My, how the months are flying by! Early March was spent mainly in Sunrise with the usual gaggle of visits from sponsors and team meetings with staff. Not to mention spending time with the children in my house and the Centre’s grounds.
We had meetings with engineers, architects and contractors to get all the plans in place to start construction on the Macquarie Bank Learning Centre.
Mid-month, I was in Adelaide to meet with sponsors, family and to keep up with the affairs of our 8 Sunrise students, who are all doing amazingly well in their studies.
The rest of the month was taken up with school presentations, before I went to Brisbane to pitch again our Sunrise advert on Channels 7, 9 and 10. This was to confirm that channels will continue to screen these for at least another year.
Thanks goes to Jo Stone and Kevin Moreland and staff at BCM Advertising who are responsible for filming this advert completely free of charge!
I was able to return to Cambodia for another staff member’s wedding, Chhay Theara.
At month end, some Thai and American friends came to give us advice on our farm project in the aquaponic and hydroponic fields. This is a small project and new for us but I have hopes for it to grow.
Later in the month I took a few days off to attend a family christening in London where I have not been since I was 19. Naturally there have been a few changes there since then.
The high point in this period was for me to get Ashurst (a large legal firm) to include Sunrise in their global staff giving program. This is marvellous but will take time to really bear fruit and we need to follow up every possible lead to build up reserves, which are being used every month to give the children what they need. I was invited to a presentation given by the Australian Charities Fund in Canberra and was so honoured to be there as only around 15 Australian Charities were on the list. Malcolm Turnbull gave a passionate speech about corporate social responsibility and a program he is involved in to get one million Australians to donate one dollar to charity.
The event was organized by Richard Murray, CEO of JB Hi-Fi, one of our biggest staff giving sponsors.
I never forget and neither do our Sunrise children that we exist simply through your interest and generosity.
Thanks to one and all, large and small.