I’ll be honest – I don’t tend to take the time out to reflect on achievements. I suppose many of us don’t, as our lives are usually go, go go. However with such a huge year wrapping up, I decided it was time to put into writing just how far myself and Human and Hope has come over the past year.
- I set a goal of reading 52 books in 2019, mostly so I would put my computer away in the evenings and try that ‘work/life balance’ thing people talk about. Currently I am onto my 148th book and am incredibly proud of myself for taking the challenge on and smashing it. The best non-fiction book I read was Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World and the best fiction book I read was Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.
- My own book, ‘It’s Not About Me’, was published by Elephant House Press in paperback and ebook format. This book details my five years living in Cambodia, discovering voluntourism is a problem, not a solution, and doing everything in my power to rectify my mistakes. I was thrilled that Rabobank hosted the event.
- I was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal in June for my work with Human and Hope Cambodia and Human and Hope Australia.
- We began our ‘Purpose and Philanthropy’ Field Trips to Cambodia, which encourage participants to be responsible travellers. We have seven spots left for our October 2020 trip, so be sure to check out the itinerary!
- Human and Hope Cambodia secured seed funding from KEEN Footwear to launch a trial student leadership program, developing students so that they can make positive community change at a grassroots level.
- Funding was secured so the education program at Human and Hope Cambodia could expand – with their very first female teacher being hired! This has enabled an additional 50 children to join their language classes.
- Human and Hope Australia was able to sponsor Human and Hope Cambodia’s Managing Director, Thai, to visit Australia. A great reward for a man who has dedicated the past eight years (and counting) to helping his community members move out of poverty.
- I became part-time CEO of Human and Hope Australia, as I recognised I could no longer managing full-time employment and my full-time volunteer work. It was a tough decision to make, but one I am so glad my wonderful board supported, as I can now concentrate all my energy on empowering communities to reduce inequalities.
What a year! I couldn’t have achieved any of the above without the support of those who believe in me and the work we do at Human and Hope. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Until next year,
p.s feeling festive? Help us to provide quality education to 20 children in 2020 by making a donation to our Christmas fundraiser.