Article published in Hornsby Advocate October, 2003.
When Anthea Spinks left Pennant Hills to backpack into Mozambique as an aid worker, her family was “terrified” for the 25-year-old.
The third world country was struggling in the wake of devastating floods and more chaos was to follow.
Eight weeks into an office job collating field data for World Bank funding applications, Ms Sprinks was thrust into the crucial role of allocating aid when the area was hit by another wave of floods.
“She was effectively doing a quartermaster’s job,” her mother Sue said this week.
“Bags of rice and blankets were arriving and she was one of two people in the office who had to work out who needed it most. She had to hit the ground running.”
The former student of James Ruse Agricultural High School did a great job and World Vision offered her a senior salaried position as an emergency aid officer, with several field workers under her control.
It was a dream come true for a girl who, at age 18, spent a year in Brazil on an exchange program.
“She said she wanted to be an aid worker when she came back from Brazil,” Mrs Spinks said.
“She lived with a well-to-do family, but they had a social conscience and encouraged her to see the poverty. I guess it set her on the road to the career she has chosen.”
Mrs Spinks said her daughter was one of a host of young idealistic Australians helping to reshape Mozambique.
“We think she’s never coming home. She has a fantastic life.
“I flew in there 10 days after September 11 and then I felt she was probably safer there than we were in Sydney. She’s doing good work and I’m proud of her.”