The Team

There are many who make Cobra & Mongoose projects happen, of special mention:

Michael Symons


As a 19 year old l started travelling overseas and in reality have never really stopped. Travelling in developing countries made me realise how lucky l was to be born in a wealthy nation and not to take my good fortune for granted.

Fourteen years ago l started the Cobra and Mongoose Charity. We now have completed or currently run projects in Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Rwanda. There is nothing more satisfying than changing peoples lives for the better. Breaking down barriers and making strong friendships on the ground is the key to our success. Now as a 60 year old l look forward to the next journey.

Richard Gay

President & Public Officer

Richard Gay cobra and mongoose

Richard has worked as a Chartered Surveyor for his British commercial property company, London & Regional Estates, since 1991, as well as working for the Australian company, GDI Pty Ltd from 2006-12.

Having previously been involved in charity work in Cambodia, Richard got involved with Cobra & Mongoose in 2011. He was instrumental in funding and developing the C&M project in Banderban, Bangladesh.

He has also helped fund projects in Ethiopia, as well as leading the running of the administration of the charity in his role as Public Officer.

Heather Macorison

Company Secretary

On retiring from a long and rewarding career as a medical GP, I was able to fully embrace my longstanding passion for art. My sister and I held an Art Exhibition in aid of Cobra & Mongoose after finding this small, locally run, fully transparent charity with no paid executives and with boots on the ground. Their list of completed and ongoing projects speaks volumes for their commitment to aiding education and living conditions in several of the poorest Asian and African countries.

Since then I have been fully engaged in their ongoing fundraising and assisting in administrative tasks.

My ongoing involvement with the Cobra and Mongoose team is truly rewarding and I look forward to being part of their continuing achievements in supporting their third world projects.

Michael Jarvis


Michael is a retired school principal. Following retirement, he worked for several years as debt adviser for the UK charity Citizens Advice Bureau. He moved to Australia in 2011 to be with his partner, Heather. He became involved in C & M by supporting Heather in her fundraising ventures. When the position of treasurer became vacant he was happy to accept the role and to play a more active role in the Charity’s work.

Ben Porter

Technology & Fundraising

Coming from a background in corporate IT, I started my own online retail business in 2007 which I continue to run today and feel lucky to have had so many opportunities in my life. I joined the Cobra and Mongoose team to give a helping hand to those who have not had the same opportunities I have.