Charlie Drury

I graduated with a BA in Thai and Southeast Asian Studies (First Class) from the University in 2009 and I completed a Masters by Research in Thai Studies at Leeds in 2011. The focus of my research has been the policies and practices concerning people with disabilities in Thailand. Since graduating I have taken on a number of exciting projects related to Thailand.

In 2010 I interned at the Office of Educational Affairs (a department of the Royal Thai Embassy, London) and carried out a detailed research project on the support and services received by Thai disabled students living in the UK. In 2012 I was asked by the Royal Thai Embassy to research and compile a commemorative book for the 130th Anniversary of the Thai Embassy in Great Britain.  I got the opportunity to  work in the National Archives, the Royal Archives at Windsor, the British Library and the School of Oriental and African Studies to read and analyse historic correspondence between the Siamese and British Governments over the past century.

Currently I work for a London-based charity called For Life. We are the UK partner of a Thai Foundation called CCD, which cares for abandoned disabled children in Thailand. I am responsible for generating funds, creating awareness and training volunteers to go to Thailand to work in our ground-breaking projects. I have visited Thailand a number of times since graduating and feel so at home when I am there. When I speak to my Thai colleagues and friends they all compliment me on the clarity of my Thai speech and my accurate pronunciation. I believe this is owing to Dr. Seeger's teaching techniques as I have never met a foreigner who has just 'picked up Thai', who has the same pronunciation skills and clear speech as those who studied at Leeds. I feel that my confidence in speaking grows every time I visit Thailand and I am delighted with the way my career has panned out since graduating from Leeds.