ABOUT US

Office Location & postal address:                  Phone: 08 8258-7909 (Tuesday only)
50 Fern Grove Boulevard                                   Email:  office@worldfamilies.org.au
Salisbury East SA 5109                                      ABN: 33 361 460 443

Office Manager:

Bert Michels                                  Email: wfamanager@bigpond.com

Sponsorship & Finance Officers:

Kerry Walker                                Email: wfasponsorship@bigpond.com                                                  
Robyn Merritt                               Email: wfafinance@bigpond.com

Project Officers

ETHIOPIA

Morgan Smith

Ethiopia: (BGW)
Morgan Smithmrsrob53@gmail.com

I'm Morgan Smith and I have been a member of World Families since the 1990s'. With the support of staff at World Families Australia I negotiated the first project in Ethiopia  with the Medical Missionaries of Mary. The project continues today with Brothers of Good Works.

I am currently the President of World Families Australia and have been several times over the years. Being president of such an impressive organisation is a privilege. As is working with such a talented group of staff and volunteers.

There is much more to do and I look forward to continuing to be a part of World Families Australia into the future. Please contact me if you would like to discuss any aspect of the work of World Families Australia, including the project I oversee, with Brothers of Good Works.

Sandi Petersen
Sandi Petersen

Ethiopia: (Bonga, Liwan, & Lalibela)
Sandi Petersen - rspetersen@optusnet.com.au

Sandi has been involved with Ethiopia since 2003, travelling there on multiple occasions which enables her to have a close connection with the projects. When in Ethiopia she visits the projects and meets with the sponsored children. Sandi has a Master in International Development, in addition to a background in nursing, counselling and youth work and is currently undertaking a Master in Social Work. She is an avid traveller and has spent time in a number of African, Latin American, South-East Asia and South Pacific countries.

Ethiopia: (Bulbula)
Kate Drogemuller - katedrogemuller@bigpond.com

Christine Hoffman

Ethiopia: (Jimma & Bonga Feeding)
Christine Hoffman - ce.dj.hoffman@bigpond.com

I am Project Officer for Jimma DOC and Bonga BFC, BFC-K, BWDP and Bonga Barta Elementary School. The Lady pictured with me is like me –   a Grandmother. Unlike me she is sole carer for her severely disabled grandson, an amazing human being and a wonderful friend.

In 2009/10, a general invitation to visit Ethiopia was sent to WFA interested people. Although 60 years young at the time, I decided to go. That first trip will stay with me forever. Prior to leaving, the trip coordinator, Sandi Petersen, emailed me informing me that one of her supported children was desperately ill with heart problems and asked, “Do you want to do a side trip to Israel?” where “Save A Childs Heart” was found who would operate on the boy. After, we ended up taking him back to Ethiopia with us.

So as you can imagine I was “hooked. This was just the beginning of so many beginnings and I have visited Ethiopia every year since; falling in love with the country and its peoples.

Emma Lewis

Ethiopia: (Bonga Rural)
Emma Lewis - embella@optusnet.com

I have four children and am a High School Counsellor in Adelaide. I have a strong sense of social justice and part of my role at the school is to facilitate a Justice Group. This gives students the platform to raise awareness of important social issues and to make a difference in their community and globally. Prior to this I worked with unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers and refugees. My passion for working with young people came from visiting Ethiopia in 2004. It was evident there was a need for education, health, and wellbeing to be a priority for girls in Bonga, a rural village in Ethiopia, where schooling was not considered important for girls. Children are sponsored through Bonga Rural (BOR) project, where a portion of the child sponsorship goes directly to the child/family for education and health support, with the remaining portion being used for community development projects.

Gemma Pilcher

Ethiopia: (Samerro)
Gemma Pilcher - darrenpil@optusnet.com.au

Gemma has been involved with Ethiopia since 2006, and has travelled to Ethiopia on numerous occasions including visiting WFA projects and meeting with other international development practitioners. Projects have included child sponsorship, water and food security. She has travelled broadly for fieldwork, research and pleasure across Latin America, Asia and Africa.  Her background is in development, international human rights & international criminal law, specializing in trafficking in persons, migration and children’s rights. Gemma has worked extensively in Cambodia and Ethiopia. She holds a Master of Laws, Bachelor Degrees in Law & in Social Science and an Associate Diploma of Applied Science. Ethiopia: (Samerro)

Dee Hudson

Ethiopia: (Meskele Kirstos Project)
Dee Hudson - bendy98@bigpond.com

Thank you for your interest in Ethiopia.   My name is Dee Hudson and my role with World Families Australia is as a volunteer project coordinator for the Meskele Kristos project.   Married with two adult children, I have been a coordinator for the Meskele Kristos since 2010 and have enjoyed partnering with people around the world to help provide improved sanitation, educational supplies, construction of new buildings and building repairs, clean water and food supplements to this very remote community.  I have traveled extensively around the world, including four times to Ethiopia. Other volunteering roles I have been engaged in, include working with the Indigenous in Australia and in Papua New Guinea.

Dee Lumsden (2)
Ethiopia: (Dekia)
My name is Dee. I am married with three girls aged between 18 and 11. I enjoy travelling, catching up with family and friends, and doing a bit of running in my spare time. We have strong ties with Ethiopia and we have visited there on a few occasions. I support Sandi Petersen with the Dekia project.
Michelle Nethery
Ethiopia: (Jimma)
Michelle Nethery - michelle.nethery@gmail.com

My association with WFA commenced back in about 1999 through child sponsorship in Ethiopia.  We were fortunate to be able to meet our sponsored child when we were in Ethiopia, becoming a family with our two adopted Ethiopian sons in 2002.

In 2017 we travelled back to Ethiopia and were fortunate enough to meet all of our sponsor kids (and that of other family members) in Jimma and Bonga.  I was also able to follow-up on some of the children whilst there as I was passionate about becoming involved in a project in Ethiopia.  After our return Sandi Petersen invited me to take over the DOL, DOC-B and DOL-S projects which I jumped at!  I travelled back in 2019 for three weeks and met about 140 of the 150 children in my programs as well as to travel back to Bonga to meet some of our other sponsored children.

I’m passionate about multi-culturalism, end-of-life, aged care and also volunteer in these areas. I work part-time in WHS at a university and with an NDIS provider.  I love to travel, explore different cultures and generally live a socially conscious lifestyle from the environment to social justice issues.

INDIA

Jenny Minck
Jenny Minck
Chennai , Minjur
I am a retired person, single, enjoy listening to music when I am at home. Like to have some kind of business interest going. I’m the editor of a monthly social newsletter. I enjoy preparing newsletters for the Minjur Home Project donors, especially when I have a good selection of photographs to add in. Arts and crafts attract me also. Knitting one or two jumpers in winter. Drawing and painting, and have just started mosaics again. Enjoy corresponding with overseas pen friends. I attend WFA Management Committee meetings once every two months as a WFA Volunteer Project Officer looking after the Minjur Home Project in Chennai, India. In 2021 new three year Partnership Agreements will be prepared for confirmation at the WFA AGM in October 2021.

INDONESIA

Francoise Penaluna

Mission Uplift
Francoise Penaluna - fpenaluna1953@adam.com.au

My name is Francoise Penaluna and have followed in the footsteps of Mavis Pardede. I was born in France and came to Australia in 1971 (with my family) where I met and married my husband Jim. We have 3 children, 2 boys and a girl and 7 grandchildren. I am involved in our local community undertaking pastoral care and run a home group. I like studying, reading, entertaining, sewing, painting and crocheting.

I first got involved with Mission Uplift over 20 years ago through Jenni Callender who encouraged me to go to Indonesia with her. Since then I have been about a dozen times with my husband joining me to sometimes help with the maintenance of the buildings while I run seminars.

KENYA

IMG_1679

Testimony Faith Homes
Dani & Mike Potter -   daniellepotter64@gmail.com

Mike and I lived in Kenya from 1988 t0 2000 when we were young newly weds working as teachers in a private school in Nairobi. Here we met John and Esther Green, the founders of Testimony Faith Homes in Eldoret, Kenya. Here we fell in love with the family we found there. John and Esther became our “African parents” and we would spend much time with them and the children at the Homes. The Home is a children’s home by law, but a family by heart and practice. Here the children who can’t be with their birth families are able to grow up at the Homes as a family; with beautiful couples who devote themselves to the task of being house parents.

We missed our families in Australia especially as we began starting a family of our own, so in mid-2000 we returned to Australia to live in Adelaide with our 5 children, all of whom were born in Kenya. Mike began his leadership role at Tyndale Christian School and Dani soon followed with various teaching roles. Our heartbeat for Kenya was still strong and we both decided to investigate ways to support the Homes from Australia. With the help of our supporters we now have a vibrant network of support for the Homes which includes fundraisers, taking Senior School students on trips to volunteer at the homes, and setting up sustainable projects through World Families Australia.

Liz Rankin
Liz on right

Liz Rankin lizrankin@tyndale.sa.edu.au 

I first travelled to Kenya in 2012 with Tyndale Christian School and met and fell in love with Joshua and Miriam (pictured) Mbithi.

Mike and Dani Potter, who first met the Mbithi’s while living in Kenya in 1988, when supporting the establishment of Neema Children’s Home. This led to the Potters taking numerous students, staff and parents to Kenya to meet the Neema family. Neema holds a very special place in the hearts of the Tyndale community with significant funds being raised and projects completed since 2002.

Miriam and I share a professional and personal passion for health and wellbeing, and in partnership we saw the establishment of the Neema Health Centre. The energetic joy of Joshua and the rich love and hugs from Miriam are almost indescribable. Support of Neema Children’s Home has allowed me, and many others, to experience what true joy in the face of adversity actually looks like.

 

Karan WF Apr 21 2

Karan Coombe-Smith - karan.coombesmith@gmail.com

I am a mother, grandmother, crazy plant lady, and recently retired after enjoying four decades working in State Government.  Adopting three children and travelling to Ethiopia twenty-plus years ago gave me an insight into how poverty and poor education completely limited a child's future.  I volunteered to project manage the Sri Lankan project when it was without a Project Officer. I visited Sri Lanka and met with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and found them to be warm, welcoming and well organised.  The country and the local community around the Sisters has been challenged in recent years with the tsunami, terrorist attacks and Covid.  The project is small compared to the overall need but I know sponsorship makes a huge difference to those individual children and their families. Ph 0403690695

PHILIPPINES

Bruce & Elaine

Philemon
Elaine and Bruce Smith - bmejsmith@gmail.com

Elaine and I began working with disadvantaged overseas children from 1989, in 2007 we went to the Philippines for another purpose but visited WFA’s project the Damayan Centre at Malabon.  Damayan Centre sadly had to close due to flooding. Sister Susan and her staff were amazing people.

We have now partnered with Roy and Adora Carandang and co-founded with them a school for indigent children who were not getting a formal education.

Philemon Academy Foundation Inc. is now a K to 12 school.

There is no Government or Local Government funding for the school so all costs have to be raised.

We appreciate every sponsor and assure them that despite constant lockdowns every student is getting an up to date education.

SRI LANKA

THAILAND

Peter Mann - prmann43@gmail.com