HAT Committee 2005 (From left to right): Peter Larter (Vice President/Public Officer), Peter Constable (Treasurer), Anne Adams (President), Jackie Chanzi (Secretary)

The History of HAT

The Health Australia & Tanzania (HAT) organization was founded in 2005 to support community-initiated development projects in Tanzania. It was founded by Anne Adams, a return volunteer who had spent time with rural communities in Tanzania. In 1999 Anne went to Tanzania with a British charity to experience community development first hand. In 2001 she discovered the charity she went with had shut down and she helped resurrect it as an international internet based organisation, Volunteer Africa, and became one of its first volunteer selectors. In 2002 Anne travelled to Tanzania to assist the volunteers.

She asked the hospital staff what could have saved this child and was told that the child lived far from a doctor and could have been saved if he had been given the drug Larium.

Due to Anne’s career in health she took interest in the services available and visited health centers and hospitals all over Tanzania during her travels. She sat with people suffering from AIDS, witnessed childbirths and visited rural primary health care centers. In one hospital she took a picture of Saidi, a young boy, who was unconscious with malaria, at the request of his family. An hour later Saidi passed away. She asked the hospital staff what could have saved this child and was told that the child lived far from a doctor and could have been saved if he had been given the drug Larium. The drug is a malaria prophylaxis and works as treatment against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria, which is the most deadliest strain of human malaria. Anne was horrified because she was taking Larium herself as a preventive measure. On her return to Australia Anne approached Stuart Rowley, the CEO of Mercy Hospital for Women Melbourne and he agreed to allow her to undertake a fundraising campaign. Seven members of staff were selected to work with her and travel to Tanzania to build a health care centre in 2003, and in 2004 another group of volunteers repeated the project.

Anne decided to formalise the fundraising work and set up an official charity. The first person she approached was Peter Constable, the CFO at Mercy Hospital for Women. Peter had been assisting the Mercy groups with financial issues and was the biggest supporter of the group’s work in the hospital. This led to many long nights over dinner where Anne, Peter and Carolina (Peter’s wife) discussed how to tackle this huge task.

On the 9th of February 2005 the charity had its first official meeting around a dinner table. The inaugural committee members were Anne Adams, Peter Constable, Carolina Constable and Jackie Chanzi. HAT’s first fundraising partner was the coburg Harriers, who organised the first ‘Run for Tanzania’. By the 25th of February the name HAT was decided following a long discussion. The official incorporation of HAT was 18. March 2005 where the committee was as follows: Anne Adams (President), Carolina Constable (Vice president/Public officer), Jackie Chanzi (Secretary), Peter Constable (Treasurer).

In April fundraising kicked up a gear – proceeds were handed over from a ‘Holy Sweep’ where a sweepstakes was run so that people could guess on the new pope.

In July 2005 the first HAT newsletter was sent to supporters and in August 2005 a bank account was opened.

On 6th of September 2005, Peter Larter joined joined the management committee. Peter had also recently seen development projects in Tanzania and was so inspired that he decided to volunteer for HAT on his return.

Anne left the committee after three and a half years of service as inaugural president but remains an enthusiastic HAT member. Peter Constable is currently HAT president and treasurer.

In 2014 HAT became a registered charity, making donations of $2 or more tax deductable for donors.

Currently HAT has 31 members (Updated May 2020)