MEET THE TEAM
Our team is spread across the globe, but we share a passion to help create a better future for women everywhere.
Murray and Ruth Larwill, Founders & Directors
Murray and Ruth have a passion for seeing young women reach their potential. In 2006, Ruth began travelling to Cambodia to conduct intermittent vocational training for young women who had suffered human rights violations. By 2008, Ruth and Murray were challenged with the belief that a full-time training program that provided the opportunity for employment was greatly needed. So in July 2009, the Larwills moved to Cambodia with the backing and support of their home church, and the first BloomAsia Training Centre was established in Phnom Penh.
"To see a girl smile and understand that she was created for a purpose and with value is what BloomAsia is all about."
Dave Saxby, Country Director, Cambodia
Dave, along with his family, moved to Cambodia in 2012 to dedicate his life to the people of this nation. With a background in Psychology and Education, much of his career has seen him work directly with people in schools, community development programs, disability support and most recently, trauma survivors. He is committed to improving the lives of trauma-affected women and children, and was thrilled to join the Bloom family in 2016. Starting in the General Manager role of Bloom Phnom Penh, in 2018 Dave moved on to become the Country Director for Bloom in Cambodia.
"Since our move to Cambodia, I've been challenged, stretched and grown in my sense of justice and passion for people. Most of all, I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity to make a difference in this beautiful country."
Sothea, General Manager, Phnom Penh
Sothea grew up in Battambang, in the northwest of Cambodia, and moved to Phnom Penh to study at university. She joined the Bloom team in 2011 as Assistant Administrator, before becoming the Administrator, then Assistant General Manager, and now she has taken on the role of General Manager, Phnom Penh.
Sothea's head for business and heart for people have made her a valuable asset to the Bloom team.
“I am very thankful to work and serve these amazing women. Seeing them learn to believe in themselves and giving them hope for the future is an honour”.
Mitnea, General Manager, Siem Reap
Mitnea joined the Bloom team in 2013 as Centre Manager, and has been intricately involved in every aspect of the organisation since. She soon became Assistant General Manager and, as of 2018, became the General Manager for Bloom Siem Reap.
Prior to joining Bloom, she worked with World Hope, an aftercare shelter for survivors of abuse and trafficking. With her local knowledge, compassionate heart and keen insight, Mitnea is a central and significant contributor to the work of Bloom Asia.
Gary & Hannah Cully, General Managers, Cebu
Gary & Hannah are committed to serving disadvantaged young women in Cebu. Gary is an experienced educator with over 20 years experience, and he has a heart for helping young people become all that God wants them to be. Hannah is an experienced Registered Nurse with a passion for improving the health and wellbeing of young women. They joined the Bloom team in 2016 and, along with their three children, have embraced the Cebuano culture in which they live and serve.
"We are so excited to launch the third Bloom Café & Training Centre. We consider it a privilege to serve and empower precious young women, giving them a hope for the future. We thank you for your prayer, generous support and willingness to partner with us as we serve together in faith, hope and love."
Our Board Members are professionals from different walks of life, who come together in a commitment to serve the young women who enter the Bloom Asia program to the best of their ability.
Scott Dale (Chairman): Scott has a passion for helping marginalised and under privileged people around the world. He is a Chartered Accountant and a CPA, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of QLD as well as a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning. He holds passive shareholdings across several private companies involved in various industries and sits on the Board of Directors of each entity. He manages a number of private investment portfolios and is a mentor to several business owners. As well as being a business owner himself, he has broad experience in the finance and business sectors, including in private equity. As the Chairman of the Board of Bloom Asia, Scott brings his expertise on financial and general business matters, and also sits on the Finance Sub-Committee of Bloom Asia.
Murray Larwill: Murray is an outstanding leader and strong business development professional who, along with his wife Ruth, founded Bloom Asia in 2009 and remains at the helm of its growth and development. He is passionate about seeing people liberated from oppression and brings his considerable knowledge of business operations to lay the essential foundations that make this process possible. He has a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organisation management industry. Prior to establishing Bloom Asia, he worked as an Application System Specialist, Consultant and Project Manager within the Information Technology industry and holds a Bachelor of Science (I.T.) from the University of Queensland.
Ruth Larwill: Ruth's eclectic background includes a BA (Psychology) from the University of Queensland, a career in travel and a cake decorating business - all of which led to her first trip to Cambodia in 2006, to teach highly traumatised young women a new skill with which to found a new life. With the help of her husband Murray, she began Bloom Asia in 2009 to continue providing economic opportunities for vulnerable women in Phnom Penh, and the organisation has gone from strength to strength. Ruth's passion for the young women in her care is central to the success of Bloom Asia, which is measured not in numbers, but the quality of life the program's graduates have gone on to enjoy.
Peter Page: Peter is a non-executive director and Chair of the Finance sub committee. Since 2007 Peter has been the Managing Director of a small Australian company that delivers decision support software and professional services on fatigue risk management and logistics modelling to clients around the globe. Peter holds qualifications in engineering, computing and management and is a member of AICD. He provides advice and support to the Board particularly on issues of finance, budgets and general business issues.
Ian Watts: Ian is a non-executive director of Bloom Asia and a member of its fund-raising Committee. He is an advocate for helping people and businesses in their transformation journeys to be able to fulfil their potential and beyond. Ian has worked in both national and global organisations across Human Resource Management, Operations Management and Business Management roles, and is an experienced and passionate Human Resource leader with a track record in developing business and Human Resource strategies. He brings over 15 years of leadership experience as a strategic partner to directors and management teams in leading business outcomes across diverse markets and stakeholder relationships. Ian is also a business coach with deep experience in leadership, cultural change, resourcing, talent management and learning and development.
Dr Stephen Stathis: Stephen is a medical doctor and psychiatrist with an arms-length of qualifications including M.B.B.S, FRACP, FRANZCP, Cert. Child Adol. Psych, DTM&H, MSc (Newcastle). He worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital as Clinical Director for the Child & Family Therapy Unit, Acting/Clinical Director for the Child & Youth Mental Health Service and Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist. He was a founding member of the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland and is currently the Medical Director for Child and Youth Mental Health Services with the Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service. Stephen brings a wealth of experience to the Board of Bloom Asia.
Michael Petersen: Michael founded and continues to lead a business in the digital advertising industry which uses authentic, relatable sales processes. Michael spent five years on the Mater Little Miracles Committee for the Mater Foundation, focusing on fundraising and assisting as an Event MC. He is enthusiastic about helping cause-based organisations to transfer their passion into predictable financial outcomes, and provides advice on fundraising and brand building to the Board of Bloom Asia.
Savaen Cameron: Savaen has a background in youth ministry and has worked as a School Chaplain, Pathways and Youth Support Coordinator (DETE), Projects officer (Anglican Diocese of Qld), Missions Coordinator (Hope Centre & Metro Central Community Church) and currently works at Gateway Baptist Church. As a child of refugee parents who escaped the war in Cambodia, Savaen has a keen heart for Bloom and her passion is to equip and mobilise people to fulfil their purpose. She has travelled to 30 countries, led over 20 short term mission teams across the world.