KI has been regularly consulted by newly-appointed Australian Ambassadors before their departure to Cambodia.


In June, Por Heang Ya resigned as Chairperson of KI to stand for KCNSW President. Kim Ann Chy acted as Chairperson.


Ramy Var was elected Chairperson. On 27 August 27, Khmer Interagency became Khmer Interagency Incorporated. Its constitution was amended in accordance with the requirements of the Association Incorporation Act 1984. Committee members were elected annually by the membership at the Annual General Meeting.


Sovannairand Kay was elected Chairperson.


Chong Hean Ang was elected Chairperson.

In 1997, funding was received for a Level 3 worker from the then Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs under its Community Services Settlement Scheme (CSSS). This provided the funds to employ a worker to continue the organisations work of establishing infrastructure and supporting Khmer organisations and workers.


On 7 August, a State Conference with the theme Australian Khmer: Thriving on the Waves of Change was held at Granville College of TAFE. The aims were first, to celebrate the survival and determination of our remarkable Khmer refugee community, and second to examine difficulties and challenges faced by the Khmer community in NSW.

Later this year, Soour Hai Gov was elected Chairperson.


Further funding was received from DIMA for two years for a CSSS worker

On 24 August, the name of the organisation was changed to the Cambodian-Australian Welfare Council of NSW (CAWC).


Tek Heang Ya was elected as Chairperson.

One the most exciting projects of this year was the Living in Harmony Project, a costume and dance party held at Bankstown Maxim Restaurant.


CAWC was involved in cultural projects such as Diana Gieses Changing Sydney.

CAWC received DIMA funding for a further two years.

Chong Hean Ang was elected as Chairperson until 2004. 2002

Early in the year additional funding was received from various sources, including from the Department of Community Relations, for a part-time worker to support the Women Support Network; NSW Premier Department for a part-time worker to provide educational activities on drug issues to Khmer families; from the Department of Industrial relations, a full- time worker to educate Khmer Outworkers; and Fairfield City Council for training and educational activities for Khmer families.


On 23 May, a very successful state conference was organised, entitled Seizing Our Future - Australian Khmer: Reflecting on our cycle of life and creating a positive destiny. This conference was held Thomas and Rachael Moore Education Centre, Liverpool Hospital.

CAWC moved to its current premises in Bonnyrigg.

With funding from DIMIA, CAWC commissioned a report on Needs Analysis of Khmer People in NSW. This report entitled Developing Communities, Developing Needs Khmer Needs Analysis 2003, was written by Paul van Reyk and launched in June.

Funding was received for the Women Leadership Project and Khmer Elderly Project.

In November, the Khmer Family Support Drug Awareness Project CD was launched by Cathy Noble from NSW Premier Department.

Another successful Living in Harmony night was held, with young people participation in researching and demonstrating Khmer traditional costumes.


Tek Heang Ya was elected Chairperson

CAWC grew from having two full-time Workers to a staff of seven for its projects. There was one CSSS Worker; a Worker for the Khmer Leadership Projects; for the Khmer Women Outworker Project; for the Capacity Building for Older Women Project; for Promoting Community Access; and for Developing Networks for Families with Young Children who are affected by Domestic Violence; and a Program to promote Youth Leadership and Community Harmony.

Cross-Cultural Training Seminar held in Liverpool.

Another successful annual Living in Harmony event, with the planning participation of young people.

CAWC hosted Diana Giese Travel at Home tour group to a delicious lunch during their visit to the Temple.


Tek Heang Ya was re-elected as Chairperson

On 29 September, CAWC in collaboration with the Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre, ran a half-day workshop on Working with the Cambodian community: an essential guide to cultural knowledge for understanding and effective practice, for those working with clients from a Cambodian background.


In June CAWC produced a resource kit entitled: Cambodian Cultural Information for Age Care Service Providers: Special Focus on the Khmer Aged Population. This was developed by worker Bamathy Somasegaram, with assistance from Debbie Giacomin, Nola Randall, Professor Sivayogan and Yvonne Santalucia. It was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

In August, the 7th annual Living in Harmony Multicultural Dinner Dance Gala was held. There were a number of cultural performances including Spanish singers, a belly dancer, and Australian bush dancing, as well as singers from Cambodia.

On 14 December, a conference on issues for young people, A Focus on Cambodian Young People in Australia was held at Cabramatta High School. Its objective was to explore issues facing Cambodian young people and to develop strategies to get them involved in community activities.


On 21 June, to coincide with Refugee Week, CAWC celebrated at its Centre in Bonnyrigg, with the theme 30 Years of Cambodian Settlement in NSW, and launched the Project Settlement of People from Cambodia in NSW, a collection of data.

Since its inception KI/CAWC has played an important role in advocating for better service for the Cambodian community in NSW and harmonising relationships within the Cambodian community and between it and the wider Australian community.

CAWC believes that the successful and co-operative development of the Khmer community in Sydney is partly a result of the work of KI and the continuing structured work of CAWC.


One-Year Term

1984-94 Por Heang Ya
1994 Kim-Ann Chy
1995-96 Ramy Var
1996-97 Sovannairand Kay
1997-98 Chong-Hean Ang
1998-99 Soour Hai Gov
1999-00 Tek Heang Ya
2000-01 Tek Heang Ya
2001-02 Chong-Hean Ang
2002-03 Chong-Hean Ang
2003-04 Chong-Hean Ang

Two-Year Term

2004-06 Tek Heang Ya
2006-08 Tek Heang Ya