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 writers in various places across the globe. A network of volunteers in Thailand is responsible for frequent correspondence to inmates who write to the local pastor in Udonthani. A team from Brisbane focuses on an area in north-east Thailand called Isaan.


Ellen Broerse is the founder of Hope Behind Bars. The impact of this once grass roots movement, has  spread to include volunteers from 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. Since 1994, 27 prisons have been 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 and evolved. Between 2013-2018, two teams visited Thailand annually. Each Australian team is supported by a wonderful team on the ground in Thailand under leadership of pastor Klom Kaenpadcha. Since 2019 the ministry support base in Australia have shifted to Brisbane only.

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.

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