Get the latest from National Office with CEO Pete Baynard-Smith's fortnightly blog.
This fortnight I have been travelling to Sydney and Canberra, including preparing for the National Council Collaboration is Key event which we are now able to confirm panellists for. We are thrilled to have senior and influential Canberra stakeholders join us on the 16th Sept to make this panel discussion a highly stimulating and thought provoking evening. I was also representing EWB on the WASH reference group meeting at DFAT, meeting with Google in Sydney, and had the pleasure of attending the NSW Chapter meeting and dinner, and the Australian Rewire lunch (article in The Australian) focussed on STEM and its importance to Australia’s future.
I also attended the World Humanitarian Day event at which Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launched the new DFAT Humanitarian Strategy and the Humanitarian Supplies Challenge. EWB is considering the possibility of submissions to this challenge, drawing on designs and innovations arising from EWB’s research and other work.
Another publication that was launched this week was the ACFID Shelter Reference Group’s policy paper Prosperous and Sustainable Cities for All. This is an important piece of work drawing attention to the necessity of a clear policy agenda from Australia addressing the significant and complex development challenges presented by urbanisation.
WA Region held their Humanitarian Day Gala ‘Fusion’ which was wonderfully hosted by EWB's very own Alicia Rafty and Daniel Loden. The WA Region thanks them for their extraordinary work and is highly appreciative of their contribution to the event as well as the chapter throughout the years.
This is what they had to say about the Gala:"What an inspirational line up of speakers! Lyn Beazley took us on a journey of the world that engineers have created and have the potential to create in the future. Darren Lomman showed us how engineers can work with our disabled population to fulfil the dreams of some of our most disadvantaged. Sandeep Grewal took us to Cambodia on a story of education, demonstrating the critical step of informing ourselves before we take action to help others." ~ Daniel Loden
"MC’ing at EWB Fusion was such a buzz! To be in front of the room full of people motivated to change the lives of others through STEM – you could feel the energy and it was electric." ~ Alicia Rafty
A quarterly update to the Origin Foundation was completed for the 'Evidencing the humanitarian proposition’ research project. If anyone is interested in learning more about the project and activities underway, read the project update. This work will also be shared in a workshop at National Council. Our partnership with Origin has been further strengthened with confirmation of Origin's advocacy component ($25k) of the Humanitarian Proposition research, taking their total support to $100k. We are also talking with Origin about their volunteering support of e-learning modules to support remote access to our train the trainer workshops. Thank you Origin!
EWB Challenge update from Zambia – Justin M'Nyaka has been working with Caritas Czech Republic and UNHCR Zambia, this year's EWB Challenge partner, supporting refugees in Mayukwayukwa Refugee Settlement, Western Province of Zambia to prototype ideas developed during an EWB facilitated human centered design workshop in Nov last year. Over the past 10 months they have prototyped and tested a solar dryer to assist in preserving vegetables. There is no electricity in Mayukwayukwa and so refrigeration is not an option. They hope that drying vegetables and fruit such as mango will prevent it from going to waste if it cannot be consumed immediately. Justin has been working to support local carpenters in building the solar dryers. They have built 20 units so far to give to families and are getting lots of requests from residents to build more.
The EWB Challenge top teams for semester 1 have been selected – these are the top teams based on the assessments from our panel of external reviewers: 81 Corporate Reviewers across organisations like Arup, Orica, Jacobs, BHP, Origin. They returned 186 reviews of Challenge reports!!! Amazing work.
These top teams are invited to the EWB Challenge Showcase in December. They will be joined by the top teams from semester 2.
Alanta has been representing EWB in Newcastle over the weekend at the Australian Medical Students Association Global Health Conference, running a workshop on sanitation, delivering a plenary on human centred design and sitting on a panel about health in slum communities.
We have academic fellow positions and mentor positions open for Dec-February Design Summits. Position descriptions available on our website.
There are some fantastic pieces coming out of the journalism students that went on Cambodia Design Summits – here is one on how our programs are creating gender equality through humanitarian design and supporting the New Colombo Plan.
Ever wondered why our community partners would participate in a Design Summit? Have a listen to Tola from the Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT) reflect on his experiences.
Emilie has been to the first two days (of six) of the Telstra Imaginarium in Sydney. It's been an interesting application of design thinking and a human centred design approach to the nfp/youth focused space. The first two days were focused on framing an issue, creating a "how might we" statement for a particular issue, starting to do research, and beginning the empathise stage of HCD. The workshops are being facilitated by our friends at Studio Thick. Ask Em for more detail!
Nick participated in a 2 day workshop on writing case studies, run by the Research for Development Impact group (in ACFID). It was very interesting and Nick will be presenting back the learning outcomes at the next staff meeting, so watch that space. 7 new students have started final year research projects in semester 2, building on work completed in semester 1.
- Heidi has been in Cambodia the past 2 weeks as she starts the new Regional manager role. The Field Professionals in Cambodia have well and truly settled in, and they’ve had some good work planning sessions as well as a race around Phnom Penh! We farewelled Meg and Ben from the team, for a while (we're sure they'll be back J), and they'll be continuing to be involved with the Design Summits coming up.
- We are in the midst of finalising 9 new FP placements to mobilise in Nov/Dec. We've had some high calibre candidates, and have added an additional psychosocial screening to the process, which has helped immensely!
- Next PDT (Pre Departure Training) to be held 26-30th Sept. All staff invited to attend on 26/27th September for the sessions on EWB's approach to sustainable development. There will also be an express version of this at one of the NC workshops.
And finally, in reward for getting this far don’t forget that EWB's Comedy Debate Fundraiser at Melbourne Fringe festival is selling now and selling fast! 6 top comics are donating their time to debate whether or not 'We should start again on Mars'. Tickets available at Melbourne Fringe.