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Stories & News > Alumnus of the Year > 2018 Karina Pont (Class of 2002)

2018 Karina Pont (Class of 2002)

Karina works in South East Asia to bring the good news of Jesus to those around them.
Karina Pont with Husband Brendan and children Annabelle and Nathan
Karina Pont with Husband Brendan and children Annabelle and Nathan

Dr Karina Pont (nee Blundy) was presented with the Alumnus of the Year award in 2018. Karina, and her husband Brendan, work and serve in South East Asia, along with their children Annabelle (3) and Nathan (1). 

Karina’s journey to serving in South East Asia began in Year 7 at William Clarke College when she attended a World Vision Youth Leadership Conference. It was there that she learnt about the country that she and her family now reside in. After attending that conference, Karina also heard from Dr Grace Warren, patron of Warren House, who spoke about global service and how ordinary people can do amazing things for God’s kingdom. 

After graduating Year 12, Karina decided to explore a career in Occupational Therapy which she felt was both practical and helpful worldwide. At university, she met her husband who was also keen to serve in the same country as Karina. After completing her occupational studies, Karina also went on to complete a PhD in Occupational Therapy at the University of Queensland.

Karina and Brendan left Australia in 2016 for a small communist country in South East Asia. The couple initially took up a home in the capital but have now located themselves in the north of the country.

Brendan works with a coffee company that focuses on sustainable development through organic shade-grown coffee. He also manages a café in the tourist part of the heritage-listed town where they live. Karina is busy being a full-time mum to her children and consults on a disability inclusion project. The couple take various opportunities to share the good news with those around them, their neighbours and staff at the café. 

The last few years have been an upheaval for many, but especially for Karina and her family. They were due to fly back to Australia in April 2020 to give birth to their son and stay for six months. However, the implications of the growing COVID-19 pandemic meant that the Government moved to close the borders. Within 12 hours of hearing that the border of their Asian country was likely to be shut, Karina and her family had to change plans, book tickets and fly to Australia. They arrived in Sydney just before hotel quarantine was enforced. 

In August 2020, Karina gave birth to Nathan. Unfortunately, Nathan needed to spend some time in the special care nursery when he was born and had added complications in relation to his eyes. Karina and Brendan thanked God through this all that they were in Australia which has such an amazing health care system compared to their experiences overseas. 

They were due to fly back to South East Asia in January 2021, but a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country meant that the borders were shut, and their return was delayed by a further six months. Finally, in June 2021, they headed back home.

Much had changed since they left in 2020. The French preschool that Annabelle was to attend had closed, so she needed to attend Skype preschool in a new language which is extremely challenging. The prices of many things also increased due to COVID-19. Despite these challenges, they were glad to be back home, knowing that God is in control, and can be trusted in good and bad times. 

Karina and Brendan plan to continue their work in South East Asia, raising their children and sharing the good news with those around them. Brendan is continuing to work in the café even exporting coffee to Australia, which will be available through Witham’s Coffee in Hornsby. 

Karina has fond memories from her time at William Clarke College, especially in Food Technology, and Design and Technology classes. She loved to create things with her hands and would often spend her spare time in the kitchens or sewing classrooms. Karina also enjoyed singing in the Junior and Senior Vocal Ensembles and performed at the HICES Music Festival. If you are wanting to find out more about Karina and Brendan, you can subscribe to their newsletter at    

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