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Impact Stories

Making change happen across Australia and Asia Pacific.
Volunteer adventures in Vanuatu: Sadia’s life-changing year abroad

Volunteer adventures in Vanuatu: Sadia’s life-changing year abroad

When Sadia Abdullah arrived in Vanuatu, the first thing she noticed was the heat and the humidity. The second was how friendly everyone was, and the strong sense of community. 

Sadia flew into Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, in August 2022. Months earlier, she was at home in Sydney under tight COVID restrictions and eager to go anywhere outside her living room. Now, just a three-hour flight from Sydney, she was in beautiful Vanuatu, a country she knew almost nothing about a few months prior — just “that it was a dot in the Pacific”. Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands with a population of around 300,000 people, located east of Australia on a similar latitude to Cairns.

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Global travels and local impact – Bea Duffield’s volunteering journey

Global travels and local impact – Bea Duffield’s volunteering journey

Bea Duffield isn’t an engineer, but her experience spans almost everything else. From her academic background in scientific research to her career across both private enterprise and government sector, she has worked in a range of diverse fields including resource development, communications and marketing, policy, and infrastructure development. Her varied career has taken her across the globe, from her home base in Brisbane to Vietnam, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. 

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Remote field visits, tuk-tuk commutes, and fish amok: a year in the life of an Australian volunteer

Remote field visits, tuk-tuk commutes, and fish amok: a year in the life of an Australian volunteer

Water, risk, and sustainability engineer Nicole Locke had always wanted to work overseas but there had never been a good time to do it. She graduated into a difficult job market and was lucky enough to find a position with Water Corporation in Perth. Fast forward a few years to 2019 and Nicole was considering her next move. 

“I was talking to a mentor and she said, you’ve always thought about going overseas and volunteering,” Nicole said. “’Why don’t you just do it?’ I thought—well, why not?” 

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Congratulations to the 2023 EWB Challenge Showcase award winners

Congratulations to the 2023 EWB Challenge Showcase award winners

Each year, the EWB Challenge Showcase brings together top university student teams from across Australia and New Zealand, EWB staff, our community partner representatives, and industry. Students present the most innovative, community-centred design ideas developed in response to the EWB Challenge Design Brief, and all event participants celebrate a year of learning, focused work, and collaboration. This year’s EWB Challenge Showcase saw students, academics, judges, and EWB staff from across Australia, New Zealand and Cambodia travel to James Cook University’s Nguma-bada campus in far north Queensland to battle it out for the top spot.

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Inside the Dili Water System Emergency Repair program

Inside the Dili Water System Emergency Repair program

The Dili Water System Emergency Repair Program (DWSERP) addressed the catastrophic flood damage to Dili’s water transmission systems wreaked by heavy rains in April 2021. The program, funded by the Australian Government via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, commenced in June 2021 and concluded in June 2023. EWB Australia, along with its program partners, played a key role in providing technical support, concept design, advice and delivery of multidisciplinary engineering to repair and stabilise major sections of Dili’s water system. The project was a wonderful opportunity for EWB to display its ability to engage in emergency infrastructure recovery projects. With the project now complete, the project team shared some of their reflections.

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