OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Our Volunteer Board Members meet monthly to discuss the progress of the School and continue to manage the Project in conjunction with our Zambian staff and partner organizations.
Alison was born and raised in the Central Highlands of Queensland. On leaving school, Alison began working for Stock and Station agents, where she worked for 11 years and met her husband, Terry. With 3 sons, life was certainly busy but Alison established and ran 3 successful businesses: a gift shop for 3 years, Emerald Boarding Kennels and Cattery for 23 years (which housed up to 150 animals!) and Emerald Homestay – a venture in which Alison and Terry opened up their home in their usual hospitable style as a Bed and Breakfast.
Following a trip to Zambia in 2002 to meet her son’s sponsor child, Alison felt drawn to help the people of the community she visited. Working tirelessly with a small group of friends and volunteers, Alison founded Our Rainbow House charity. You can read the full story of how our Project began here.
“I love doing this work for people not as lucky as me.”
Eva was the third child of four to be born to a wheat farming family near Wagga, NSW. The family moved to a farm near Emerald when she was 3 years of age. Eva attended a small rural primary school (Gindie State School) – with one teacher, grades 1-8, and about 20 students. High school meant boarding in the nearest town – Emerald – during the week, coming home every weekend. For Teachers’ College and university, it was necessary to move to the state capital (Brisbane).
Eva spent 10 years as a High School teacher in various state high schools throughout Queensland, then 15 years raising her four children and working part-time when possible. Together with her husband, Eva opened a computer shop in Emerald in late 1995, where she worked in administration until 2009.
Since then Eva has been dedicated to her voluntary work – including English Conversation classes, tutoring , and working as Secretary and Compliance Officer for Our Rainbow House.
Eva now supports our new Secretary and continues to be a member of the Board.
Bernardine Frawley is married, lives in Emerald with her much loved husband Bernie, and sons Rogan and Tom. She operates her own business as a contractor in the fields of Finance and Rural Business. Having a personal desire to do volunteer work for a charity, Bernardine became involved with Our Rainbow House in October 2012, after reading and hearing about Alison Ray’s amazing work.
In January 2013 she was appointed as Business Projects Officer and has since been appointed to the Board as Chairperson. She has found her involvement with the energetic, caring and devoted team at Our Rainbow House enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding. Bernardine plans to continue seeing through the mission of educating these orphan and vulnerable children.
Suzie grew up on a property West of Moree, in Northern NSW. She started her education in a school which was built on land her father donated to the Government so that the children in the district could be educated. This school had one room, with one Teacher teaching six classes. She left the school at the end of grade 5 and travelled 33 miles (each way) by bus every day into town to complete grade six. After her primary education she went to boarding school. After finishing school, she travelled and worked interstate and overseas. She has worked in many different industries over the years before training to be a Beauty Therapist and moving to Emerald in 1998 and setting up her own business for four years. Suzie has since worked in the Health Industry for the past 10 years in both Management/Administration roles.
Having known Alison since moving to Emerald, Suzie heard a lot about Our Rainbow House for a few years before getting involved with the charity. She travelled to Africa with friends in 2012 and volunteered at the school for four weeks and during that time she drew on her administration skills to help set up systems and our Sponsorship Program for the students. She also sponsors one of the students.
Suzie returned to the school in July 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with her sponsorship child and seeing all the students and staff again. Not having children of her own, Suzie has enjoyed being able to provide an education to a child in need.
“It has been very rewarding watching Susan grow into a beautiful healthy confident young lady. Seeing my sponsor child again made me realise that it is worth all the time and effort that we as a team and all our members and friends put into our charity.”
Sandra is the CEO of the Central Queensland Rural Division of General Practice and brings with her much experience in management and finance as our Treasurer.
OUR COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Our Rainbow House is blessed to have the support of many members of the community who give their time for our Project to grow and move forward.
Sandra has been a resident in Emerald for 7 years and has qualifications and extensive experience in economic and community development and working with communities and businesses to build capacity and capability particularly in times of change.
Sandra has a passion for rural and regional communities and has been fortunate to be able to have some amazing, as well as challenging opportunities with her husband and family over the past 30 years, experiencing ‘the country life’ in communities in the South Burnett, Darling Downs, Western Downs and Western and Central Queensland regions.
Sandra joins Our Rainbow House as Secretary.
Mary-Anne is an Executive Manager in Governance. She has joined the Our Rainbow House team as Compliance Officer, to assist with Policies and Procedures and to oversee our application to become a member of the Australian Council for International Development.
Shae joins our team as Executive Assistant and Bookkeeper. She has much experience with Business accounting and is a well-known face around Emerald.
Shae has two children and is also involved with Emerald State School as a volunteer.
Liz was born to Scottish parents in Perth, Western Australia. She lived here until the age of 12 when she moved to New South Wales and completed high school to Grade 10.
After leaving school, her family moved to Queensland where she began working for a mining company, during which time she learnt accounts payable, payroll, purchasing and stock control.
In the years since, Liz has worked in retail environments, accounts and as the assistant to an accountant at a hardware business. Her last position prior to joing the Our Rainbow House team, was a Office Manager at a training organization.
Liz is married to Our Rainbow House volunteer, Mick, and has 3 children, 2 step-children and 16 grandchildren. Liz enjoys music and art but most of all loves spending time with her family whenever possible.
Since joining our team, Liz has worked with the Finance Team, completed stock takes of uniforms, worked on our Facebook page and various other administrative tasks.
Peg is a retired business woman, running a fabric shop, and has lived in Emerald for several years. She has experience in various clubs and church life and her hobbies at present include running the Hand Made With Love group. Peg loves sharing her knowledge with others and helping people. Peg says: "I love Our Rainbow House and will do everything in my power to help this school for orphans in Zambia".
Gemma is a very new face to Emerald having only moved here in October 2016 to start a new job. Her first encounter with Our Rainbow House was at the famous Emerald State School Craft Fair where she chatted to volunteers about the school and was taken aback to find out it was a charity started in Emerald.
Earlier in 2016 Gemma travelled through Zambia and other southern African countries and remembers passing through various villages and realising that the concept of ‘opportunities’ in terms of career, travel and lifestyle was a great privilege she had been born into as an Australian.
Gemma says: “The various opportunities that many young Australians worry over are a mere dream to so many children and young people around the world, including Zambia. I am so grateful for the education I was able to receive throughout my younger years as it has enabled me to build a life out of choice rather than necessity only. All children should be able to receive an education irrespective of their birthplace or circumstance so that they may live life to their full potential. I hope through my assistance in grant research and publicity I can help Our Rainbow House fill many more students with knowledge and confidence. I have felt so welcomed by the Our Rainbow House community. I am excited to start working with Alison and all the great volunteers over the year.”
OUR SCHOOL STAFF MEMBERS
Our School in Zambia is managed by a local Project Supervisor and currently employs four Teachers, a Teacher Aide, two cooks, three Guards/Facility Caretakers and a visiting Nurse, who are all members of our community.
Katoba is our local Project Supervisor, on the ground in Zambia. She has three children and is a trained Social Worker.
Katoba communicates daily with the Board and ensures the School operates as required, managing finances, staff, students, curriculum, supplies and much more. In her spare time, Katoba enjoys Zumba!
Jannipher is 28 years of age, employed full time and has worked as a teacher for Our Rainbow House since its inception.
She holds a Pre-School Teacher Certificate and is currently studying for a Primary School Teacher Diploma. She has a fantastic positive attitude and has worked closely and co-operatively with all our volunteers and project managers.
Next year Jannipher also hopes to complete a computer literacy course.
Teacher Susan is 50 years of age, employed full time and has worked as a teacher for Our Rainbow House since its inception.
She has a Pre-School Teacher Certificate, and also completed a 2-year Zambia Teacher Education Course in 2007.
She is currently studying for a Primary School Teacher Diploma and hopes to complete a computer literacy course next year. Susan brings considerable experience to the team.
Teacher Evelyn is 26 years of age. She originally began working for Our Rainbow House as a volunteer in return for school fees for Grade 12 evening classes.
Last year she studied towards and completed her Pre-School teaching qualifications and a computer literacy course. Next year Evelyn hopes to complete a Primary Education Diploma.
Evelyn loves her work, and is keen to learn as much as possible – including computer skills. She feels very lucky to have this opportunity and is working very hard at both her job and her studies.
Thanks to generous donations we have recently been able to introduce a music program to the School and as such, Pascal was employed as music teacher.
Pascal is a talented and enthusiastic musician and has also begun Voice and Theory training.
Mable is our cook and works daily to provide breakfast and lunch for our students and staff. Mealie-meal is the staple food used for both meals and Mable cooks up large batches of this using only a brazier.
Mable is a joy to work with and the children love her.
For two years Mable has been studying English and continues with her lessons regularly.
Rhoda works two hours per day to assist Cook Mable in the preparation of lunch
Alfred, aged 54, is married with 7 children. He has been deeply involved with Our Rainbow House since a school was first planned.
Alfred takes special pride in the school garden and is a very good source of knowledge of the culture and traditions of the village.
Henri is 27 years old, married and has a young son. He has worked as a Guard and Facility Caretaker for Our Rainbow House since its inception. He is a wonderful employee having worked closely and co-operatively with all our volunteers and project managers.
Rabson is 59 years old and is married with 2 children.
He is a bricklayer by profession and began working for Our Rainbow House in 2015 as a Relief Facility Caretaker. His wife runs a small business from their yard selling vegetables to supplement the family income.
Rabson is a very co-operative member of staff and a pleasure to work with. He enjoys being a part of our team.
Carol is a registered nurse and visits our School each fortnight to check on the students and health and offer any treatment, advice or education on relevant health matters.
Mwila is the third born of 7 children and works at Our Rainbow House school as Teacher Aide, in return for her tuition fees to continue Grade 10 at a local High School.
Mwila would like to become a doctor and help the people of her community achieve optimum health.
OUR PARENTS, GUARDIANS AND FRIENDS ASSOCIATION
The PGFA Association comprises of the Guardians of our students, who meet monthly to discuss any issues that have arisen at the School, work towards solutions and communicate with the Board in Australia. Many members of the PGFA are taking part in adult literacy classes, offered at the Our Rainbow House School in the evenings.
Four volunteer Caregivers make fortnightly visits to the homes of our students to monitor their family situations and report to the Board.