Empowerment through education

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Book launch raises over $5,500 for FHC

image of Som's book launch

Som Tamang’s story is finally here after six years of research and hard work by the author and FHC friend, Kirsty Nancarrow. Worthy of fanfare, Kirsty kindly combined the book’s first release with a charity dinner to raise funds for FHC.

This event also saw the launch of the Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) Project, which aims to raise up to $500,000 to provide facilities for grades 11 and 12 at Batase School within the next five years. Tax-deductible donations can be made to

The dinner and book launch was an early sellout at the German Club here in Cairns on 2 March, where 150 guests enjoyed a dinner and live entertainment as well as the book launch. Som and Susan’s daughter Tara sang solo and father and son duo, Shaun and Leon Nancarrow, teamed up for more volunteered entertainment.

On the night, $5521.38 was raised for the charity and for RAWCS. Over $1,000 of that was from raffles. You just kept on giving! Thank you to prize donors including Himalayan Dreams at The Pier, Kaya Hair Design, Birdworld, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, Recovery Lab Cairns, and more.

Som Tamang, founder of FHC, has an extraordinary life story to tell. Already he has lived a life big enough to fill a book and he’s just 40 years of age. That book is now a reality. Som’s story is about hardship and tragedy but it’s also about hope and inspiration. Kirsty Nancarrow has authentically captured all of this in a beautifully-told story and she could do that because she has personally visited Som’s home village of Batase. She has witnessed first-hand the results of his amazing work advancing children’s lives.

Kirsty is an award-winning, former ABC journalist, and a long-time FHC supporter, who sponsors children at the FHC Hostel. She was inspired to write about Som and his work after volunteering in Batase for a month in 2016.
The book includes the stories of many of the girls and boys FHC has helped, as well as those of volunteers and of course Som’s own incredible journey.

There are many people to thank for the night but a special thanks goes to Chris Zilm at the Cairns German Club, who generously donated the use of the venue, to Rita Zappulla from the Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise for organising and coordinating the event, to Fiona Sewell for being MC, and to Susan Devitt and Elizabeth McLean.

Limited-edition signed copies of the book are available in Cairns through Som and Susan’s shop ‘Himalayan Dreams’ at The Pier Shopping Centre (Som may even be working in the shop), and for local pickup or postage anywhere in Australia through

The book was launched worldwide in paperback and ebook on 4 March and was Amazon’s best bestseller for Asian biographies. It is also available through online bookstores including Barnes and Noble, Browns Books, Booktopia, Angus and Robertson, and Walmart.

The next book talk will be at the Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise at Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre at 7am on Tuesday 2 April. All are welcome. For Darwin residents, Kirsty will be doing a book signing (10:30am-12:30pm) on Saturday 13 April at The Bookshop in Darwin.

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