Former long-time Darlinghurst resident Terry Trethowan has a marked history of humanitarian service. From inner Sydney to Battambang, Terry is focussed on bettering community at a local level.
Among his many accolades—serving as executive director of the Tasmanian AIDS Council, chairing the Darlinghurst Business Association, and receiving a national medal for services to Australia to name a few—his current work in Cambodia is cause for recognition.
“I had always wanted to immerse myself in another culture and Cambodia appealed to me greatly with its history and people,” Terry told Urban Village.
Terry currently resides in Battambang, Cambodia, as an advisor to the President at the University of Battambang. He founded a local Sports Club called Battambang Traveller which publishes its own newspaper, runs a cafe attached to the Club and gets local kids involved in soccer.
The Club operates through donations from across the globe that go towards soccer equipment, training, coaches and resources, all with the aim of giving local kids a sense of purpose through their participation, and a place to call home.
“Labour migration is a fact of life, with many young and not so young people moving to places like Thailand. To join the Club you have to sign a contract to study or try to find work locally. This is better for the players, their families and the community. Where we can, the Club helps them to find jobs or to study,” said Terry.
Out of the many Battambang community members Terry’s program has helped, one story is that of Si E Tong Yii, the goalkeeper of Battambang Traveller F.C. A difficult childhood led Yii to the Battambang Orphanage Centre, where he spent nineteen years of his life. Now, not only is Yii on a soccer team but after three years of study he now works as a nurse in a local hospital.
Terry relies on international and local tourism for income, meaning this year has been particularly difficult.
“We are focussed on meeting the needs of the players and are planning a round of “friendly” matches against other community-based teams. Fundraising is a challenge, but the aim is for the Team get through the pandemic. Our motto helps to remind us to stay positive. It is “Su! Su!” which is Khmer for “Keep trying!”
For more information about how you can get involved or donate, email Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org