I left St. Bernards Secondary College in Essendon, Victoria at the end of Year 11. I constantly received the same notations on my report cards – “Steve has the ability to be one of the top students but he just doesn’t apply himself”. I guess I just didn’t like school. So I started an apprenticeship in Instrument Making & Repair with Toledo Scales.
I was bored with my career in electronics and even though my father didn’t want me to follow in his footsteps, in January 1997 I joined Victoria Police. I was with Victoria Police for just over 8 years, working in uniform and specialist areas and finally as a Detective at Footscray Crime Investigation Unit. But in 2004, whilst on holiday in Cambodia, I saw things that would change my life forever.
During my 2004 holiday in Cambodia, I saw extreme poverty, rampant child exploitation, an inept police force and this lit a fire in my belly. All I could think about was helping abused children so I returned to Victoria Police and asked if I could have one year leave without pay so that I could return to Cambodia to assist abused children. Of course, Victoria Police have never been very visionary when it comes to seeing the benefits of having its future leaders gaining valuable experience in foreign settings and they said no. Being the stubborn Capricorn that I am, I of course resigned, moved to Cambodia and started a new chapter in my life.
From 2005 to May 2007, I worked as a consultant for numerous organisations and companies in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and India investigating child exploitation, conducting operations to identify human traffickers and rescuing children from slavery. But it wasn’t enough, I wanted to do more for women & children so on June 12th 2007 I founded a non-profit foundation called SISHA International, investigating human trafficking and child abuse in South East Asia.
I was earning a reputation around the region as a handy investigator and as a result I started my own private investigation company called SM Services; yes I know, not very original but the names Virgin and Pepsi were already taken. SM Services provided business solutions to companies who had theft & fraud issues, provided background & due diligence services to investors looking to enter Cambodia and provided solutions to brand companies who were getting their products counterfeited.
The expat Australian rules community was growing in Asia and I was playing for the Cambodian Cobras. But in early 2009, I was given the opportunity to become President of the club. From 2009 I helped drive the club into what it is today. With an on-going partnership with AFL club West Coast Eagles, our name changed to the Cambodian Eagles and securing corporate sponsorship that allowed the club to start and develop the first Cambodian indigenous football team. At the end of 2013 I resigned as President of the Cambodian Eagles Football Club.
What an amazing year this was; its the year I married the love of my life, Sophary (Aka Shuly). There isnt much I can say here other than the fact that Shuly is the foundation of my life as it is today, she is my best friend and an amazing person to be able to put up with me. Thanks Babe!
A life changing year; it was the year Shuly and I received the official adoption for our little angel Theary. Born with a black hairy birthmark on her face and abandoned as a baby, Theary has brought so much happiness to our family. Like all children, you just need to show them love and provide them with opportunity and they will prosper. Theary has grown to become a beautiful young girl, finishing at the top of her class last year in grade 6. Great stuff my beautiful daughter – the world is at your feet!
This was another amazing year; its the year our second little angel, Isabella Maureen Morrish, was born. Isabella has brought so much happiness to our family and given Theary a much wanted sister. We are so lucky to have two beautiful loving daughters! Its also the year that I re-branded my company SM Services to SMCS Risk.
I have always wanted to build things. In 2016 I formed a partnership with an Australian renewable energy company and created a new company called Green Energy Investments Mekong (GEI Mekong). GEI will look to build renewable energy projects in countries in the Mekong area, with a focus on waste to energy factories that turn rubbish into electricity.
Obviously I’m very passionate about helping children and over the past 13 years whilst living in Cambodia I have had the opportunity to travel, see the country and see first hand how dilapidated and basic many of the remote primary schools are. So in May this year I decided to start a new venture called ‘Build For Dreams’ which will focus on repairing old run down primary schools in Cambodia and providing basic educational amenities needed for young children to achieve the dreams.