Frank and Sue Sanders have been working together with rural communities in the Pacific Region for over 10 years. Healing Habitats is their family social enterprise with the dual focus of village-based industry and economic development, and disability inclusion and support services at the community level.
Frank is a mechanical engineer with a Masters Degree in International and Community Development. He has been a consultant and advisor on numerous infrastructure and micro-economic development programs around the theme of village-based industries. From initiating projects, to connecting and networking like-minded stakeholders, through to reviewing and streamlining systems, Frank has worked in a wide variety of programs, including:
- Farm Support Association in Vanuatu
- Coconut and cocoa research institute (CCRI) Madang PNG
- Certification Project Coordinator for the POETCom Secretariat in Vanuatu
- The Coconut Technology Centre and Kokonut Pacific in Solomon Islands
- Skills for Economic Growth Program with Rural Training Centres in Solomon Islands
- Australian Coconut Industry Development Working Group member in Queensland, Australia
Sue is a registered occupational therapist in Australia. She has worked to mobilise international volunteers and to develop resources to empower people with disabilities and church communities in Asia and the Pacific Region. Her passion to help people develop their full potential has led her to key projects including:
- Literacy and language translation programs with Pioneer Bible Translators in PNG
- Early intervention and mentoring of Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) professionals with the Society of Disabled People in Vanuatu
- Universal workplace design and mentoring of industry CBR professionals in Solomon Islands
Healing Habitats can provide program-level consulting and advisory services in rural economic development, and appropriate accompanying technology. Along with this, there is a focus on the adoption of disability- and workplace-inclusive principles. They can also provide community and village-level implementation and mentoring to local staff, with their well-developed understanding of Melanesian cultures, and fluent communication in Tok Pisin, Bislama and Solomon Islands Pijin.