The Human Elephant Learning Programs (HELP) foundation is an Australian organisation improving the welfare of working elephants in Asia.

The Human Elephant Learning Programs (HELP) is an Australian organisation working to improve the welfare of working elephants via the systematic application of humane, evidence-based training initiatives, education, engagement with local communities and relevant stakeholders.

Through our programs, HELP currently contributes to the development, welfare and safety of elephant handlers and trainers across India, Thailand and Myanmar.

Founded by Dr. Andrew McLean and Laurie Pond in 2010, HELP has grown significantly as Andrew’s systematic approach to elephant training is recognised as a viable and safe alternative to traditional submission-based methods. The remaining foundation members of HELP also have similar professional interests.

In 2014, HELP published its manual Elephant Friendly Training for Working Elephants written by Dr Andrew McLean which has since been translated into Assamese, Malayalam, Thai and Burmese and it has unanimously received a positive reception.

Year Started

With the help of our patron Christine Townend, the HELP Foundation was founded in 2010 with Dr. Andrew McLean and Laurie Pond.


From our early experiences in Nepal, we have now grown from a pilot program to 6 on-going programs. Across India, Myanmar and Thailand. See more about our programs.

Year Awarded DGR Status

PIt took a long time, but H-ELP Foundation Ltd now has Deductible Gift Recipient Status. This is a major landmark for our small organisation and will be key to our progress globally.

We are Registered.

In early 2017 we achieved tax deductible gift recipient (DGR) status having been endorsed by the Australian Charity and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC). This is a huge milestone for HELP and brings us into a new era of opportunity.

Our Work

Medium Sized ACNC Logo


A couple of times a year, we update everyone on our progress.
We don’t and won’t share or sell any of your information.