Our Core Team

Our Core Team


Our core team is made up of Jacqui Holth, Steve James, Jayne Hannam, Denise Healey, Karen Pethard, Anjo Kwakernaak and Jenny Chen.


Jayne and Steve met Jacqui (and Karen) in Nepal during that fateful trip and together they have worked on several projects over the years. Jayne and Steve have had a long association with helping Nepalese communities and schools and helped fund orphaned children from preschool to graduation. Denise is passionate about human rights and channelling investment into projects that deliver social progress and empower communities. Karen believes in the power of kindness and the generosity of the human spirit to bring about positive change. Anjo and Jenny volunteered at the school and community health post in November 2019 and they decided to join our efforts, Jenny in the health sector and Anjo with her vision and creativity for the school.


Along the way we have had some phenomenal people join our team to help raise these funds and without their support we would not have been able to achieve what we have. What we can do together is incredibly powerful.


A special thank you to:

Our on-site team who are making sure everything happens according to plan.

Majella Brennan, Rod and Helen Hill, Monique Kowalczyk, Julie Stuckmann, and Helena Van der Pluijm, who have shown incredible generosity in dedicating time, energy and support to our fundraising efforts in Australia; The Laing family heading up the fundraising in the UK, Ky Furneaux, Hollywood stuntwoman, for the energy you have invested alongside us, Robyn Smart for your generosity in building our website, to Team Nepal – the amazing teenagers and their ongoing commitment to raising funds and joining us to visit the school in April 2019, the team of 10 phenomenal women and one brave man who volunteered at the school in November 2019, to the anonymous donors, and to everyone else who has hosted, donated prizes, time and/or money.

We value your contribution more than you know.


Giving is the greatest gift and is our daily opportunity to spread kindness in the world.


We are always looking for other fabulous people to join us in our mission, for prize or cash donors to support us, for the broader community to host events, and for everyone to support attendance.


If you would like to join us please reach out as we would love to share this journey with you.

Please remember every dollar counts, every event counts, every prize counts, and every moment of support counts.


Contributing to something far greater than ourselves sends a powerful message to the Universe.


Thank you.

Jacqui Holth

Founder Bright Futures of Bardia

Adventure and the outdoors fuel my soul, and this is what drew me to Nepal in 1996, and many many times since, with my husband and son. I am an Aussie girl who has had the privilege to live, work, travel and adventure all over the world. I spent over 20 years living in Italy and Saudi Arabia, as well as working and adventuring in over 65 other countries. I have a passion for life that flows through my veins, and a fascination for what brings people that true sense of fulfilment in life. Over many years I have come to develop a deep understanding of what ignites the human spirit. I believe fulfilment comes from owning our greatness as human beings and seeing that greatness in others, then going out and sharing it with the world.


The Nepalese people have the most generous of hearts, and we in the West can learn so much from their nature. Simply their greeting ‘Namaste’, meaning, “The divine light in me bows to the divine light within you”, says so much.


Our project is very much about highlighting what the children of Western Nepal already have, and inspiring them, through education to appreciate and own their value and providing them the chance to share it with the world. I am super passionate about supporting our youth to see their own greatness and embrace life and its lessons, develop the skills and mindset to breathe life into their dreams and grow their ultimate futures.


Jacqui has a global marketing, event management and construction background, amongst other fascinating roles. She was the driving force behind Okidoki, a charitable foundation she founded in Italy to build a large community playground in Sardinia, Italy, whilst she lived there. Her talent lays in bringing all the elements together required to create results and inspired experiences.

Steve James

Co-founder Bright Futures of Bardia

I first visited Nepal with my wife Jayne in 1996 and was immediately struck by the loving nature and humility of the people, who although having to eke out the most meager existence for themselves just to stay alive, they are still willing share what little they do have and if necessary go without themselves to help others.


To see and experience this first hand was such a powerful experience it convinced me of two things – the Nepalese are a shining light of humanity that we ourselves could spiritually and culturally learn from, and that I also needed to be involved with these wonderful people to utilize my time, skillset and experience in helping them realize their dreams and potential. Little did I realize at the time that this incredible journey would help me grow so much personally.


Our first involvement with Nepalese communities and schools soon followed in the form of helping to fund a project for 150 young orphaned children taking them from preschool to graduation. This proved to be amazingly successful and changed their lives, as all of them are now grown up and either in work or studying at university.


I believe that this project – Bright Futures of Bardia – has the capability to have an even bigger impact on young lives and the potential to expand and benefit the greater community of Nepal.


Steve’s career has enabled him to work in general management, sales, marketing and logistics roles worldwide.

Jayne Hannam

Co-founder Bright Futures of Bardia

Enthralled by her first visit to Nepal in 1996 and seeing how caring and selfless the Nepalese people are Jayne has had a long association with the country since then.


Having travelled to many places in the world it is refreshing to be within communities who are extremely poor but have a passion to be the best they can – to brighten their futures.


Jayne, with her husband Steve, have previously sponsored a project for 150 young orphaned children taking them from preschool to graduation.  When a lonely child of 5 takes hold of your hand to walk with you, then looks up at you with big hopeful eyes, your heart strings tug and you have no option but to be involved and want to give to the wonderful children of Nepal.  I met this child again when he was 17 and he is a delightful young man who did well at school and is now studying IT at college.  It’s a magnificent testament to the power of giving.


Jayne has worked in the UK and Australia for a variety of companies within HR, sales, marketing, training and communication.

Karen Pethard

Co-founder Bright Futures of Bardia

I am passionate about living a happy, healthy and fulfilling life and helping others to do the same. I love spending time in nature, exploring, playing and stepping out of my comfort zone. I find inspiration from being with people who live their lives with an open heart, with passion, purpose and joy. When I travelled to Nepal I was struck by the joyful spirit, generosity and kindness of the Nepalese people. It is a feeling that has stayed with me and continues to inspire me.


The opportunity to join Jacqui, Jayne, Steve and Denise to provide campaign support and to make a positive contribution to the education facilities at the Bardia Memorial School is a gift. I bring to this project a deep desire for the young people in Bardia to have the educational foundation on which they can form their hopes and dreams. This cannot happen if there is no basic sanitation for girls, classrooms for Year 11 & 12 students, library, computer and science facilities.


In 1996 I was in Bardia National Park with Jacqui and her boyfriend at the time (now husband). We could never have predicted the impact this one experience would have on all our lives. I believe kindness, compassion and generosity have the power to change lives in the most profound way.


Karen is from Australia and has worked in marketing and brand management roles in large global organisations, she has travelled and worked abroad, is a mother of two children and more recently the founder of a business creating wellness products. Karen’s organisational skills together with her marketing and business experience enable her to make a positive contribution across many aspects of the project.

Why bother

Denise Healey

Co-founder Bright Futures of Bardia

Passionate about human rights, empowering communities and projects that deliver social progress, Denise made her first visit to Nepal in April 2018.  She joined Jacqui, Steve and Jayne in the early planning stages for the project.


I believe that this project – Bright Futures of Bardia – has the capability to materially contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in Bardia, Western Nepal.”


With a Master’s degree in Public Management and a background in investment management and governance, Denise offers advisory, consulting and project management services.  Denise specialises in business strategy start-up and re-organisation, the design and implementation of impact and social innovation programmes, ESG & UN SDG implementation and regulatory and compliance projects.


Denise has held senior roles across the investment industry, including superannuation fund boards, a major Australian investment consultant, banks, community trusts and not for profits.  In addition, she is a past licensee and director of a community based early childhood centre and has established youth sport programmes in New Zealand for the YWCA.


Denise is a member of the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia Human Rights working group.  This group is tasked with developing policies and tools to support member readiness for the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act.

Bikram Khadka


Namaste! I am Bikram Khadka, Founder and Principal of Bardia Memorial School, in Bardia, Nepal. After I finished my college studies, I worked for 5 year teaching in a local government school. I could see that what was missing for our children, if they were to have good opportunities for their future, was the English language education.

There was no English medium school in our area so I decided I would have to open one and provide a much higher quality of education. I then asked my father for some land, he agreed and he gave me the land for the school. We started with 50 students in year 2001. I gave free education for landless children from the village.

Now we have 550 students and teach up to year 10. I am also proud to say that some of my students who were educated at our school are now teaching with us.

Premi Khadka


Instrumental in converting the wildlife areas of Bardia from a Royal Hunting ground to a National Park protecting animals, Premi is very influential in the local community. He is the Chief of the local temple and has overseen the rebuilding of the temple for the community through funds donated by local community members. He is the father of Bikram and the school is built on land that Premi allocated to the school. He is highly respected within the community by members young and old.