Sally Hetherington OAM | Ethical travel

Making a difference without being a voluntourist

Sally Hetherington is the CEO of Human and Hope Australia, a charity that raises funds to support and empower local communities in Cambodia, as well as being an author and educator about the negative impacts of the ‘voluntourism’ industry.

Sally’s story starts out like many young Australians. At the age of 25, she set off to Siem Reap – a popular tourist destination in Cambodia – to volunteer at a local school. It was intended to be a short-term career break from her corporate job… but nearly 10 years on, she has followed a very different path in the charity sector and last year, her work was recognised with an Order of Australia medal.

Sally’s book titled ‘It’s Not About Me’, details her own experiences as a voluntourist and her journey to discovering why these types of ‘volunteer abroad’ trips could be doing more harm than good.

In this episode, Sally talks about her family connections in Myanmar and the trip that led to her awakening as a global citizen, her experiences as a volunteer in Cambodia and what she learned about the impact of the ‘voluntourism’ industry on local communities, as well as how she built up a locally led NGO in Cambodia. She also shares her top tips for being an ethical traveller and helping communities overseas in a positive way.

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Stay in touch with our guest, Sally

Find out more about Human and Hope Australia and donate at humanandhope.org

You can also keep in touch with Sally and purchase her book, ‘It’s Not About Me’, on her website


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What She Did Next acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which this podcast is recorded and produced, the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation and the Wodi Wodi people of the Dharawal nation. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

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