Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, Paul Cull worked as computer programmer / analyst for many years. At the end of 1992 he participated in a short-term trip to Brazil with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and, as a result, returned to Brazil full-time in 1994.
After completing a Children At Risk school n Belo Horizonte, Paul moved to Rio de Janeiro the following year to work in the morros (informal hillside communities). In 1996 he moved to the city of Nova Friburgo to volunteer with a drop-in centre for a at-risk young people. Following the closure of that project due to funding issues, he began the House of Hope Project in the morro of Cordoeira, which later became part of an international faith-based organisation.
After a brief time spent in the city of São Paulo, Paul returned to Nova Friburgo at the beginning of 2011 following the catastrophic landslides and floods in the region, and began to work full-time with Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction programmes. He founded CERT Brasil the following year.
Paul holds a Graduate Diploma in Emergency Management and a Master of Emergency Management with Distinction from Massey University and a Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Training (level 5). He is a Certified Emergency Manager with the International Association of Emergency Managers and has also completed numerous short-term courses in emergency management and related fields.