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Georgia is based in Brisbane, studying Engineering at the Queensland University of Technology, with Bachelors in Medical Engineering and Physics. More recently, Georgia has been shadowing medical and electrical engineers at Nova Biomedical as part of a work experience placement, getting hands-on in assisting with the repair and maintenance of a medical machinery at hospitals, and learning first-hand show the machines run inside and out.

With a passion for travel and the outdoors and a very clear interest in the ‘anatomy’ of engineering, Georgia joined our Humanitarian Design Summit on Cambodia in February 2020. With zero expectations of what might be in store, Georgia shared her experience with us upon her return.

Georgia with her host family and other participants in the program, Cambodia

For two weeks in February 2020 I was lucky enough to participate in the Engineers Without Borders Design Summit held in Cambodia. The summit is a program to immerse like-minded engineers in humanitarian engineering. I had never participated in a program like this one before, so I had no expectations or notions of what to expect during the design summit. I applied for the program as I wanted to expand my knowledge in the humanitarian field while helping out communities at the same time.

During the first few days of the program I attended various workshops which taught the culture and language of the country, the mindset of entering another community, how to be respectful of their culture/ways, as well as why the work we were learning is so important to contribute to rural communities.

During the main part of the Design Summit my team travelled to the remote community of Koh Dam Bong where we lived in the village for five nights. During this stay we lived in the villagers homes and they shared their daily lives. As part of this, the locals took us to their jobs, such as farming and fishing, and showed us how they performed them. From immersing ourselves in the culture around us, we ideated creative solutions for the community using a strengths-based approaches. After creating these solutions, we presented them to the stakeholders of the village and they gave back insightful opinions and helpful suggestions for them.

My team at the EWB Design Summit. Cambodia

From this experience I have learnt that it is vitally important for humanitarian aid to be successful, time needs to be spent in and with the community. From this program I also learnt the high value of strengths-based approaches in situations like this.

I had an amazing and insightful journey with the EWB Design Summit and I recommend it to people who want to expand their knowledge in the humanitarian field.

Georgia received a scholarship from the ARBS Foundation to attend the EWB Humanitarian Design Summit. Find out more about the EWB Humanitarian Design Summits.