With the assistance of a Sydney couple and a grant from the Chase Foundation, Geraldine co-founded the Australia Cambodia Foundation. Geraldine had been on holiday in Cambodia and had seen many children in great need. She decided she needed to do something about it and moved to the country.  Geraldine Cox grew up in Adelaide and studied at the Metropolitan Business College. After many jobs and travels, she joined the Department of Foreign Affairs. She worked for the department for 17 years, stationed in Australian embassies in Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Iran and the United States. After leaving the organisation, she started working at the Chase Manhattan Bank in Sydney.

While the Foundation was becoming established, Geraldine earned a living working with then First Prime Minister, Prince Ranariddth, but following the coup she was left without a job. On the positive side however, it meant that she was able to spend more time on Foundation matters and with the children at the orphanage. Two years later, she was given Cambodian Citizenship by King Norodum Sihanouk, by Royal Decree, and made a Member of the Order of Australia. She was nominated as South Australian of the Year.

The children she helps have come from very sad and troubled backgrounds, with abuse and abandonment being key issues. Some of the children have literally been thrown onto rubbish heaps, or have been burnt with acid to make them better beggars. Sunrise provides them with a loving home, along with quality health care and education opportunities which are beyond the reach of most Cambodians. Some of the Sunrise children have gone on to graduate in fields such as dentistry, hospitality, IT, insurance, mechanics, banking, sales and advertising. Those who study in Australia return to their home country after their degree to help make Cambodia a better place.

Geraldine has written a book, Home Is Where the Heart Is, was the subject of 'My Khmer Heart', which won the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary of the Year Award. 

She now spends around nine months of the year living at Sunrise Children's Village, 20 kilometres outside Phnom Penh and the rest of the time travels to Australia, Asia and the United States to raise much needed funds. There are currently three Sunrise Children's Villages in the country, and they care for around 400 children in total.

In addition to her work with Sunrise, Geraldine serves on the board of the International Advisory Board of Oasis Africa Australia, and she was awarded the Circle of Courage Award from the Australian charity, Youth Off the Streets. The same year, she was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation.

Geraldine's story has been featured on Australian Story, The Sunday Program, This Is Your Life, Four Corners, Today Tonight, The 7.30 Report and 60 Minutes, Talking Heads and the 7pm Project.


Geraldine Cox speaker

Other speakers you might like:

James Castrission

Cas is an Aussie Explorer constantly pushing the boundaries of human endurance.

Most recently, on the 26th January 2012, he made history by completing the longest unsupportedpolar expedition of all time, alongside his best mate, Jonesy. In 100 years of polar exploration no-one had EVER walked from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back without assistance. Many had tried, none had succeeded. After 89 gruelling days they made it back to the coast after having skied 2275km with everything they needed to survive in the harshest environment on Earth.

Justin Jones

Justin Jones (or other wise affectionately known as Jonesy) is one of Australia’s premier motivational speakers and extreme adventurers. Constantly pushing the boundaries of human endurance he has undertaken a number of large scale expeditions over the past 14 years. Two in particular have captured global acclaim and attention, setting 2 Guinness World records.

Ben Pettingill

Imagine waking up blind. One moment you can see, and in the next moment, your vision is made up only of childhood memories. At the tender age of 16, this became a reality for Ben Pettingill when overnight he lost 98% of his eyesight to a rare genetic syndrome, Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. While the shock, then grief of losing one's eyesight cannot be discounted, once Ben processed his new reality he realised that he had to make a choice that would define the rest of his life. Ben believed that a blind man could see, and his miracle was the activation of ‘True Vision' and 'Limitless Vision'. Vision enabled through purpose, perception and empowered decision making.

Holly Bryar

Crowned Miss Sydney Australia (2016) at the 6th annual sustainability pageant, Holly was determined from a young age to chase her dreams of working behind and in front of the camera.

After High School, she secured early entry into Charles Sturt University undertaking a double degree in TV Production & Graphic Design. It was during those four years Holly developed her love for creating children’s content within film, television and design.

Upon completing her degree, Holly relocated to Sydney taking time to pursue her passion for acting. She completed various short courses at NIDA under the guidance of Don Christopher, Brendon McDonnell & Serhat Caradee (AFI/AACTA nominee). Soon after she was accepted into NIDA’S part-time course - Advanced Screen Actors Studio with Writer/Directors Elissa Down (Black Balloon) and Craig Boreham (Teenage Kicks).

Holly has worked alongside the talented production teams of much-loved children’s programs Giggle & Hoot and Play School at ABC Kids TV. She currently works freelance and still continues her passion for performing arts.


Judy and Tim Sharp

Tim and Judy Sharp are break-through speakers who share their inspirational story of how a boy diagnosed with severe autism went on to become one of Australia's best-known international artists.

At 11 years of age Tim created a superhero called Laser Beak Man and became the first person with Autism to have his work developed into an animated TV series and theatre production. Tim shares his sense of humour and unique way of looking at the world through his colourful art. His originals are in high demand from collectors and have been exhibited Australia and globally.

Back to Top /**/