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lyn-hotchin

LYN HOTCHIN

Founder and Australian Director.

Lyn was born in Melbourne in 1943. She was a teacher before marrying, and moving to inland Queensland with her husband Ian, on a large sheep and cattle property. It was here she home schooled their children, and learnt that life in isolation had important lessons to teach us all.

A journey to Cambodia with her eldest daughter in 2007 left an indelible and lasting impression on her.  She was deeply moved by the images of the  extreme poverty and desperate circumstances many  people there found themselves part of. She responded deeply to the warmth and empathy of the Cambodian people.

Singing Kites was born from an idea in 2007. An idea to establish a group of friends and try to make a difference in the lives of rural Cambodians. A community of people who had a series of disadvantages even their city cousins in Cambodia didn''t have.

Lyn spends 3 months of the year living in Tanop  village, venturing back to Australia to fundraise to support the projects initiated there.

tith

TITH TEK

Cambodian Director and Head Teacher of the Tanop Community Education centre.

Tith was  born  in Tanop Village in 1977 during the dark Khmer Rouge times.  His parents were forced to work in labour camps growing rice for the  Khmer Rouge Kadres. It was a constant battle to stay alive, and survive the brutality that was a constant presence.

As a young boy, Tith had a dream of becoming a teacher, and set out  to overcome incredible odds to attend school, often walking many klms to get there.

As the years passed, he worked at many difficult jobs to  help support his family in the village, and to support his schooling. Food was scarce.

His passion and hunger for an education saw him enrol at Build Bright University in Phnom Penh to do a teaching degree. He  lived with the Monks in the Pagoda, and took any job available , working  as a labourer . In the latter part of his study, he worked as a moto-driver outside a hotel in Phnm penh, , often sleeping on his bike, and studying under a street light  there, between jobs.

He graduated from Build bright University in 2009 with a Bachelor Degree in English Literature.

For 18 months Tith worked at "New Day Cambodia" to gain experience in running an NGO.

In 2009, after the Education  Centre was built, he returned to Tanop village, and became Director of the Tanop Community Education Centre.

Today Tith oversees many projects in the village, and finds time to attend University at the weekends to study for a Masters  degree in Rural Development.

Tith is married to Sokao, and has two beautiful children, SreyPitch and Vithya.

julie-plumb

JULIE PLUMB

Deputy Director/Arts Co-ordinator

Julie Plumb has been involved in education since the early seventies, having trained in Victoria as a primary and a visual arts teacher, then moved to Queensland in 1974, working in independent schools.

She currently holds the position of HOD Visual Arts in a large secondary college in Brisbane.

Julie has always believed in the rights and necessity for all children to receive a fitting education, in order to contribute to their society and become powerful agents of change for the better, as they mature. These children must be able to arm themselves with the knowledge and wherewithal to develop as individuals, to fight for justice and fair practises and protect the less able, in their country and the world.

Julie joined the team at T.C.E.C in September 2009 after meeting Lyn in Cambodia, and becoming really excited about the opportunities there for the children.

Julie travels to the school regularly and is very involved in introducing the  Rotary C.L.E Program into the school, and doing in-service training with the teachers.

Carolyn

CAROLYN WATTS

English Program Coordinator

Carolyn is from Victoria and lives in Melbourne. She started her professional life as an English, history and classics teacher and worked in both the private and public secondary sector for 20 years before retraining and making a sideways move into English Language Training in 1995.

Training to be an English language teacher was one of the most rewarding professional development experiences of her career and she is delighted that her role as English Program Coordinator in the Singing Kites project has allowed her to continue to use her skills to support and promote educational opportunity and justice in impoverished rural Cambodia.

Carolyn started her ELT career teaching in the Language Centre at Taylors College in Melbourne in 1997, before moving into a management role in the College, where, as Director of Studies, she was particularly active in ensuring that staff not only knew and practised their craft to the highest standard but also understood the importance of cultural sensitivity in all aspects of their work.

Carolyn’s ELT career has taken her to London, Sydney, Auckland, Brunei and now Cambodia. She joined the team in 2009 after a chance meeting with Lyn and now works with Lyn and Director Tith Tek to help build the language and teaching skills of the staff at Singing Kites. She is also helping to frame guidelines and build classroom resources to support the volunteers who come to the school and who work so generously with the TCEC students and staff to help change lives.

Carolyn loves her time at the school and always returns enriched, humbled and awed by the warmth, resilience, hard work and quiet grace of the school community.

June

JUNE MORO

Co-ordinator, Gold Coast.

June fell in love with Cambodia and its people when she visited Phnom Penh in 2008. As fate had it, she met Tith during this visit when he was working at the New Day Cambodia School where she was volunteering.

When Tith told of his dream to build an Education Centre in his village, and the work Lyn Hotchin was doing in Toowoomba to raise funds to make this a reality, June quickly came on board and included Singing Kites in her annual ''Cookies for Cambodia'' fundraiser at her Gold Coast home. Tith''s enthusiastic email updates on the school''s progress encouraged her to meet Lyn and become involved personally.

June has trained with Julie Plumb in the CLE program and travels to TCEC to volunteer in the classroom and give assistance to the children, teachers and villagers where she can.

June has now joined the team as Assistant Co-ordinator Gold Coast and is focused towards procuring funding for further educational opportunities for the brightest and most motivated students; and for local projects that give employment/ vocational training/business opportunities to the students and the local community, so that the project plans to work towards self- sustainability and community development can be achieved.

Chris

CHRIS QUINN

Dental Project Manager

Chris is a dentist who lives and works in England. He first visited Cambodia in 2011 to volunteer with the dental group Cambodia World Family (CWF) and has returned every year since then, working at clinics in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. It is through his work at CWF, that he has gained an insight into the special treatment needs of Cambodian children, many of whom are orphaned, HIV positive or generally affected by poverty.

Chris is a new addition to the team as our Dental Project Manager. He is passionate about improving the lives of Cambodian children through better oral health and providing much needed delivery of dental treatment.

He is particularly excited to be involved in the establishment and running of a high quality dental clinic at the Tanop Community Education Centre, with the very generous support and assistance of the Oral Experts Group in Toowoomba and Cambodia World Family in Phnom Penh.

 

Chris looks forward to a long and happy association with Singing Kites.

 

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