Jimmy Pham appointed Member of the Order of Australia

KOTO International is very pleased to inform you that it was announced today by Government House, Canberra that Jimmy Pham has been appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

The Order of Australia (AM) is the pre-eminent means by which Australia recognises the outstanding and meritorious service of its citizens. Jimmy Pham has been honored for ‘Significant service to the community, particularly children in Vietnam, through KOTO International’

KOTO is a social enterprise operating in Vietnam. It recruits around 100 street and disadvantaged youth annually and places them in a 24-month intensive program in life skills, English language and restaurant hospitality training. The course is delivered at KOTO’s schools and training restaurants in Saigon and Hanoi. The trainees graduate with the necessary skills to ensure they are ready to enter the workforce and actively participate in their communities. The Program has been running for 14 years and there are now over 400 graduates.

Jimmy Pham was born in Vietnam in 1972 and migrated to Sydney Australia as a young child with his mother and siblings. He was interested in tourism and travel and entered school to learn hospitality. In 1996 he went back to Vietnam for the first time, on a temporary assignment as a tour operator.

Mr Pham believes that the great fortune he enjoyed of having grown up in Australia has given him a sense of responsibility to those who haven’t had the same opportunities as him. He has always been drawn back to Vietnam to try to improve the lives of street and disadvantaged youth.

Mr Pham acknowledges that his award of the Order of Australia highlights the plight of street and disadvantaged youth including the importance of engaging in social enterprise as a means of helping people lift themselves out of poverty to live their lives with dignity.

For more details on KOTO go to www.koto.com.au or contact our Director Lorette Brown at lorette@koto.com.au.

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