Steve and Sue, along with their children, Shani and Samuel, were in the village of Hikkaduwa on the south coast of Sri Lanka, making arrangements to build an orphanage when the tsunami hit on Boxing Day 2004. In witnessing the devastation caused they realised that the need for an orphanage was even greater as the tsunami had left thousands of children orphaned in Sri Lanka and across Asia.
“We first travelled to Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia because of the great surf.. In Sri Lanka we fell in love with not only the surf and great food but also the warm generosity of the people. It wasn’t until we travelled back to Sri Lanka a number of times, that we looked past our own holiday needs, and realised how much the local people needed help. We wondered what we could do!”
Initially Steve & Sue Lewis started Aussies for Orphans by simply sending money to a local aid worker, who worked with the people in the poorer villages. The worker would purchase basic items such as food, medical/educational supplies, clothes ect and distribute these to the villagers. They then moved on to assisting in some larger projects. It was at that point that they visited their first orphanage in Sri Lanka, and realised that this was the area they most wanted to focus on.
The Lewis’ have intensified their efforts by forming the non-profit organization Aussies for Orphans. They completed their first home for orphaned children, in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 2005 . Now with the assistance of a committee in Northern NSW and many supporters they will continue to assist where needed.
Steve and sue Lewis
Steve and Sue are the founders of Aussies for Orphans they now in charge of the north Coast division of AFO.
Steve started his working life as an electrician but for the last 35 years Steve has been involved in Finance and Investment, he is a qualified Financial Planner (CPF). Sue had a career in sales until she became a mum and is now has a full-time job as a mum.
Bob and Lyn Grivas
Bob has been a business owner, property developer, professional share trader and is now retired and he is our number one ideas man. Lyn had a career in banking before retiring.
Jenny spent most of her working life in the General Insurance industry. Jenny is now a life coach in her spare time.
Oscar and Violet Bakos
Oscar is a dental technician and still operates a large practice, Violet spent most of her working life in the Banking industry and is now a full-time mum.
A marketing communications specialist for over ten years (BBC World News, BBC World Service Radio, The Australian Women’s Weekly Magazine), in 2001 Joanne left the corporate sector to pursue her interest in health & wellness, and become a yoga teacher.
Salim Lalani: Head of Sydney Operations
Salim owns a well-established financial planning Practice in Sydney, Australia. He enjoys helping people achieve their financial goals. Salim migrated from Pakistan and is now living the dream in Australia. After living in a third world country, Salim has always wanted to help the less fortunate.