By James Wells
SAN FRANCISCO: In a few hours, delegates attending the Narta group have unexpectedly raised more than $250,000 towards a Thai orphanage following a passionate presentation from forensic policeman, Peter Baines.
The presentation, which was held on the last day of the Narta conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday, focused on the repatriation effort conducted by Australians following the tsunami in Thailand and the leadership required to conduct such a logistically complex exercise.
Baines helped coordinate 400 staff from 36 countries to help identify and relocate almost 5,400 people that died in the disaster. But the most emotional part of the presentation related to the work that Baines has conducted to build orphanages for children that lost parents during the devastating tsunami.
Following the presentation, donations were spontaneously received from Narta conference delegates including a number of high profile electrical suppliers and retailers which totalled over $180,000 in cash as well as the installation of appliances, audio visual and air conditioning products to the orphanage.
While the focus of Baines’ speech centered on the leadership required to process and execute actions and reactions in times of crisis, the fundamental message received by the audience was the plight of the orphans following the disaster.
For Baines, a 20-year veteran of the police force, the clarity of purpose for the event had less to do with a mission statement living behind a glass frame and more about conducting a process of project management under extremely difficult conditions.
Baines had previous experience at the Waterfall train disaster as well as the Bali bombings, but it has been the fallout from the Thai tsunami that has become his calling and meaning for life.
Current.com.au believes that efforts have been made to plan a dedicated orphanage funded by the Narta donations.