Deborra-lee Furness is an internationally acclaimed actress as well as a passionate advocate for vulnerable and abandoned children.
Deborra-lee’s humanitarian work for children is a driving force in her life. She is Patron of The Lighthouse Foundation for displaced children in Melbourne, Australia; a Global Ambassador for World Vision; Patron of the Bone Marrow Donor Institute for Children with Leukemia; Patron of International Adoption Families of Queensland.
Deborra-lee founded National Adoption Awareness Week and Adopt Change in Australia, focusing on improving adoption programs, procedures and legislation, raising awareness and understanding of the issues of vulnerable children. In 2014 NAAW achieved the goal of new legislation being passed by the Australian government to greatly improve procedures surrounding adoption.
For her advocacy work she has been honored by The Joint Council USA and in 2013 was given the prestigious award of Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in Washington DC. Harlem Village Academies honored Deborra-lee and her husband Hugh for their philanthropy work in 2012.
She was presented with the 2014 International Humanitarian Award in Utah by Mentors International. Also in 2015, Deborra-lee was honored in Washington as Advocate of the Year by Kidsave. And was named NSW Australian of the year, 2015.
In March 2017 Deborra-lee received the United Nations Women for Peace Leadership Award and is a regular mainstage speaker at Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, New York City.
Deborra-lee is the co-founder of Hopeland, a platform that has been established to raise awareness around vulnerable and abandoned children. The mission of Hopeland is to put this issue front and center on the political and human rights agendas, globally. Mobilizing and influencing leaders across government, business and civil society, to create innovative solutions and policies that will ensure children will belong in a safe loving home.