Cheryl Wood won a scholarship to Ballarat Teachers College in country Victoria, Australia, then worked as a trained infant teacher in a disadvantaged city area. With husband Rob, she hosted a residential community at Armagh in Melbourne for 28 years, welcoming diaspora and community leaders through its doors.
After traveling and working in Europe, Scandinavia and the Soviet Union in the 1970s, Cheryl visited the IofC centre in Caux, Switzerland, where she found what she was looking for – a way of life relevant to the needs of the world. She went on to live in an IofC community in the heart of London for the next three years, a time of realigning her thinking and lifestyle with her ideals.
Cheryl has served in various roles at IofC, including more than five years managing Grosvenor Books, IofC’s book publishing arm, and a three-month stint as part of a ‘traveling caravan’ that took the IofC ideas to country regions and around Australia. In the 1990s and 2000s, she ran many program, including Life Matters, at the Armagh centre in Melbourne, training young people in the basic concepts of IofC, and following up with visits to overseas participants.
As hosts of Armagh, Cheryl and husband Rob have brought together many leaders, young people and diaspora communities at dinners and conferences, working especially with Vietnamese, Cambodian, South Korean, Chinese and Indigenous people. Recently related to a Melbourne suburb, Cheryl continues to help run Life Matter, and to seek out openings for building community wherever possible, including support for the creation of Afghan-Australian and South Sudanese community groups.