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pic1In light of recent world events, we would like to introduce one of our former staff members who has moved onto something very different and is definitely making a huge difference.

Peter Scarborough worked a couple of stints with us between 1998 and 2001 and became well known to many of our individual tax clients. At the start of 2002, he and his wife Esther, a trained nurse, together with their five children left our shores. They headed to the remote North Maluku area of Indonesia, bringing much needed medical assistance in the refugee camps that had sprung up as a result of the regional Christian - Moslem fighting. They had previously spent time in the region working with a Christian mission organisation but had returned to Australia due to ill health.

Whilst back in Melbourne, Peter undertook studies in humanitarian aid. On returning to Indonesia, his experience in accounting and administration enabled him to coordinate the establishment of a substantial humanitarian relief base. Esther oversaw the initial delivery of medical care and quickly saw the need to train and equip others.

pic1A considerable team

Their team in Indonesia now comprises over 30 locals trained by Esther in basic hygiene and medical disciplines. A well drilling team has also been established to provide clean water, an essential for the local villages. The team has been further bolstered with a number of Australian assistants including another former Saward Dawson staff member, Sarah van den Broek.

On a recent trip home Peter and Esther reported on the progress made in their work. Having now acquired 26 hectares of land, they hope to establish staff accommodation and medical clinics for the treatment of the most neglected health needs such as tuberculosis, leprosy and burns patients. These facilities will also be used to train more local workers as funding becomes available.

pic1Boxing Day tsunami

Seeing the enormous and dire need immediately after the Boxing Day tsunami, and with many of the resources at their finger tips, Esther quickly arranged a trip to Banda Aceh. Some of the members of the medical and well drilling teams managed to provide urgently needed assistance to the stricken area. The partners and staff of Saward Dawson joined together to support the Scarboroughs’ involvement in response to the tsunami. Jointly, over $10,000 was raised to assist with the provision of medical supplies during the relief effort.

Although a long way from doing battle with the Australian Taxation Office, Peter's job presents great challenges. Much has been achieved in a very short time despite the limited resources and there is tremendous reward in seeing the impact on individuals and communities. Anyone interested in knowing more of Peter and Esther's work in Indonesia, or possibly making a financial contribution to their ongoing work should contact our office for details.

Cathy Braun

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