About Us

Hope behind Bars is an incorporated association. As a not for profit organisation registered in Queensland, it has charity status. We are dependent on fundraising and donations from the public. Our objective is to direct our funds towards our causes and minimize administrative costs as far as possible.

The team is supported by a group of letter writing facilitators in various branches across the globe and a network of volunteers who is responsible for frequent correspondence with one or more pen friend. A team from Brisbane focuses on an area in north-east Thailand called Isaan and a second team visits Bangkok and nearby prisons.

Ellen Broerse is the founder of Hope Behind Bars. The impact of this growing organisation has spread to volunteers and facilitators in Perth,  Brisbane, Melbourne, Europe and South Africa. Over the years an extensive network of supporters within the community and overseas has enabled this once small movement to grow and develop into what it is today. Currently 27 prisons are being impacted by Hope Behind Bars either through contact with pen friends or team visits annually. Since the prison community is transient in nature, the numbers fluctuate each year.


Over the years the team has grown. For the past 5 years, 2 teams have been visiting Thailand annually. Each Australian team is supported by a wonderful team on the ground in Thailand.


There are various pastors and teams who supports us during our visits to Thailand. Having been imprisoned themselves, some or our team members truly understand both the system and the hearts of the men and women who serve behind bars. Many released prisoners return to bless and give back to inmates through their encouraging visits. They reach out to the inmates through acts of service, regular visits and bringing them the Good News of hope and redemption through Jesus Christ.