One Australian who decided to take action is Peter Baines, a former forensic investigator with the New South Wales police who set up the charity Hands Across the Water that continues to work in Thailand to provide care for children in need. This year a group of 46 business people and Acru raised over $300,000 to help HATW and the orphans and children of Thailand.
When Hands Across the Water Founder Peter Baines OAM first arrived in Thailand after the Boxing Day tsunami on 26th December 2004, the sight and smell of devastation was overwhelming. The former NSW forensic police specialist’s job was to help with the victim identification process. He soon realised the impact of what had happened was far greater than anything he could have possibly imagined.
“Whole communities had been affected and families torn apart – in some cases generations of family members were completely wiped out. All it took was a matter of minutes after the tsunami to hit for young children to suddenly find themselves orphaned. It was gut wrenching to see and I knew that something had to be done to help – for the kids and their communities,” Peter says.