ABV Volunteer Works with CLS

Dr Bea Duffield from Brisbane recently spent 10 weeks at Chumkriel Language School as an Australian Business Volunteer (ABV). As part of the Australian Aid program, ABV uses expert volunteers like Bea to help social enterprises such as CSL with business skills development.

Having held executive management positions with the Queensland Government and presently a Board Member of a community development organisation, Bea’s expertise is in helping social enterprises develop long -term sustainable businesses.

Working at CLS was Bea’s second assignment with ABV having previously been an Australian Business Volunteer in HCMC Vietnam for 3 months in 2013/14. She has also worked in Indonesia and China on various programs.


With CLS Director Thy and Finance Officer Phoas Keo, Bea looked at ways to maximise CLS’s business practices.  Together they implemented improved financial reporting, better branding and marketing, use of social media and e-communications, and targeting new funding sources resulting in increased funding and ways to attract more potential donors.

With Bea’s mentoring, Thy developed a business plan that not only consolidated CLS’s future directions but engaged staff in planning processes. Bea also worked with Thy on developing CLS’s Child Protection Policy and assisted Thy get funding for a new truck to transport children from salt fields to school.

Like CLS, ABV has very strict practices about volunteers working with children. Bea and all ABVs have to have police clearance and sign codes of conduct to ensure safe working practices.


Bea’s husband Gavin Blake , volunteering with Engineers without Borders Australia (EWB), accompanied her to Kampot. Gavin helped with Chumkriel’s House Building and Water Supply program for poor families as well as engineering and recycling projects at the school, and was chief photographer. Gavin is also a Director of EWB.

Bea and Gavin have an on-going commitment to CLS, not only through funding and providing remote support, but also identifying other volunteers for CLS. Kate Morwood, an engineer colleague of Gavin’s is presently working at CLS and Margaret Duffield, Bea’s sister and TESOL expert is volunteering at CLS later this year.

CLS_Board_MeetingOn behalf of CLS and staff, we would like to thank Bea and Gavin for all the guidance and skills that they have shared. We valued your ability to work cooperatively with our staff and the respect that you showed towards the Cambodian culture and current practices.

1. Bea and Thy with children on first trip in new truck.
2. Gavin and Bea discussing building works with Thy (CLS Director)  and Sony (CLS team Leader – Agriculture)
3. Strategic planning session with CLS staff.
4. Bea and Thy with CLS Board members.