Originally from Melbourne, Victoria, the year 2000 saw Wendy and her family pack up their lives and move to the Gold Coast. They opened a family café in Surfers Paradise and their children finished their schooling. After years of seven days a week in business Wendy and her husband Garry decided they’d had enough of café life and got “normal” jobs.
Wendy took a job with the local basketball association and before long they grew to one of the largest associations in Queensland. In 2010 they took their first International junior teams to compete in Indonesia and Wendy’s love of travel blossomed. She was hooked.
A trip to Thailand in 2011 ended with a detour to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. Never before visiting Cambodia, they noticed how cheap 5 star hotels were and decided to treat themselves - not something they were accustomed to.
Little did they know this trip would change their lives forever. Coming face to face with the poverty win the market place, they knew the luxury and guilt of 5 star was not for them. They vowed in that moment to come back and do something to help.
Passing through Cambodia in 2012, on the way to Vietnam the kids also fell in love with the country and the people.
In 2013, they returned hoping to set up a basketball tournament, but went home realising the people needed a whole lot more help than basketball.
In April 2014 they built a house for a family and then took a group of friends back in November 2014 to build a second house.
Garry had previous building experience, and through the already existing tour company we were able to bring people to help build houses. That was the start of the change in their lives.
By 2015 they registered the charity Heartprint. By then they were travelling to Cambodia every few months and staying for weeks or months at a time. By April 2016 Wendy and Garry moved to Cambodia permanently.
To date, Heartprint has built 64 houses, 53 toilets and installed 27 wells, as well as employing 6 full time Khmer staff. They have distributed 199 bikes and sponsor 26 students to go to an English school, with one about to start University.