Fraser Island receptionist leading secret double life
A THANK-you letter, postmarked Katmandu, has shed light on the secret double life of a seemingly mild-mannered hotel receptionist at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
Bianca Lovelace isn't your average hotel receptionist.
The 26-year-old has been working on Fraser since last year but child welfare activist Peter Humphris has revealed she's also been secretly moonlighting and making a huge difference in the lives of under-privileged children half-a-world-away in Nepal.
"You have an amazing member of staff on your team," Mr Humphris wrote to Kingfisher Bay Resort management recently.
Mr Humphris wrote that Bianca's selfless passion for life extended out far from Fraser's sandy shores to a small, poor village in Katmandu where she sponsors several children - giving them a full-time education, medical attention and opportunities they would never have otherwise.
"Bianca visits them, spends time with them, helps raise funds for them and for others like them - through our charity organisation, In Giving We Receive," he wrote.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and Bianca is very much a part of making those beautiful dreams a reality in the slums of Katmandu."
For Bianca herself, the catalyst for this life change came when she accepted a job as a nanny in Canada in 2009 and decided to fit in some travel first.
She and her best friend Elyse signed up on the spur-of-the-moment to volunteer with orphans and underprivileged children at a small Nepalese school called Snowlands Ranag.
A chance meeting with some like-minded souls from the IGWR charity - based in Western Australia's Fremantle - set the girls on a path to sponsoring their first small child from the slums of Katmandu.
"Ever since I was little I always wanted to save the world," she said.
"But, as I grew older, I realised that wasn't going to happen on a global scale but that I did have the power to save one little child from a life of poverty and heartache - so that's what I'm doing."
Bianca said many children in third-world countries were born into horrible circumstances that forced them to grow up too fast and did not allow them to enjoy what she enjoyed as a child - or they didn't survive that long.
"Meeting Sandesh, my little Nepalese sponsor child, for the first time and seeing this beautiful little boy with so much pain and sadness in his eyes broke my heart," she said.
"He was so dirty; he smelled horrible and he was covered in bites from his father and scabies.
"His arm had also been wrongly set and stuck out at an odd angle.
"Yet, here was this gorgeous, loving little boy hiding under it all.
"He was the first kid to break me in Nepal.
"He made me question a lot of things about my life and also brought me incredible joy when I saw the difference I had made in his life and quality of life."
Nepal has found a firm place in Bianca's heart.
"I've been back four times since that 2009 visit, with more planned every 18 months or so," she said.
"I have days were I get so angry at the way the system works over there, but I have to realise that Nepal and Australia are worlds apart.
"Mostly my time there is a very humbling experience.
"It's amazing and rewarding, and brings a lot of happiness but it can also bring a lot of heartache and sadness.
"I love Nepal but more so I love those children and whilst I can see that I am making a difference to them I will continue to work on Fraser Island and go back when I can."