Erica Henley – Chairwoman

Erica founded Operation Hope in 2016 as an extension of her volunteer work which began with newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers in Brisbane in 2012.

For a number of years Erica coordinated several playgroups that drew refugee children and their families into a warm, accepting and supportive group within the local community. Erica started collecting donated household items and furniture to assist these families as they settled into their own homes in Brisbane. Erica assisted a large group of volunteers at her local church who offered English classes, legal clinics, community meals – and that work still continues to this day. Erica relocated to Newcastle, NSW in late 2016 and that is when Operation Hope became an entity with Erica’s fulltime commitment to fundraising, volunteering in Kurdistan and scoping projects where Operation Hope could make a difference in the lives of the refugees and Internally Displaced People.

In 2018 my husband and I registered Operation Hope Australia Ltd as a not for profit company – which also reflects our long term commitment to the projects of Operation Hope.  We are now a registered Australian charity and a benevolent institution.

Each trip has brought new challenges, new projects and new friendships with these beautiful people. It is a honour to share love and hope and bring some measure of dignity to the internally displaced people and to contribute to existing projects occuring in Kurdistan.  

Thank you all, and especially my husband Kim, for the love, prayers, support and encouragement you have given to me which is enabling me to fulfil my hopes and dreams for these precious people in Kurdistan.