The Founder and Chairman of LiteHaus International, Jack Growden, first visited Papua New Guinea in September 2016. Enchanted by the industrious and kind-hearted nature of its people, Jack returned determined to make a difference. Returning to the same community in September 2017, Jack founded LiteHaus International in an attempt to give back to the community which hosted him through his Honours research, and began its work with the donation of his own computer.
Jack holds a Bachelor of Planning (Hons.) and completed his Honours thesis on human development and access to services in remote Papua New Guinea. In the time, he forged lifelong relationships with community leaders, such as Councillor Peter Raim, who have become invaluable facilitators in LiteHaus ventures. In 2018, Jack completed a Graduate Certificate of Development and Humanitarian Action at Deakin University, having been awarded a Deakin Scholarship for Excellence, and opting against pursuing a PhD to ensure the growth of LiteHaus. In February 2019, he completed an internship with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific in New Delhi, India.
At 22 years of age, Jack has been cited by respected community leaders in North Queensland and Papua New Guinea as an emerging leader. In August 2017, he was appointed "Service Day Leader" at the 8th University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Bangkok, hosted by Humanitarian Affairs Asia and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and returned in 2019 to address 1,000 university students in Kuala Lumpur at the same event. It was there in the UN-ESCAP Hall that Jack first developed the idea of LiteHaus. In his voluntary role as Program Advisor with Humanitarian Affairs Asia and Founder & Chairman of LiteHaus, he is committed to creating a brighter world.
A LiteHaus original, Luke joined the board in 2018 and his impact has been profound. He co-ordinated the largest project in the organisation's history in August 2019, establishing computer labs in three schools in Papua New Guinea. Outside of projects, he has also been a key facilitator of the organisation's various recycling programs. A tremendous socialiser, Luke is immensely popular in the North Queensland and Papua New Guinean community and has been a great advocate for and tremendous leader of the LiteHaus cause since its inception.
Pala Leka joined the LiteHaus board in 2019 and has made an immediate impact, coordinating and planning our community fundraising initiatives. Of Papua New Guinean descent, Pala dreams of delivering a project in his ancestors' Central Province. His unique cultural insights have already proven invaluable to the board, while his command of Tok-Pisin made translating the LiteHaus Computer Basic Skills Guide a seamless process. Pala draws upon an extensive volunteering history with YWAM and works as a social worker in between his study.
Our Secretary, Hollie Hartney, joined the LiteHaus board in 2019 and has quickly made an impact in improving and maintaining quality processes. Hollie co-ordinates the implementation of our Standard Operating Manual and Internal Audit processes and is instrumental in running a tight ship. Bringing professional expertise in administration and human resources, Hollie has been a timely addition to the LiteHaus team as the organisation continues to experience rapid growth.
LiteHaus International is privileged to have the unwavering support of a local government figure who boasts an impressive resume in business and volunteering. Over a two decade career in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, Townsville City Councillor, Verena Coombe, has contributed to local organisations such as Townsville RSL, and Arcadian Surf Lifesaving Club. In 2015, she served as the first female President of Hermit Park Football Club. As a former stockbroker and financial planner, Verena's skills in marketing, and strategy development bring the board welcome business acumen.
Our Treasurer, Anne Growden, is a champion of volunteering. Having first been involved in not-for-profit organisations way back in 1990, Anne has since become the longest-serving secretary of Hermit Park Football Club, serving for eleven years. A life member of that club, she has accrued many prestigious awards for volunteering across her journey of service. She is the epitome of generosity and puts her hand up to help out no matter what, which is how she found herself on the LiteHaus board.