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From Geraldine… Firstly, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that 2013 will bring you all that you desire. Christmas for me was a sit down dinner at home with friends, international and Khmer, with all the trimmings from egg nog through to fruit pudding! In October I flew back to Cambodia with the music and dance team who performed at the OzAsia Festival in Adelaide. It was a sad trip, as I had to break the news to a brother and sister that their mother had just died. We went directly from the airport to the pagoda for them to be there for her cremation and as we were all together, it made a difference to the bereaved children. Not a good end to what had been a marvelous experience. I had only one day to rest before flying to the United Arab Emirates for a series of speaking engagements and radio interviews, including a morning tea hosted by

the Australian High Commissioner, Pablo Kang and his lovely wife, Rebecca, at their Residence. Many sponsors signed up at this event and the Kangs have become friends of Sunrise. The Manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Abu Dhabi again gave me a room at the hotel, which was a real haven for me after spending 9 days in dorms with the kids in Adelaide. It was paradise! My long term rugby mates had a fundraising event for us which has become a bit of a tradition and I always enjoy staying with my English friends there, Tim and Marion Lacey. Deep thanks also goes to David Hackett who helps put these UAE visits together. I am hopeful of some Emirati money sometime in the not too distant future through my contacts there. When I returned, my management staff here were heavily into the throes of arranging the opening ceremony for Sunrise Three at Sihanoukville and I attended one of these meetings with no less than 30 government officials involved. Later in the month, Brenton Whittaker (former sunrise workmate and friend) and his family came for a few days’ break and it is always a boost for me to have good friends visit me at Sunrise. We went to Siem Reap where I worked with our staff and had time to spend with our 60 children there and to meet new arrivals in the centre.

At the end of the month I flew back to Sydney for the judging of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the winner in my category was Ronnie Kahn, the woman who started the OzHarvest Program where no food is wasted from hotels and restaurants, but collected and given to the needy throughout Australia. I did not mind losing to such a woman. Melissa Dwyer and friends held 2 events in Sydney, one being a movie night in Neutral Bay in Sydney, where they screened “My Khmer Heart” and again this documentary inspired many attending to become sponsors. Melissa and her group are going to be annual fundraisers for us in Sydney and I cannot thank them enough for all that they do.

Volume 12, Issue 4

Inside this issue:

Sunrise 3 Opens


Operations Report




Bequests & Memorials




Special edition insert:

Cambodian Sun Rising

Geraldine receives the Royal Order of Sahametrei Medal from Cambodian Prime Minister, the Hon. Hun Sen

Geraldine’s report (continued) I stayed with Sue Liu, a friend and sponsor, and she hosted a book club night where I spoke and made many more people aware of Sunrise. I was invited for the second time to speak at the University of Technology on Leadership and Community Connections and I always enjoy meeting young students who hear about Sunrise for the first time. I did voice-overs in Sydney for a company called BCM who have kindly donated their time and expertise to film some Sunrise television ads which are already being screened on several channels. BCM spent a lot of time, money and effort to get this program up and running and Sunrise is very grateful for their generous offer of support.

An unexpected highlight was in Sydney when I met Helen Reddy, a well known singer, who lives in the US and we were both being interviewed by journalists for a book. Helen has not lost any of her spark! Back in Adelaide, I flew with John George, our Chairman, to Roma in Queensland, for events there to raise funds.

Our Annual General Meeting was held on a Sunday and it is usually an all day event where we are able to plan for the year ahead.

In November, I travelled to Tumby Bay to meet a wonderful group of women who raise funds for sunrise in the name of Grandma on the Bike Fund. The group has been ardent supporters for many years now, and in a town with a population of only 4,000, they have been able to raise over $27,000 in the past four years alone. I thought it was time to go and hug them all. I was made so welcome and stayed with Dr Betsy Williams; I enjoyed all the hospitality that country people know how to give. I flew back to Cambodia for the opening of our new centre and crossed my fingers that none of my connections were delayed, as if that happened I would have missed the whole event. The gods smiled on me as I arrived just a few hours before the ceremonies, tired and jetlagged, but happy to have made it. John George will tell you more about this amazing day.

With the festivities over I was well and truly back in the saddle with visits by groups of students from La Trobe University, Bishop Druitt College and Prince Alfred College. A local cinema, the Bophana Centre screened the documentary, “My Khmer Heart”, to expose the work of Sunrise throughout Cambodia and it was a packed house! The 10 Sunrise students studying in Australia were back in Cambodia on holidays and doing valuable volunteer work and workshops at Sunrise. To celebrate the end of the year we had a reunion of many ex-Sunrise children, some of whom are now in their thirties! It was an opportunity for them to reconnect with their old friends and to talk about their lives outside to the current Sunrise children. Much loud music and dancing on the lawn over 2 nights into the New Year. I am looking forward to another busy and productive year in 2013 and as always want to remind you all of how important you are as sponsors and friends in the lives of all of us here in the Sunrise Villages. We exist because of your generosity. There are no words to thank you… Happy New Year! Love and light, Geraldine Cox AM, Country Director and President “There's a crack in everything -That's how the light gets in…”

Sunrise Three Centre Opens in Cambodia ACF Chairman, John George After nearly 5 years of planning, the Computershare Sunrise Three Village developed as a centre of excellence in Cambodia to provide a home for up to 200 HIV affected orphans, was officially opened by Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen on 3rd December, 2012. The centre also provides a home base for an Outreach program that looks after and monitors 350 children affected by the virus who are still living in surrounding communities.

Chris Morris with Royal Order of Sahametrei Medal

It cost $A2.5m to build the centre, about half of this coming from Computershare Australia through their staff giving program, and the rest being received from Prime Minister Hun Sen other corporations and private individuals to whom we are profoundly grateful. meets the children Sunrise 3 now provides 12 family homes with a housemother and father and facilities for a group of children in each home. The opening was a grand affair with a large entourage of Cambodia’s governing elite being present. Most importantly, around 600 children from Sunrise and New Hope were in attendance. In all, some 5,000 attended the great event. Those present appreciated our President Geraldine Cox's delivery of a speech, all in native Khmer. The Prime Minister presented the Royal Order of Sahametrei Medal (the highest honour to be awarded to foreigners) to Geraldine and Chris Morris, CEO of Computershare. The project manager and supervisor Paul Otto, John Tucker (whose organization New Hope For Cambodian Children, will be managing the project) and myself as ACF Chairman also received medals. It was very encouraging to know that the Prime Minister supports our foundation and our efforts in Cambodia.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and John George

We acknowledge the huge effort, passion and commitment of all involved in this massive project. The result speaks for itself and the village stands proud, as not only a home for many HIV affected children, but also an educational and vocational centre that will go a long way to providing the facilities that will ensure these children’s future in life.

Computershare Senior Executive, Barbara Dunn

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Paul Otto and John Tucker receiving their medals

Volume 12, Issue 4

Report by Sok San Yi, Operations Manager The last few months have flown by, as I took over responsibilities from our former Operations Manager, Mr. Robert Madsen, with the preparation for Sunrise 3 Grand Opening Ceremony being a priority. Nine orphaned and abused children (6 girls) have been warmly welcomed into our Sunrise family. One boy from Sunrise 1 has been reunited back to his family and support, including transport and education, has been provided. A new Outreach House in Phnom Penh is opening in January 2013 to welcome all Sunrise’s 10 university students and the number will be increased up to 24 students by August 2013. Our community-based child care project that is part of our Case Management Program has been successful, providing care and educational support to 47 children (32 girls) through emergency assistance, healthcare, counselling, education/skill training and family support while we have been actively working to support our 115 children living in Sunrise 1 and 59 children in Sunrise 2. The Cambodia’s Children Education Fund has approved on-going full educational support for ten children who are attending both Khmer education and English programs for the academic year 2012-2013. This non-profit fund provides educational opportunities for Cambodia's orphaned and high-need children by granting scholarships to exceptional private schools for all levels of education. Enjoying the New Year celebrations

Community Projects Updates: Soung Nin, whose story appeared in our last newsletter, has now given birth to a cute and healthy 2.8kg baby girl. Despite some pressure to sell her baby to another family she has refused as she has hope for her future with the support of Sunrise. We have provided her with baby clothes, milk and food and will ensure she has the basic skills and capital to make an income for herself and her baby in the future.

Our warmest congratulations to Thy Chansereyroth, who dreamt of becoming a flight attendant when she was a young girl and her dream has now become a reality due to her commitment and hard work at college and university. Doesn’t she look beautiful in her Tonle Sap Airlines uniform? We are very proud of her and wish her every success as a permanent cabin crew member traveling inside Cambodia and to Taiwan and Korea.

Yao Sreycheang has made her first supported steps! Born with club feet, she was unable to stand or walk. Sunrise enabled her to attend the Rose Rehabilitation Cambodia Centre, Children’s Surgical Centre and Veterans International for treatment. After many castings for braces to straighten her feet, now she is practicing walking. Sreycheang and an older sister had never attended school as they lived with their widowed mother who was earning about $2.50 a day as a construction worker. Now they attend school with transport, school materials, counselling and basic assistance provided by Sunrise.

THANKS! On a recent trip to Cambodia, mothers of the West Coast Eagles AFL team (coordinated by Pam Stratford) visited Sunrise and presented a much appreciated cheque for $5,000, along with many hours spent over 5 days taking English classes, craft sessions, reading with the children and even cooking an Australian vegetable soup with the children cutting up the vegetables. Another highlight (right) was having a taste of bread and vegemite which they loved! They hope to make this an annual event. See more photos on the web at: Prabin Gautam of Versatile Information Systems and Scott Boocock, our new social network expert, are working many free hours on our new website which will be launched very soon. Thanks, boys!

Many thanks to Makalot Garments (Cambodia) Co. Ltd Prabin Gautam & Scott Boocock

who donated 1,000 sets of children’s garments and 100 adult garments together with a generous donation of $US1,000.

Bequeathing and Memorial Donations A Bequest is a gift made in your will to individuals, companies, associations or charities and may be as simple as adding a Codicil to your existing will. Full capital gains tax relief may be available to your estate for bequests made to certain charities, including Sunrise Children’s Villages. For more information please see our website: A special way to honour the memory of a loved one is to encourage your relatives and friends to make a gift in lieu of giving flowers. A Memorial Donation to Sunrise Children’s Villages in Cambodia is a thoughtful way to remember someone. For more information, please see our website:

Volume 12, Issue 4

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Sunrise Merchandise T-Shirts $20.00 (+ $5 p/h) Black or white

Angel’s Wing Pendant $90 (+ $5 p/h) The boxed pendant has a silver wing attached.

In adult sizes small, medium, large

We Can Be $5.00 (+ $5 p/h) This 56-page book portrays photos of daily life at Sunrise with heartfelt captions written by the children.

Caps $10.00 (+ $5 p/h) One size fits all!

Back view

Home is Where the Heart Is $30.00 (+$8 p/h)

Musicians of Cambodia CD $30.00 (includes postage and handling)

This book tells the deeply moving story of a woman who found her true purpose in caring for Cambodian orphans—the tragic victims of three decades of war and destruction. Geraldine tells with warmth and humour of an extraordinary life.

A beautiful collection of traditional songs and dance music expressing stories of life at Sunrise. The CD presents tales of hope, gratitude, and happiness, as well as showcasing the talent of our children.

My Khmer Heart DVD $20.00 (+$5 p/h) The documentary, My Khmer Heart, won the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary of the Year Award in 2000 and it has since been bought by HBO and Discovery Cable Channel.

Postage Rates Home is Where the Heart Is

We Can Be; DVD; Pendants T-shirt; Cap

$8.00 $5.00 $5.00




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2012 October - December  

Sunrise Childrens Village Newsletter