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”.
Ivy, General Manager, Cebu
Ivy was born and raised in Northern Mindanao, Philippines, later moving to Cebu City to complete her Business degree. After several years in the corporate world while volunteering in community development, child support, and teenage counselling programs, her passion and heart to serve people led her to join Bloom when it first opened in Cebu in 2016. She began as an Administrator and in 2019, after recently being married, Ivy has taken on the role of General Manager.
Ivy says, “True giving is when you expect nothing in return; no benefits, no recognition, no tangible gifts sent your way. Your biggest and sole reward is the realisation that you’ve made a significant change in someone’s life, and if not ‘significant’, then a positive change nevertheless. That is what Bloom does, and I am honoured and humbled to be part of this amazing organization.”
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.
Michael Petersen (Board Chair) is the Founder and CEO of MyMediaTradingDesk, a specialist Digital Advertising Agency which employs 13 staff in Australia and the Philippines. Michael invested five years on the Mater Little Miracles Committee for the Mater Foundation, after his twin daughters received life saving surgery that was pioneered due to philanthropy. He is enthusiastic about helping cause-based organisations to transfer their passion into predictable funding, brand building and relationship outcomes. Michael is an AICD Member and joined the Bloom Asia Board in 2017 after years as a supporter and donor.
Suzanne Oxford (Board Deputy Chair) is founding partner of New Word Order, a Brisbane creative agency that gains its greatest joy from making a meaningful change to people’s lives. Passionate about social justice, Suzanne, a former journalist for News Ltd, heads up strategy and content for NWO, working with government, not-for-profit and corporate clients in Australia, the UK and the US to deliver brand strategy, and behaviour change and social marketing campaigns. She provides advice on fundraising and brand strategy to the Bloom Asia Board and Chairs the Funding Sub-Committee.
Scott Dale 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 Chairs the Finance Sub-Committee of Bloom Asia.
Murray Larwill 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'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.
Savaen Cameron 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.
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.
Margaret Scott is a fundraising expert who has been assisting organisations to develop their fundraising programs for over 30 years. Encouraging Philanthropy and Managing Fundraising is the founding mantra of her consultancy practice, which she founded after a long and fruitful career leading and managing fundraising, as well as her formal fundraising-centred research at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She is a long-term Tutor and Fellow with Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA), a presenter and lecturer in Australia and USA, and her learnings and experience have crossed sector boundaries to inspire fundraisers from around the globe.