting local personnel to access longer training courses overseas.

The Tonga Rehabilitation and Mobility project (TRaM) is a good example of Motivation Australia’s work towards the development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries. Staff of the Viola Hospital Rehabilitation Department completed the Intermediate level wheelchair short course in February 2020, and the first female, Tongan prosthetist orthotist continued her studies in India (until she was repatriated to Australia at the beginning of the pandemic).

Another good example is the Pacific Leaders project which is supported by the Australian NGO Cooperation Program. The Pacific Leaders project delivered a five-day Training of Trainers (ToT) training course for nine senior, rehabilitation and assistive technology service providers from Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The ToT training programme trains personnel to deliver basic wheelchair service training, which will have a significant flow on effect for the sector. Rather than relying on international trainers to travel into the Pacific, local teams will be able to provide mentoring and training independently to their peers. We look forward to finalising this work and supporting ToT participants to deliver training across the Pacific, once travel restrictions are lifted.

Motivation Australia has a solid track record of developing and delivering online training content. However, the COVID-19 pandemic meant expanding and accelerating the delivery of online training this year. We targeted a few key areas for training which were identified as a priority by our partners. These included procurement and supply chain logistics as part of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, Pacific Leaders, and infection control / hand hygiene as part of our Government of Canada’s funded project in the Solomon Islands, focused on strengthening diabetic foot care services in Honiara.

Good health and wellbeing

Inside a clinic, a client sits on a bed with her foot halfway dressed by a man sitting at the end of the bed. To the side, another man watches on carefully.

Target 3.4

“By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being”.

A second significant achievement of the TRaM project is the improvement in Diabetic Foot Care (DFC) services at Vaiola Hospital in Tonga. Great outcomes were gained with a relatively small investment through collaboration with a range of local and international stakeholders. A series of small, targeted training interventions, backed up by mentoring, have developed the existing strengths of the National Diabetes Centre to provide a consistent standard of wound care. Addressing diabetic foot wounds early and avoiding amputation has a direct impact on preventing disability and improving the quality and duration of life. New initiatives through the project include the orthotic offloading of foot ulcers, provision of mobility devices, and pre and post amputation care (including rigid removable dressings). These initiatives protect the wound, reducing risk of further injury, secondary complications and infection and thereby avoid prolonged pain and suffering.

To progress diabetic foot care services in the Solomon Islands, Motivation Australia procured and shipped more than thirty thousand dollars’ worth of clinical equipment, dressings, instruments and consumables for the new National Diabetes Centre in Honiara. An equipment and wound dressings guide was developed to assist staff at the National Diabetes Centre to correctly store and use each of the items. This guide will also support independently led, future procurement activities. Resources were provided as part of the Government of Canada’s CFLI (Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives) programme.

Good health and wellbeing

At the end of a long room, eight people pose for the camera humourously, while wearing masks.

Target 3.8

“Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all”.

This year was the final year of the Tonga Rehabilitation and Mobility project (TRaM). TRaM was delivered in partnership by the Tongan Ministry of Health and Motivation Australia. We’re very proud of the Tongan team and everything they have achieved in the last three years. The project established a multi-disciplinary team of Tongan rehabilitation personnel who deliver a comprehensive range of rehabilitation and mobility device services in inpatient, outpatient and community settings. The Rehabilitation Department of the Tongan Ministry of Health integrates the provision of physiotherapy, wheelchairs, walking aids, prosthetic and orthotic devices to international standards appropriate for a small Pacific island country. Rehabilitation is one of the five pillars of universal health coverage.

The National Orthotics and Prosthetics Service (NOPS) in Papua New Guinea was supported to increase their capacity to reach more regional locations this year. They have provided services to several hundred people in a range of locations. These include some remote areas in the highlands. Without support from Motivation Australia, it would not have been possible for NOPS to visit many of these places.

SDG 10
Reduce inequalities

Target 10.2

“By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status”.

Motivation Australia’s vision is that everyone’s right to inclusion and participation is realised. Therefore, the inclusion of people with disabilities, disabling health conditions, women and girls, the elderly and people who live far from capital cities is central to our mission. As well as training for service delivery, we often assist our in-country partners with various aspects of workforce development, including promoting social justice and equity in recruitment processes and employment opportunities.

Target 10.3

“Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard”.

When we participate in formulating policies and guidelines, we ensure that principles of equity of access to services and products are made explicit. We are proud to have been influential in the employment and continuous professional development of several people with disabilities who now hold key positions in the health sector in the Pacific.

Evaluating our projects

To make sure we keep learning and improving our work, we measure our progress and impact in different ways. We want to learn about the impact our programmes have on people’s lives. We take the time to talk with people who need rehabilitation and assistive technology, to hear their views and stories.

Not being able to travel has pushed us to become more creative in monitoring and evaluating our programmes. For example, Motivation Australia engaged an external desk review and interview-based evaluation of our major project: Tonga Rehabilitation and Mobility (TRaM). TRaM operated from early 2018 to June 2020. Fortunately, all in-country activities had been delivered prior to international travel ceasing in mid-March 2020. The findings of the independent evaluation contained some great learning for Motivation Australia.

“Overall, the evaluation found that TRaM has been successful in achieving many of its outcomes and key informants from Vaiola Hospital were overwhelmingly positive about the approach taken in the implementation of TRaM and its results.”

Key informants described how:

  • Both the project design and implementation were sensitive to the local context
  • Motivation Australia’s consultative and adaptive approach helped to ensure a project that was highly responsive to beneficiaries’ needs and priorities
  • The project aligned well with government priorities
  • Motivation Australia made concerted efforts to work with other service providers to reduce duplication of efforts
  • TRaM was delivered on time and to budget
  • The project represented good value for money for the Tongan MOH
  • Motivation Australia was able to leverage additional resources through donated mobility devices and placement of skilled volunteers to bring additional value to the project
  • Overall, service capacity and quality significantly improved.
A woman using a prosthetic uses parallel bars to support herself as she walks. A service provider walks beside her. They both have the same foot out.

Our team

We are proud of the Motivation Australia team, and thank them for their work this year. Read about this amazing group of people here.

Our team members in 2019-20:

Our board

Our board members are an able and multi-skilled group of dedicated professionals who volunteer their time, expertise and guidance to support our strategic direction and governance.

Our board members in 2019-20:

Our partners

This year has been a particularly challenging time for many of our in-country partners. We have been inspired by their resilience, dedication and ability to adapt to new circumstances. Much of our support to in-country partners this year was delivered through new channels. Together we have developed new ways of collaborating, developing and using more digital tools and resources than ever.

Despite the circumstances, and thanks to their hard work and perseverance, some wonderful outcomes were achieved this year for people who require rehabilitation and assistive technology.

One thing we try and keep in mind is that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over until it’s over for everyone. We have been providing support to help keep our partners’ staff and clients safe. Our Pacific neighbours have done really well so far, but there is a long road ahead to find a new ‘normal’ where everyone is safe and able to realise their rights to inclusion and participation.

Help our partners continue to provide essential services

A key partner this year was the National Orthotic and Prosthetic Service (NOPS) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Their team leader, Almah Kuambu, has worked closely with Motivation Australia for many years.

Almah is a qualified Prosthetist Orthotist and a Papua New Guinea woman with a disability. Almah shared her inspirational story with Motivation Australia, reflecting on her journey so far and her hopes for prosthetic and orthotic services in PNG reaching more women and girls in the future.

“Sometimes, I share my lived experiences with those who feel that the world has ended for them because of their physical disability and it gives them confidence to live life positively.”

Almah Kuambu

Read Almah’s amazing story here, and find other stories by our Pacific partners here.

Two service providers stand with a family of three outside their home. The family are a woman, a man who is using a wheelchair, and a young child. All are smiling.

Our supporters

This year COVID-19 cut short our plans for the Pacific Wayfinders volunteering programme, however a smaller number of volunteers still delivered 990 hours (three times that of last year!) of support, mentoring and training. This was a great year for gifts-in-kind support from our corporate sponsors and partners.

We are immensely grateful to our funders, supporters and 133 members, particularly during these challenging times.


Many organisations have supported us with grants and contracted us for consultancies. We appreciate the trust you place in us to deliver value for your money. The Australian Government’s support for our programmes continues to form a large portion of Motivation Australia’s income. Additional support from the Australian Government this year, through JobKeeper and other stimulus schemes, has been a lifeline for Motivation Australia and given us the time and space to adapt to the challenges of COVID-19.

We are pleased to thank our generous supporters:

  • Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Coffey International Development
  • Cowater International Inc
  • Eleanor Walker Education Support Fund
  • Government of Canada, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
  • Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, Ministry of Health
  • Mary MacKillop Today
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Universal Charitable Fund
  • World Health Organization
  • Australian Government, The Treasury (JobKeeper Payment and Boosting cash flow for employers)
  • South Australia Government, Department of Treasury and Finance (Small Business Grant: COVID-19 Assistance).

Corporate sponsors and partners


  • Maartje Vriens
  • Malika Aygun
  • Karen Wilson
  • Jane Alver

Thank you also to the members of our Reference Group, for your valuable insight.

Motivation Australia is a registered charity and proud member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). We are a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct, which is a voluntary, self-regulatory code of good practice.

We are committed to fully adhering to the Code’s high standards of governance, public accountability and financial management. For information on the Code, including how to make a complaint, contact ACFID at or email

Summary of financials

Year in review

Like many international development organisations, the 2019-20 financial year brought new challenges for Motivation Australia, our partners and our programmes.

After beginning the 2019-20 year with a total equity of $386,302, we received further income of $1,555,424.

Throughout the year, Motivation Australia spent $1,546,852. Despite the challenges, Motivation Australia is pleased to note that we were able to maintain our expenditure on our international programmes, programme support and education at 72%.

Our expenditure on programmes was reduced in 2019-20 due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ban on international travel meant not only a reduction in travel costs but also a reduction in the non-monetary donations our team was able to transport to our partners.

Summary of closing balances

At the end of June 2020, we had an operating surplus of $8,572. Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the financial year were $338,031. Of this, 73% is held in reserve and restricted to funding our international programmes.

The balance of total equity (excess of assets over liabilities) as at 30 June 2020 was $394,874. This is a slight increase on 2018-19.

A woman stands, supporting herself with a chair and helped by a man sitting at her side. Another woman sits close by, observing. A walking frame is parked nearby.

Where did our funds come from?

Motivation Australia aims to secure the funds to support our work from a range of different sources. The range of funding sources for our 2019-20 income of $1,555,424 demonstrates this in practice.

We received $380,981 (24%) from Australian Government grants, $23,553 (2%) from other Australian grantors being Coffey International Development, Eleanor Walker Education Support Fund, Mary MacKillop Today and Universal Charitable Fund. We received $563,885 (36%) from overseas grantors being The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, World Health Organization, Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, Government of Canada and Cowater International Inc.

The Australian Government JobKeeper Payment and Boosting cash flow for employers’ initiative contributed $159,500 (10%). This assistance from the Australian Government provided very valuable support to Motivation Australia during an uncertain time.

The continued support of our members and supporters was worth $62,783 (4%). Income from the sale of sports wheelchairs in Australia and New Zealand was $108,722 (7%).

$4,145 (<1%) of income was made up of interest earned on cash at bank and $2,663 of other income (<1%).

Motivation Australia also received non-monetary income in the form of donated goods. We are grateful to Netsuite, Össur Australia, Hancock Creative, DBS Medical, Massons Healthcare, Medi Australia and VentraIP for these contributions. We also received support from many fantastic volunteers; together they have contributed $249,192 (16%) worth of their time to our programmes.

Income categories are a proportion of the total. The categories are from our summary financial statement and are based on definitions contained in the ACFID Code of Conduct.

Grants (62%)
Non-monetary gifts (16%)
Government COVID-19 assistance (10%)
Commercial activities (7%)
Monetary gifts and donations (4%)
Interest (less than 1%)
Other sources (less than 1%)

How were our funds spent?

Motivation Australia spent $1,546,852 this year (including the cost of wheelchairs sold). This includes an investment of $1,017,552 (66%) directly on our international programmes. These funds were spent in strengthening health, rehabilitation and assistive technology services in: Tonga (53%), Solomon Islands (14%), Fiji (10%), Vanuatu (7%) Cambodia (3%), Papua New Guinea (2%), and regional (<1%). The Motivation Australia team also supported global efforts to strengthen the health, rehabilitation and assistive technology sector (10%).

The remainder of our aid and development expenditure was invested in programme support and education activities (6%), administration (10%) fundraising (3%), commercial activities (5%) and non-monetary expenditure not directly attributable to programmes (10%).

The non-monetary expenditure not directly attributable to programmes includes donated goods currently held by Motivation Australia that will be delivered to our programmes in future.

Expense categories are a proportion of the total. The categories are from our summary financial statement and are based on definitions outlined in the ACFID Code of Conduct.

Programmes, support and education (72%)
Accountability and administration (10%)
Non-monetary expenditure (10%)
Commercial activities (5%)
Fundraising (3%)

Summary statement of financial position at June 30th 2020

Page 1 of the summary statement. Please contact Motivation Australia at or call 0466833708for a transcript of the summary statement of financial position for the year ended June 30th 2020.
Page 2 of the summary statements.

Full financial statements

For a more detailed understanding of our financial performance also read our full financial report here, or request a copy by email:

Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with the requirements of the ACFID Code of Conduct.

Auditors report

Page 1 of the auditor's report. Please contact Motivation Australia at or call 0466833708for a transcript of Messenger Zerner chartered accountant's audit report.
Page 2 of the auditor's report.