Sally Hetherington OAM was 25 when she packed up her belongings and bought a one-way ticket to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Originally running a foreign-volunteer program, Sally witnessed the unintended consequences of voluntourism, and teamed up with Human and Hope Association (HHA Cambodia), a nightly English school at the time, to help develop it into a thriving community centre.

Working as Operations Manager, Sally was responsible for implementing new programs addressing social issues, fundraising, logistics, mentoring and training the staff and ensuring the organisation’s long-term future. Sally overcame countless obstacles, but her biggest lesson was that sustainable change can only happen when locals lead it.

Through Sally’s empowering approach to development, she successfully made herself redundant and left HHA to be entirely run by local staff. Sally is now the CEO of Human and Hope Association Inc, a registered charity in Australia that raises funds for Human and Hope Association to continue their poverty-alleviating programs.

Awards & Publications – Sally Hetherington

  • 2020 – 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians

  • 2019 – The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference Award.

  • 2019 – Order of Australia Medal – aged only 33.

  • 2019 – ‘It’s Not About Me’ – Manifesto by Sally Hetherington published by Elephant House Press in 2019.

  • 2018 – JCI Australia Top Outstanding Young Person Honouree.

  • 2018 – Third Sector Volunteer of the Year Award.

Sally is available to speak across Australia and internationally on sustainable development, her journey as a young female building up a not-for-profit organisation, innovation and taking risk, and the unintended consequences of voluntourism.

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In the Media