Geraldine Dorothea COX

Born: 1945

Additional Information:

1970-1987 - Began her career with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. Was stationed to embassies Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Philippines, Thailand, Iran, and the USA.

1987-1995 - Worked at Chase Manhattan Bank, Sydney, as Executive Assistant to the Country Director.

September 1993 – From a visit that year, The Australian Cambodia Foundation was started, with donations “to feed one child”. She later obtained a five-year grant to support the project.

1996-July 1997 - Worked for Cambodian government as Executive Assistant for the Cabinet Director in the Cabinet of the then First Prime Minister of Cambodia. In her spare time, she spent her weekends at the orphanage connected to the Royal Family and raising money for them in Australia.

February 1998 - The Australia Cambodia Foundation was recognised by the Cambodian government as an international non-government organization (NGO).

1993 - King Norodom Sihanouk appointed her as Ambassador At Large for the Children of Cambodia.

1999 - Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk granted her Cambodian citizenship by royal decree.

2000 - The orphanage name was changed to Sunrise Cambodia.

2000 - Her first book Home is Where the Heart Is was published. Hollywood bought the rights to make a film.

2000 - She was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

2000 - My Khmer Heart, a documentary, won the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary of the Year award.

2006 - Awarded the Circle of Courage award, from the Australian charity Youth Off the Streets.

November 2006 - The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named her a Paul Harris Fellow, “in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world”.

2009 - Named a finalist for the South Australian of the Year award.

December 2011 - Presented the Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop Asialink medal.

2012 - Cambodia's Prime Minister presented to her the Royal Order of Sahametrei Medal.

July 2012 - Awarded the Ernst & Young social category for South Australia.