Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Art... not Garfunkel

Art 'n stuff.

The art from the Goodwill Centre arrived back in Australia, you may remember a small project we undertook to take the opportunity to show the children of our local community what it was like for children in Cambodia.  They exchanged artwork and pre printed postcards.

Toni was asked by the Principal to present the art to the children and explain some of the intricacies. It was well received and we'll continue with a similar project next year.

A few photos of Toni with the kids at Nymboida School

Mountain Bike Ride Donations

We had a social ride of local Northern NSW mountain bikers at our place the other week.  Several regular faces showed up but numbers were down on previous years, probably because of the hail and thunderstorm the day before.  The ground was so dry that it soaked right in but many assumed it was a no goer.  Those that did show got to enjoy the trails and they all gave generously spontaneously to the fund. We were, as always, humbled by their generosity.  In particular, Geoff and Ryan Gilchrist (Jaye was out ill) Saul and Bregje Thompson, Tony Broderick and Deb Repschlager  You can read more about the ride here

Ryan Gilchrist , followed closely by Dad, Geoff

Local girl, Shiann

Friday, 22 November 2013

and the work continues

and the work continues

While we have been busy fund raising, it's easy sometimes to forget what it's all about, so just a quick reminder.

These are some of the people we help out with small donations of food to allow them to send their children to the Goodwill Centre.  (users who receive this update via email will need to go to the website to view the slideshow)

Other projects underway include the paying of the wages of two teachers, one at Romdual School and the 1/2 the wages for the English teacher at Goodwill Centre.  We try to prioritise education and the access to education as one of the basics of what we are doing. Hopefully this will allow the people we help to improve their lives further in the future.

We are also sponsoring one student,  through University in Sihanoukville (English & Tourism)

Sok Mong (centre)

and another through University (Medicine) in Phnom Penh


Regular Donations

We can only do this because of the generous donations from everyone in the community.  Just recently we have had two more full time donors come on on board with regular donation, Dr Andrew Black from the Bulgrarr Health Centre in Grafton and Kim Lavery from Nymboida  This is added to three other Nymboida locals who have been so generous with their donations.  By making regular smaller donations it allows us a degree of certainty to plan and commit to various projects.  If you would like to make small regular donations through your bank (very easy to set up) please visit the Donations page for bank details and the procedure to follow.

Call for Volunteers to Help at local Fun Run

We have been approached by one of the organisers of the Jacaranda Fun Run to help field a few volunteers. Volunteers won't have to run. ha ha ! but will be needed to "man" the timing tent, hand out water to competitors on the course etc.  In return they will provide us with a donation.  If anyone would like to volunteer, we'd love to hear from them, as the more people we can field for the event, the more money they donate to our worthy cause.  The Fun Run is part of the Clarence Valley Jacaranda Festival.  A huge thanks to the wonderful Kim Lavery for volunteering and her continual help is genuine and appreciated.

Of course if you want to participate, that would be awesome as well.  You can read more about the Fun Run here

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Fund Raising Charity Garage Sale

Done and dusted !

It went well and although the numbers were down a little on two years ago, we have raised about $800 with a few last minute sales still trickling in from some of the left over items.  Thanks to our biggest customer, this sale and the last one two years ago, Daniel from Glenn's Ck Rd (I promise not to tell Sophie)

Viola, Sunny and Letisha trying out the walking machine !

Snapping up the bargains
and a link here to heaps of other photo's


There are so many people to thank and if we've missed anyone, apologies.
  • Helping man the stall: the wonderful Kim, Jenny, Lilith, Viola and Georgie.
  • Helping set up the day before: Jenny D and Ruth and many others.
  • Cleaning up: Laena, Ruth and Janelle
  • Musicians: Sebastian, Clayton and Laena on drums !
  • The Clarence Valley Council for allowing us to get rid of some of the items that no one would take
  • The Daily Examiner for doing the story on the sale
  • The Hall Committee for waving the Hall Fee for all our fund raising events so far

and a huge thank you to everyone who donated their treasures to be sold and everyone who attended.

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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

"Garage Sale" in the local Newspaper

"Garage Sale" in the local Newspaper

Newspaper Article

Toni did a recent phone interview for the local Newspaper with an article that made it in on Tuesday 7 Oct.

You can access the full article here  Thanks to the Daily Examiner for that.

Just a minor change, the handsome fellow is not Trevor but a lovely Irishman who helps out in Cambodia. The photo was taken on the steps of the Romdual School which is the small rural school  in Cambodia where local Nymboidian's Richard and Jenny are paying the wages of the second teacher.  I have included the original photo below:

TL: Camra (local Khmer translator), Toni and Audrey
BL: Sarin (head teacher), Ciaran and Donna

Here's a link to an album of photo's from a visit to Romdual School on the Ream River for those interested,
and hopefully the fund raiser will be a great day this Sunday 13 October

Call for Volunteers to Help at local Fun Run

We have been approached by one of the organisers of the Jacaranda Fun Run to help field a few volunteers.  Volunteers won't have to run. ha ha ! but will be needed to "man" the timing tent, hand out water to competitors on the course etc.  In return they will provide us with a donation.  If anyone would like to volunteer, we'd love to hear from them, as the more people we can field for the event, the more money they donate to our worthy cause.  The Fun Run is part of the Clarence Valley Jacaranda Festival.

Of course if you want to participate, that would be awesome as well.  You can read more about the Fun Run here

Sunday, 6 October 2013

quick thank you

Garage Sale - 13 October (update)

We have had some awesome support for the Garage (Jumble) Sale coming up at the Nymboida Hall on 13 October but let the donations of bric-a-brac and no longer wanted items around the house flow in.  You can drop them down the hall on the Saturday 12 Oct in the afternoon where I will be setting up or contact me via the Contacts page on this site or phone on 6649 4263


Interesting this school holidays we had a random Dad and Son from Brisbane turn up at our place as they were looking for somewhere to ride their mountain bikes.  He had been camping with his Son at Nymboida NP. For those of you who are unaware we have a  reasonably extensive trail network on our property that you can read about here if you're interested.   After explaining the trails were on our private property he was crestfallen.  We said why not and allowed him and his Son to ride and invited him to come back this way again if he wanted to.  He was taken with our place and when Toni started talking to him about the big pile of items on our porch, explaining what they were for he kindly donated $10... Not a huge amount but for a  total stranger, amazing... so thank you Craig Humphrey from Brisbane !

The second one was a random email from a friend, Jaye Gilchrist who has donated several times in the past and did so again today... a huge thank you to Jaye and the Gilchrist Family

Our Donations page is here


With the complications of keeping track of finances via Spreadsheets getting the better of us, we have finally decided to move the finances to a bookkeeping program, we settled on a FOSS (Free and Open Source) program, called GnuCash.  We will publish accounts every 6 months online for viewing, along with bank statements which are received every six months .  If anyone does want more updated information we have no trouble providing that to them just contact us via the Contacts page

Monday, 30 September 2013

Design and Donations


We have had several donations recently that have been very welcome. Our mystery donor, who is a local Nymboidian (is that a word ?) who asked to remain anonymous, is sponsoring a student through University in Phnom Penh via COLT. This s a huge commitment and we were stunned by the level of generosity.  We have had a donation of $100 from Trevor's mother, Ann and $50 from Phil & Chantel Wilson.

L to R: Toni, Sok Mong, Sok Mong's mother
Speaking of sponsoring education initiatives, Sok Mong is one of the local youth,  from near the Goodwill Center. We are sponsoring him through uni, with your donations and from fund raising, finished his first year and did well. Second year coming up and we wish him the best of luck.

Of course Jenny D and Richard are keeping their donations flowing to support the teacher being employed at Romdual School. A new teacher starts in the new school term at the end of the "wet season". You can keep up with the happenings at Romdual School on their blog which we maintain for them.

Garage Sale Fund Raiser

Don't forget the fundraiser garage sale is on Sunday 13th October at the Nymboida community Hall and will be combined with the Farmers Market and will be a great day.  The idea is that it's an opportunity for you to get rid of the "stuff" that's cluttering your life and give it to a great cause for us to sell and raise funds.  You can contact me via the contacts page or phone on 6649 4263 if you have "stuff" you want to donate.


Donations can be made by going to the Donations page at anytime and following the instructions there.  All the money raised goes directly to helping out, airfares accommodation etc on our behalf are all paid for by us and all time is given freely.

New Website Design

Never being happy with the layout and design of the site, I have played once again to try and clean it up and make the site easier to navigate.  We will also role out some social media links when we can get to them. Toni is not as enamoured of the minimalist design as I am.

Those of you that receive this update via email might like to take a look around and tell us what you think. 
Click the link below to go to the new look site


Recently reading the somber tale of Christopher Hitchens death from cancer.  Iin that book, "Mortality",  he made mention of a quote by an esteemed early American educator, Horace Mann that resonated with both of us

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity - Horace Mann

We took that to mean,  do something good for humanity before you pass, so thank you to all the donors who have done exactly that.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

more updates

Market Stall

As mentioned previously, Toni sells her excess produce,  grown at our property, and cheese she hand makes herself,  along with an eclectic mix of items at the local Nymboida markets. The profits going as donations. Plenty  of work goes into the stall, making cheese etc.  This week there was a donation of plants to sell, thanks Jennie.  As well as Toni selling some Buddah's from a local crafstman. The money from the Buddah sales goes directly to CHOICE at Franks request.  The rest of the money raised goes to help fund various projects we''re engaged in.  $121 was raised from the sale of the Buddah's and $47 from everything else.  Not too bad at all !

Store at the markets

Garage Sale Update

More donations to the fund raising garage sale have been coming in. We're starting to  get enough now to fix a date, so put 13 October in your calendars to come down and browse the brick-a-brack that will be available at the sale.  All the funds raised go to help fund the various on going projects we are engaged in.  The Garage Sale  will coincide with a market and will be a great morning out.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A new donor and more

New Donor

A new regular donor has come on board to specifically sponsor a project we have identified with COLT. That is sponsoring the education of a student who wants to attend University. We will keep everyone updated on how this progresses. We have also recently organised another local who was keen to work directly with CHOICE in Cambodia, we helped facilitate his contacting them and was able to reassure him that CHOICE were reputable and did great work with those in need in Cambodia. This was one of the reasons we stayed for nearly a year in Cambodia, it allowed us to work with and identify great organisations and rather then reinventing the wheel, our goal is to find worthwhile organisations and help them with projects that fit with our goals. These donors have requested they remain anonymous but one is from Coutts Crossing and the other from Nymboida. Not to forget our two other regular (every fortnight) donors from Nymboida. 


With our work expanding it was becoming more difficult to keep track of funding by using simple spreadsheets. We have "bitten the bullet" and have decided to move over to a more comprehensive Bookkeeping package for financial year 2013. We will publish quarterly financial information reports in the spirit of openness as this progresses. The Finances page is still there with all the information freely available. 


We have many ongoing projects we are supporting, would love to start new projects as well as looking to build up funds for dispersal when next we visit next so we'd love to see donations continue to roll in. If you wish to set up a regular small donation, please go to the Donations pages and all the information on our bank account is there. Small regular donations make a major difference to their lives.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Garage Sale Coming up

Garage Sale

While we haven't set a date yet, it would be great for people to start casting an eye over stuff in the back of the cupboard or tucked away in the garage and if they don't really need it, please consider donating it to the Annual Fundraising Garage Sale.  Long time followers might remember the last one, which was a great success.  If your memory, like mine, is getting a little vague, you can check out the one we had in 2011 here

We have had a few people donate stuff already, many thanks to them the veranda is looking a little cluttered.

Garage Sale Donation on veranda

we want it to look a LOT cluttered !  You can contact me by using the form on the contact page of this site here or you can phone me on (02) 6649 4263

Ongoing Projects


We have several ongoing projects that we keep raising funds for. One of these is coordinated by the staff at the Goodwill Center. We pay for supplies for families who have been identified as high risk. They cannot afford to send their children to school as they need their kids to work to help the family earn a living. The small amount we give them helps enormously.  A huge thanks to Jen and the staff at the Goodwill Center for keeping this going.

Both of these girls attend the center.

We have also committed to paying the annual salary for the English Teacher at Goodwill Center and based on how successful this has been, we will have no hesitation in paying again next year.

Romdual School

We also pay for the second teacher at Romdual School, this is an ongoing commitment, mostly funded completely by two local Nymboidians.

We have a myriad of other smaller ongoing projects we also need funds for.  We would love to give more support but to do that, we obviously need more funds !   All of the funds go directly to projects in Cambodia with none being used for administration costs which has been identified as a concern of those donating.

Direct Support

We also act as intermediaries with locals who wish to work directly with various organisations we have supported in the past.  Recently a local decided to help CHOICE out by donating directly.  If this is something you might like to do, please don't hesitate to contact me to so I can introduce to some of the organisations doing wonderful work in Cambodia.

The organisations we support directly are CHOICE and COLT both in Phnom Penh. The Goodwill CenterRomdual School and  in and on the outskirts of Sihanoukville respectively and the wonderful work Sabine is doing with her organisation Zukunftstenghau at Steung Hav

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Benefit Dinner - Done !

The benefit dinner was a great success. There were around 70 people there who all enjoyed a wonderful buffet dinner with an amazing range of dishes, all donated by generous locals, Thank you so much. The highlight of the evening was a truly informative presentation by Professor Sharon Sullivan. Sharon has extensive knowledge of Angkor and the history of Cambodia and her talk was very professional and entertaining. It was still being mentioned at the markets the next day.
The entertainment was a great mixture of acapella by the 'Young' boys, folk stylings of John Spencer and Geoff Welham, topped off by another great performance from Phil Wakeling who had everyone dancing.
Thanks to so many wonderful people who helped on the night and everyone who attended the event....we raised $796.90. A special mention to a lovely man, Jim Knight from Kangaroo Creek. Jim had some trouble while driving to the hall and didnt make it but he called me the next day to apologise and donated $40.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Upcoming Benefit Dinner and new donors

Updates to the Fundraiser

Get your skates on, the sumptuous buffet dinner and evening entertainment is on Saturday 8th June at the Nymboida Hall. We have an awesome and eclectic mix of meals that will be available plus free entertainment all night.  Call or email Toni to make sure we have you on the list, plenty of info here,


Thanks to the locals donating a dish for the night If you are interested in helping, don't forget to give Toni a call on 6649 4263

Nymboida Markets

Once again we had a stand at the markets, small as it was this week we made $34.45 selling veggies grown on the property

Toni at her Nymboida Market Stall

Donations Update

Thanks to an anonymous local community donor for their generous $100.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Cambodian Benefit Dinner

Cambodian Benefit Dinner

Dinner Flyer

We will be holding our next fundraiser on Saturday 8th of June. The 2011 'Taste of Asia" dinner and open mic night was such a success that we thought we would visit the idea again. This years event will be held at the Nymboida Community Hall. Local boys Clayton and Sebastion Young will be performing two pieces, one of which will feature their beautiful voices. They are members of the Gondwana National Choir and recently travelled to Sydney for performances. John Spencer and Phil Wakeling, both accomplished musicians will also be performing.

The meal for the night will be a showcase of favourite dishes from the community.
All of this for $10 a head? A bargain.
Please RSVP by the 3rd of June for catering purposes. I wouldn't like anyone to go hungry (pun intended)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Plenty going on

Plenty going on

Nymboida School Presentation

Toni with the kids
Toni went to give a talk at the local Nymboida School which has only sixteen students. The small size of the school was probably helpful as it was the first time she had done this style of presentation and it was quite casual and relaxed. We plan to organise a "postcard" and artwork swap with the children from the Goodwill Center in Cambodia. We feel the experience will be beneficial to everyone involved to give insight into how each country varies and we know from working over there that the Cambodian children will be really excited about it.  We will be printing the postcards for the kids to write on, then bundling them and some blanks over to Cambodia for them to respond.  Hopefully it will go well.

Kids at the School sign
The Kids were awesome and a special thank you to Michelle the Principal for allowing Toni to give her presentation.  Hopefully we can continue this through some of the other schools in our local area.

The purpose of the talk was to explain something of Cambodia to the Children, raise interest in the local upcoming Benefit Dinner and to relive the amazing experience of living there for 10 months last year,

Food Drops

Are still continuing, thanks to Jen from the Goodwill Center

Nymboida Mothers Day Market

We managed to get  a small end of Janelle Youngs market table (thank you), while only a small amount was raised, $13.50, it goes much further in Cambodia and can support a family for a week.

Items for sale at the Market

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Stueng Hav completion

Stueng Hav

The outdoor enclosure at the Stueng hav center, which we part funded has finally been completed. The children now have a safe and dry area to play, study and learn out of the torrential tropical rains of Cambodia. There was an opening ceremony with local dignitaries and parents in attendance. The children received certificates and gifts from the Village Chief. M'Lop Tapang, who we have mentioned many times in past posts, performed a dance for the occasion. You can read more about the excellent work being done in Steung Hav.  For those if you who receive this blog update via email, you will need to click through to the web page to view the photo slideshow.

Poor village families receive food parcels

Jen, the Goodwill Center Manager and Kolab, one of the teachers, are continuing to donate their spare time to arrange food parcels for some of the poorer village families. We thank you many times over for your efforts. 

Romdual School

There are plans underway to return to Cambodia with two generous friends who support this school by paying the wages of one of the teachers. The new teacher travels 2 hours a day on his scooter to give the children their lessons which is only possible because of Jen and Richards help.   We also maintain the organisations website and other administrative duties to help ease the load. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013



Choice are one of the wonderful organisations which we support in Cambodia. Situated in the Capitol, Phnom Penh, they provide fresh drinking water, food, clothing and medical care. After returning to Australia I joined their facebook group and discovered that they are involved in much more than I had previously thought. In recent weeks they:

  •  organised transport to public schools for 60 children who live in remote areas and the sewing class made them all school uniforms, a prerequisite for attending public school. 
  • Three local village men have received prosthetic limbs 
  • 120 children received dental exams and treatments
The dentals treatments were in conjunction with another of our favourite charities, Colt

Sok Morng

We have had word from Jen, the Operations Manager at the Goodwill Center that Sok Morng is really enthusiastic about University. Morng sent an email to thank us all for changing his life. He wants us to listen to a song he says expresses how he feels. 'You raise me up' by Westlife

More food drops

The monthly food drops continue at the Goodwill Centre. Thanks to Jen and Kolab. The two boys in these photos attend the centre and are really happy little fellas despite abject poverty.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Following up from back home

Sok Mong saying thank you

Sok Mong is one of the young adults from Cambodia whom we are helping pay for his costs through Uni

As well as helping with his Uni fees we have donated to help with extra English literacy classes

Food Drops

We have also helped with two more food drops, these are done under the proviso that the children of the families attend the Goodwill Centre

Romdual School

Two generous Nymboida locals, Jen and Richard, who wanted to support the small remote rural school on the Ream Rv have committed to pay the monthly wages of the second teacher.  
We had previously paid for the new school desks and associated teaching paraphernalia but a new teacher was needed.  One of the things is that when educational facilities are available over there, children seem to come out of the wood work hopeful of an education.  So they needed a second teacher and we have funded it. A huge thank you to Jenny and Richard and to the "Friends of Romdual School" for organising it all.  Currently it's $US80 a month, lets hope the exchange rate holds up !


These are still being kept up to date and you can visit the page here any time, there are also details on the page if you would like to make a contribution.