Our Directors meet at least four times a year with a strong focus on good governance. Their collective knowledge and expertise provides high-level strategy to help Forget Me Not pursue its mission: to raise children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity.
Craig Manley has run multiple profitable businesses proven successful over the long term. Craig holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Queensland and he is passionate about assisting Forget Me Not achieve its goals in the countries it operates in. Craig and his wife Mel have been licensees of McDonald’s Restaurants since 1992. They currently have eight franchises. Craig and Mel have been major financial donors to FMN since 2007 and also provide extensive pro bono support. They have travelled to India and Nepal on numerous occasions to visit the projects and see their impact first hand.
Craig and Mel live in Eumundi and invest time and funds into countless community building initiatives throughout South East Queensland.
Kate van Doore
Dr Kathryn (Kate) E. van Doore is an international child rights lawyer and is the Deputy Head of School (Learning & Teaching) at Griffith Law School, Australia. Kate is an internationally recognised expert on orphanage trafficking. She currently researches the intersections of child rights, institutionalisation and human trafficking, and has presented international keynotes on these issues. Kate works with governments, NGO’s and companies on their approaches and responses to orphanage trafficking and modern slavery. Kate was awarded the Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Award for her research and advocacy on orphanage trafficking in 2017 and the Griffith University Arts, Education & Law Research Engagement Award 2021 for her engagement with NGOs, governments and industry on the issue of modern slavery.
She was appointed an inaugural member of the Australian Government Modern Slavery Expert Advisory Group in 2020 and was invited to sit on the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Monitoring & Evaluation Framework Advisory Group. Kate is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Children, Law & Ethics, Cumberland Law School, Samford University, USA, and sits on the Global Steering Groups of ReThink Orphanages Global and ReThink Orphanages Australia. She was invited to sit on the Advisory Board for the International Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force on the Refugee Crisis: A Child Rights Response to Child Migration and Migrant Children at Risk in 2019. Kate also sits on QNEST (the Queensland Network to End Slavery and Trafficking).
Kate is a co-founder and Board Director of Forget Me Not Australia, an international non-governmental organization focused on child protection and family reunification for children residing outside of parental care.
Pete Mackay is a published author, writer and businessman with strong community values and a huge heart. He has been a dedicated member (and Past President) of Fraser Lions Club since 2008. Pete is a Director of Forget Me Not Australia and has supported the development of the organisation for more than fifteen years. He is also Director of Mackrob PL which has been involved with several large scale developments in the Hervey Bay region.
Michelle Hay has a strong history of working in the tourism and tertiary education sectors. She currently holds the position of Head at the University of Sunshine Coast’s Fraser Coast campus and has worked as both an academic and administrator in a variety of tertiary settings. Prior to working in academia, she specialised in tourism marketing in private and public spheres. Boasting strong community links, Michelle holds a Master of Management (Marketing) and a Bachelor of Business (Tourism).
Michelle is the Chairperson of Jobs Fraser Coast, one of eight Queensland Regional Jobs Committees. Between 2008 and 2011, she assumed the role of Council Member for the Fraser Coast Anglican College. Michelle is a Director of Forget Me Not Australia.
Born and raised in Nambour on the Sunshine Coast Greg Biggs has 20+ years of experience in the travel industry. After a thirteen year successful partnership running the travel agency for what is now Suncorp Bank he and his wife Robyn were keen for a seachange. Both were seasoned entrepreneurs when in 1997 they became Licencees of the new McDonald’s Restaurant in Greg’s hometown, Nambour. In 2005 they purchased their second McDonald’s Restaurant in Coolum Beach and operated both stores until they retired in 2015.
Greg has been involved in various work and community related committees over the years. He is a keen cyclist and runner and loves to travel. He first travelled to Nepal in 2008 to witness the work of Forget Me Not first hand and soon after became a Director. Greg and Robyn have two adult sons, one who resides in Brisbane and the other in Toronto, Canada.
Our Team are relentless advocates for the empowerment and liberation of children and young people world-wide. The tapestry of their individual skills, experience and ideas draws strong collaborations and partnerships with all stakeholders: governments; INGOs & NGOs; corporates; agencies; academics; small businesses and enterprises; and most importantly, children and young people themselves.
Andrea is a founding member and CEO of Australian child rights charity Forget Me Not, managing operations in Nepal, India and Uganda. With integrity and tenacity Andrea propelled the charity from the defunct orphanage-model to its current duty as world leader in child-focused deinstitutionalisation. In particular, rescuing children trafficked into orphanages, tracing their families and getting them home as soon as possible.
An avid learner with a background in business and a degree in communications Andrea inspires us to make our mark on the world in ways that add value and do no harm. Her leadership style is collaborative and empowering.
Andrea insists on best practice, and investing in impactful prevention and reintegration projects raising children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity.
Emmalene Travers is a fierce advocate for inclusion and autonomy, promoting and upholding human rights and social justice circadian. She cares about the empowerment of women and children regardless of what racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers may exist. Emmalene is intrinsically hardwired for problem solving and peace making.
Her university credentials in law, communication and mental health practice align seamlessly and underpin her commitment to individual and collective determination for courageous, thriving and vibrant communities.
As a care leaver her commitment to breaking stigma and stereotypes led her to co-create national consumer network CREATE Foundation and Australia’s first Bill of Rights for Children and Young People In Care. Later, she co-created national children’s charity The Pyjama Foundation to improve learning and literacy outcomes for children in care in Australia. Emmalene provided redress to those harmed by institutionalisation as children in Queensland through more than a decade of service on the Forde Foundation Board of Advice.
Emmalene lives in Brisbane and works with Forget Me Not Australia and Women’s Legal Service Queensland.
Anju Pun is a child rights advocate and is the Nepal Country Director at Forget Me Not Australia. Anju has been working with socially excluded and marginalised communities in Nepal for almost 20 years including time with ActionAid Nepal, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime strengthening the availability of lifesaving ARV drugs for people living with HIV in Nepal.
Her current work is focused on prevention of unnecessary family separation, child protection, anti-slavery, deinstitutionalisation, and family reunification and reintegration, including for children with disabilities and children on the move. Anju is working with the Nepal Government and key stakeholders, including children and young people themselves, on care reform and the transition from orphanages to family-based care.
Anju chaired Nepal’s Child Protection Working Group in 2017 and is an active member of the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen led Child Protection Cluster Thematic Group. She is currently co-convenor of the Transitioning from Care Working Group and advisor to the Kinnected ‘Keeping Families Together’ program since 2018. Anju represented Forget Me Not on the 4th Biennial International Conference on Alternative Care in Asia (BICON) Organising Committee and presented at the UN Day of General Discussion 2021 on behalf of the BICON partners.
Anju’s ten year old daughter is her inspiration and they both dream of a world where children grow up in safe and loving families.
Tashi Dhondup’s homeland is Humla, the most remote district in Nepal. He took on various roles with NGO The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS) co-creating awareness campaigns and working on projects that promote family based care. His time at THIS and his own life experience spending nine years growing up in a hostel away from his family provided great insight and rapport when engaging with children and young people in care, and care leavers. He discovered many of whom were rescued and returned to their families in Humla.
Tashi has been working with Forget Me Not Australia since 2018 overseeing operations in Nepal working closely with the Country Director. His leadership style and eye for detail are remarkable and respected by colleagues and associates.
He works tirelessly changing hearts and minds to focus on child safety and keeping families together. Tashi aspires to be a social entrepreneur and dreams of opening a community school in Humla so that children are not separated from families under the false promises of better education. He has studied business management and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Suruchi Poon holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and worked in the private sector before joining Forget Me Not Australia in 2019. In her role as FMNs Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Suruchi is responsible for implementing innovative tools for data collection, then analysing and generating evidence-based reports to inform and guide the vision and strategic direction of the organisation.
Suruchi believes in the process of ‘learn, unlearn, and relearn’ and tries to incorporate that in her work and personal life. She believes that people with privilege should understand and acknowledge their privilege, using it to uplift others.
Suruchi thoroughly enjoys working with young people with lived experience. Her understanding of their challenges and trauma has fuelled her passion and commitment to making positive change in the lives of children and young people through individual and systems advocacy.
Mel Faulkner is the passionate and compassionate founder and project co-ordinator of the Nanna Project in Uganda. She has lived and managed the project in Uganda on and off since 2007. Mel has been able to build solid relationships with beneficiary families and has developed an understanding and respect for their communities and cultures. Mel saw the challenges of the children who mostly lived with their elderly grandmothers and knew they belonged in schools but that they should remain with their families and not be placed in orphanages.
Mel also spent time as a member and then secretary of Ugandans in Queensland, an important community group that connects and supports Ugandans living in Queensland and celebrates the diverse cultures of Uganda and Australia coming together.
She has been a dedicated volunteer with Forget Me Not since 2013. Mel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education and a Graduate Certificate in Steiner Education. In 2013 she was presented the prestigious Isobel Taylor Award for high academic achievement and excellence in professional and community activities.
Prior to working full time as a primary school teacher in Queensland, Mel taught at an international school in Kampala. and continues to volunteer with Forget Me Not. She is supported and inspired in all of these endeavours by her loving partner James, three beautiful step kids and her fur babies Marshmallow and Akeno.
Mel will always feel like she is home whenever she travels back to Uganda.
Our Partners are on the same page, fearless in their pursuit of children’s rights. We proudly stand side by side with these courageous and respected organisations.
The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS) and Forget Me Not (FMN) are working jointly with the Nepal Government to reunite children and families because 80% of children living in children’s homes worldwide have at least one living parent (Save the Children, 2009). In compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), we reach the most vulnerable children and families through our family and community support programs to safeguard children’s rights to family, identity and culture.
Our partnership works to prevent children and young people in Nepal from being displaced through investing in innovative initiatives that keep children within their families and communities. Our major areas of partnership are: prevention; rescue; reunification; reintegration; sensitisation; and, research.
Hope and Homes for Children (HHC) has been working with FMN and THIS in Nepal since January 2019. During this time, they have made significant progress building political will, momentum and know-how for care reform and have facilitated the reintegration of 193 children with their families or in kinship care, supported with the closure of institutions, and made progress on the gatekeeping provision.
Martin James Foundation (MJF) joined FMN, HHC and THIS in 2022 to launch a new two-year project to develop a model of community-owned foster care in Nepal (Children’s Act 2018 Section 49 b & c).
The project will partner with two municipalities in Chitwan District to establish pilots of foster care based on legal frameworks and the child protection needs of each area. One area (Madi Municipality) is semi-urban, and the other is more rural (Ichchhakamana Rural Municipality) so the project will be able to consider the different approaches that may be required in such contexts.
Through this project, we intend to demonstrate that foster care can be a part of the solution to keep children in families instead of institutions. The models developed through the project, and the process through which they are created, will be documented and assessed to inform scale-up and replication in other areas of the country.
ReThink Orphanages is a global cross-sector coalition working to prevent family separation and the unnecessary institutionalisation of children by shifting the way countries engage with overseas aid and development.
We have been associated with the Coalition since it was launched in January 2016. Today ReThink Orphanages Australia is represented by members from international aid and development, tourism, philanthropic, education and faith-based communities and works with stakeholders from a range of sectors including government and media.
In 2017, ReThink Orphanages Australia took a lead role in highlighting the intersection between orphanages, orphanage trafficking and modern slavery in the context of Australia’s Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act. In 2018, Australia became the first nation in the world to recognise orphanage trafficking as a form of modern slavery.
ReThink Orphanages provides advice and information to government, business, donors, and non-profits on policy, child focused giving, transitioning from residential to community-based care, responsible tourism, child rights focused business models, and technical advice.
Boom Shankar and inchargebox are two very successful Australian-owned companies who are regular donors to Forget Me Not. They are proud of the work we do reuniting trafficked children with their families and helping families become self-reliant as a means to keep families together. They, and their well-dressed and tech-savvy customers, have helped reunite more than 700 ‘paper orphans’ with their families. All of these children are happy at school making friends and enjoying their childhoods connected to family, community and opportunity.
Thousands of children have had their love of learning ignited thanks to Boom Shankar and inchargebox and they are thriving in local schools, immersed in culture and surrounded by love. We also have budding lawyers, social workers, teachers, artists, tailors, hoteliers and CEOs currently studying at tertiary level and ‘care leavers’ are now employed as Change Agents strengthening understanding of orphanage trafficking in rural, remote and regional communities.