- Geraldine Cox started the Sunrise Children’s Villages in Cambodia, helping the country’s poorest children.
- She spent much of her working life with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Chase Manhattan Bank. She describes her lifestyle during this time as hedonistic.
- A trip to Cambodia exposed her to the terrible conditions faced by some of the poorest children in the country and she decided to try to do something about it.
- There are now three Sunrise Children’s Villages and they look after more than 400 children.
- Geraldine was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2000.
- She was recognised in Cambodia with the Royal Order of Sahametrei Medal in 2012.
A different kind of wealth
The hand that rocks the cradle
Coming out of the mist
School is just a dream
Geraldine Cox participated in December 2017 to a Connected Women event hosted at Google. Theme was on "Benefits of Change" and event was attended by 270+ men and women from Digital and Media. Geraldine was a wild card for that event with an inspirational talk on Persevering through adversity. She shared her personal journey and was a total hit for the audience scoring a 9.6/10 in post event survey with quotes like "Geraldine was so inspiring", "What a character and inspiration for all" or "Loved Geraldine's inspirational story and energy". The most common social media tags for her session was "#If Cambodia has taught me anything is to not waste my energy on things I cannot change". Geraldine is not only a fantastic speaker but she has the ability to connect with her audience to make each and every single of us rethink our realities or take perspective on life differently. It has been a true pleasure working with Geraldine and her team to coordinate all the logistics and theme. Thanks again Geraldine for embarking with our community on the journey of inspiring the leaders of tomorrow in Tech and Digital to think about personal or professional changes by embracing diversity at the core of their job!
Head of Product Partnerships
Google APAC and Founding member of Connected Women AU
Geraldine is one of the world's most warm-hearted people. She is also fearless and tireless and the orphanage, which now exists in politically easier times, was both born and survived entirely as a function of her vigour, generosity and humanity.
Australian Mission to the United Nations, New York
In speaking for the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre in Melbourne 2 years ago, Geraldine Cox took us through the process of establishing the orphanage, Sunrise Children's Village, in a way that was frank, engaging and inspirational. By the end of her talk, there were few in the audience who did not want to get up and volunteer their services immediately in helping her secure the means needed to support her children. Geraldine is also able to place her activities in the context of the dynamic and changing political and social environments of Cambodia, offering a clearer understanding of a country that has experienced so much tragedy.
Asia Society AustralAsia Centre, Melbourne
There are a lot of decisions that she made, by her own admission, could be deemed questionable. You always see the motives that are behind what she's doing and her first priority is the children, you know, in the orphanage and she makes no bones about that, so I think that's really admirable. She's not a saint, she's human. I was just incredibly moved by her and by her work.
Matt Damon, Hollywood
The heroine at the heart of "My Khmer Heart" is such an astonishing, unpredictable, indomitable force of nature as to be wholly implausible, except for the fact she does exist. Think of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage, then add Mother Teresa, Hanoi Jane Fonda and the unsinkable Molly Brown.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Head Critic, Los Angeles
Her commitment in bringing awareness about the plight of these forgotten Cambodian children will never be forgotten.
Danny Glover, Hollywood
What an outstanding story this is and what an outstanding woman Geraldine is and what an amazing path she has travelled.
Harry M. Miller, Celebrity Agent, Sydney
Geraldine Cox has an extraordinary and important story to tell - and she tells it very well indeed.
Phillip Adams, ABC Journalist, Sydney
SMEC as one of Australia’s leading consulting firms is also proud to be involved with Geraldine and her work in Cambodia setting an example of how Australian businesses can have a human face on the international scene for such a worthwhile project. Geraldine was one of the principal guests at the inauguration of the SMEC Foundation in 2002 and was invited to speak at the recent anniversary of SMEC’s 10 years of privatization in 2003 and this high regard in which she is held by SMEC management is a reflection of her never-ending efforts to further her goals for the Orphanage and its children
Senior Project Manager
Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation, Pakistan
I have known Geraldine for more than 30 years. She has never taken the easy way out. She has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to endangered Cambodian children and energy levels to match. Her story is one of courage and heartbreak, of hard work and love.
RMIT International University of Vietnam and Ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to Cambodia, Ho Chi Minh
Geraldine uses a big heart and openness, combined with subtle tact, to cross borders between cultures, which many people do not even know exist.
Former ASIS Officer and author of ‘Code Cicada’, Sydney
The orphans of Cambodia have a good chance with a mother like her.
Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, Phnom Penh
She has the courage to believe she can make a difference
Peter Ustinov, British Actor, London (deceased)