About UsOur PeopleStaff

Heidi Michael

Acting CEO

Heidi holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering and a Master of Water and Waste Engineering in Development, and first became involved with EWB as a research student in 2006. In 2009 she served as an EWB Field Professional in Timor Leste for a year, and has experience in engineering consultancies in Melbourne and of working with a US Government funded program in Timor Leste. She was appointed to coordinate EWB's International Program in 2013, managing and overseeing EWB's DFAT funded programs in WASH, Energy, Appropriate Housing, and Professional Skills Development across the Asia Pacific region.

In her spare time, Heidi strives for balance in her life, most particularly honing her juggling skills, pursuing creative interests that are lacking skill but boast plenty of enthusiasm such as drawing and photography, and having some good conversation with friends and family. She doesn’t mind challenging herself with a fun run now and then too!

Heidi Michael


Alison Stoakley

Ewb Challenge & Education coordinator

Originally from California, Alison was drawn to Australia from the US by promises of kangaroos and sunshine – but quickly fell in love with the urban centre of Melbourne and never looked back! 

Alison graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a thousand sparks of ideas around what kind of positive impact engineering might have in the world. In 2011, she moved to Melbourne to pursue an interdisciplinary Master of Environments degree that allowed her to kindle those sparks and now, as an Engineering Education Officer at EWB, she is able to continue these conversations every day!

Some of the things that make Alison smile include: scenic runs, quick-witted people, picnics and stumbling across one of the many free events in Melbourne

Alison Stoakley



nelly katsnelson

director philanthropy

Nelly is an experienced fundraising professional, whose values and ethics are firmly embedded within a culture of philanthropy. She has a demonstrated track record of developing strategies that frame the way organisations fundraise, and shift their thinking from fundraising being purely transactional, to a way of operating that connects resources and people together, for the greater good.

"I live and breathe Philanthropy, and have dedicated my career to this. As a creative storyteller, I weave a tale that inspires philanthropy – both for the benefactor and the beneficiary; for without one, the other does not exist."

Nelly's sound business acumen, combined with vision, strategy, passion and commitment have yielded real results for some of Australia’s most respected organisations including SANE Australia, Save the Children Australia, Scope and Royal District Nursing Service.

Nelly Katsnelson



sam perkins

director education & research

With experience in the academic, humanitarian and private sectors, Sam brings a diverse set of skills, knowledge and experience to the EWB team, which will be pivotal for the continued advancement of EWB's Education and Research work.

"I have a long-term and passionate interest in the application of appropriate technologies to create sustainable and grass-roots engineering solutions – particularly in development and humanitarian contexts." says Sam "And I am driven by a simple philosophy: until everyone would be willing to trade places with anyone or anything, there is still work to be done."

Sam Perkins holds a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Tasmania and Cambridge University, and has also completed a Post-doctorate with Hydro Tasmania. Having lectured in Fluid Dynamics, Thermodynamics and Communication and Design at the University of Tasmania, in 2012 Sam moved from academia to the humanitarian sector, joining UNHCR as Energy Lab Coordinator and leading the development of UNHCR’s energy programme for field operations and headquarters.

Since then, he has worked in 8 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia and has professional experience across: Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Shelter, WASH, Energy and Environment, and Innovation Management. 

Most recently, Sam has been Director of Innovation at Bright Products, a Norwegian company which develops sustainable energy solutions including solar products for off-grid communities.

Sam Perkins



Alanta Colley

Humanitarian Design Summit Coordinator

Alanta was born at an early age and a bit later graduated from the University of Sydney with History Honours and a desire to see the world. She has since worked in the public health domain with the United Nations in Cambodia and clinics in Timor Leste.

Working with the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in Sydney gave Alanta her first experience of the issues contributing to the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Having completed her Masters in International Public Health, Alanta recently returned after two years working in village-level public health interventions in Uganda. She is very excited about joining the EWB team of passionate volunteers and professsionals. 

When not EWBing Alanta likes dabbling in photography, assaulting musical instruments with gleeful incompetency, exploring, and circus related things.

Alanta Colley


Emma Boles

Communications & Content manager

Originally hailing from Ireland Emma first moved to Australia in 2004, and spent 6 years learning to competently host a BBQ and get off the beach by 11am. Armed with these invaluable skills she graduated to the Netherlands where she undertook a Masters in International Communications, and entry-level qualifications in beer drinking and urban bike riding. Looking for a role with social impact led to 3.5 years with SNV, a respected Dutch INGO working across Energy, WASH and Agriculture in 35 countries. Having held two positions there - in corporate communications and then overseeing communications for SNV's largest sector, Agriculture, Emma was inspired every day by the wealth of talent, passion and good humor that people bring to bear against the great challenges of inequality and poverty in their countries.

Now having found another enclave of passionate talented people in Engineers without Borders she is getting the word out about the huge value humanitarian engineering brings in addressing global challenges.

Emma loves travelling to far-flung places, eating the food and photographing the sights. A keen amateur photographer, she is nonetheless not the kind to get up at 4am for a sunrise. Interior and product design inspire her every day to think about form and function, and surprisingly - mostly to her - she likes to go running.

Emma Boles



melanie hardman

international program officer

Always community minded, Melanie started her career in the disability and mental health sector, coordinating programs and working with local Government to promote the inclusion of all people in society.

Traveling to South East Asia in her late teens set off her passion for social justice; joining the Red Cross Emergency Services, working in disaster recovery centres and conducting outreach. Not long after she found herself overseas, volunteering for a local NGO in Cambodia, conducting outreach and managing sponsorship's; later working as a Program Manager to support the financial empowerment of communities across the Asia Pacific.

Not wanting to follow the crowd, Melanie commenced her degree in International Aid and Development as a mature aged student, and is currently in her final year. Her first experience with EWB was as a mentor in the Design Summit program and she is eagerly awaiting starting off 2018 with the International Programs team.

Melanie loves the unusual and the new, and can be found listening to live music, learning something new or exploring the beaches and hiking trails in Melbourne!

Melanie Hardman



anna cain

volunteer outreach lead

Anna chose a career in engineering because of the potential to contribute positively to solving global issues. For the past seven years she has worked in the renewable energy industry supporting Australia's transition from fossil fuels to clean energy which is a fundamental part of Australia's contribution to addressing climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Anna is committed to creating a more just world. At University, she founded WIRE-Women In Renewable Energy, an industry-linked student society supporting women participating in sustainability-focused engineering fields. She has served on WaterAid's Sydney fundraising committee, is a Youth Off the Streets Food Van volunteer and a tutor with Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) and for the last few years was the Clean Energy Council Utility Solar Directorate Chair.

Inspired by EWB's philosophy of strength-based partnerships focused on two-way knowledge sharing and capacity building, Anna has contributed to a range of EWB initiatives. Anna loves being part of EWB because "the organisation, driven and shaped by its members, provides me with resources, training, networks and opportunities that inspire and empower me to implement my engineering projects using innovative and human-centred approaches that are ultimately more effective. Being a member of EWB makes me a better engineer." EWB's membership is what makes EWB amazing and she can't think of a better way to contribute to this than by supporting EWB's active members to contribute to EWB's vision of a world where all people have access to a life of opportunity, free from poverty.

Anna holds a B Eng (Hons) from UNSW, and grew up on Danghutti country on the mid north coast of NSW.

Anna Cain



Jacqui Bell

Director Australia programs 

Jacqui is a registered Architect with over 8 years’ experience in professional practice, project management, strategic business development and community/stakeholder engagement.  She has worked with global engineering professional services firm GHD, Melbourne design firm Harmer Architecture and in 2012/13 worked as an EWB Field Professional with Habitat for Humanity Vietnam supporting the local team with capacity building and skills development on sustainable construction methods, housing designs, program integration and project delivery. 

As well as her program role, Jacqui facilitates and delivers training around human-centered design and community development approaches in Australia and Overseas and is passionate about supporting, strengthening and building a movement of humanitarian engineers and ‘non-gineers’ to support positive social change.

Jacqui Bell

Candi Raeburn

Humanitarian Design Summit Officer

Candi grew up vertically and first joined the EWB family as a Design Summit facilitator, before becoming a part of the Design Summit dream-team.

With a background steeped in science, she holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, with Honours research in nuclear waste bioremediation and is currently completing a Masters in biochemistry and neuroscience at the University of Melbourne. For the last decade she has been hopping around the globe with a career spanning education, communications, research, events coordination and pharma. Her first role in international development involved facilitating the implementation of the WHO Laboratory Quality Management System in a hospital in Vanuatu, and she moves through the world in gleeful opposition to surplus entropy.

Candi brings to EWB her Lean Six Sigma experience and penchant for organisation and systems optimisation. She has a secret crush on the Human Centered Design process, is an advocate for the development of emotional intelligence, and radiates enthusiasm and up-beat melodies. When she’s not in the lab or at EWB, you might spot her at a night-time public lecture, plotting an adventure or teaching people about science.

Candi Raeburn



jane bateson

EWB Connect & international programs coordinator

Jane’s passion for education and the environment led her to train as a teacher and start her career as a Waterway Coordinator in the Central Highlands region of Victoria. For the next 20 years Jane followed her interest in waterways and all things water, holding many positions in the water industry.

Jane first became interested in humanitarian programs after a short-term volunteering assignment in 2009 in the Mae La Oon refugee camp on the Thailand/Myanmar border, which led to volunteer work throughout Asia Pacific. A particular highlight was volunteering with the Department of Women’s Affairs in Vanuatu where her work focused on building entrepreneurial and life skills in business women. The country, the resilience and strength of its women galvanised Jane, and in 2015 she left the corporate world to focus on International Development, taking a role with Australian Business Volunteers as International Program Manager. In this role Jane continued to facilitate the building of entrepreneurial and life skills for businesses throughout Asia Pacific.

Jane first encountered Engineers Without Borders Australia whilst Chair of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). Having worked closely with engineers for more than 20 years, Jane believes that humanitarian engineering plays a vital role in development.

Jane holds a Masters in International Development, and in her spare time can be found exploring the great outdoors, immersing herself in a new culture or at Tacit Galleries in Collingwood enjoying the art and a wine.

Jane Bateson



Shane Korosec

Digital operations

After completing an aerospace engineering / business administration degree at RMIT in 2000, Shane wrapped up a brief engineering career to pursue interests closer to his heart.

Subsequently, he found himself involved in assisting a dedicated team in raising EWB Australia from a idea to an operating organisation.

Shane now runs our digital operations and enjoys music, travelling and expanding his awareness of the universe around him.



Shane Korosec


Lewis Parish

Project Manager Lafaek Water

After earning a degree in music education from the University of Illinois, Lewis joined Peace Corps Tanzania as an environmental volunteer. In this role he worked primarily on agricultural and small scale construction projects. After his service he returned to Illinois to complete a Masters of Public Administration while working in the private sewage program of the Illinois Department of Public Health Environmental Engineering Division. 

Lewis then moved to Washinton, DC, finding work with Management Sciences for Health implementing public health projects in East Africa. He has subsequently consulted for the US Navy in the Planning, Future Requirements, and Business Operations office at Camp Lemonnier-Djibouti and worked for the US Department of Energy in their Beijing, China office.

Before joining EWB in Timor-Leste, Lewis supported a project to map and survey all of the health facilities in the country and personally visited about half of the country's nearly 300 facilities. He is excited to join Bee Lafaek and participate in the widening movement towards disaggregated utility systems.

He believes that developing countries have a great deal to teach the world, especially with regards to compassion, humility, cooperation and hope.

Lewis Parish



Lizzie Brown

EWB Social Enterprise

Lizzie joined EWB in 2004 as a volunteer in Brisbane and helped establish the SEQ Chapter. She then took on the role of Director of Education from 2006-2009 and held the position as Operations Director at EWB from 2009- 2010. Lizzie became EWB's CEO in May 2010 and moved to Melbourne for her new role.

Lizzie is a Churchhill Fellow and is passionate about engaging engineers and students in meaningful community development programs.

Prior to joining EWB, Lizzie worked as a Design Engineer in the water sector in both Australia and overseas. Lizzie loves getting outdoors (especially mountain biking and camping) and is currently learning to make cheese!

Lizzie Brown


Nick Brown

Research Coordinator

Nick joined the EWB Institute team in April 2014 having studied Civil and Environmental Engineering in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, UK. After completing his PhD and tutoring duties he decided the time was right for a new adventure and moved to Melbourne. Nick has enjoyed the Australian summer but is yet to experience a winter in Melbourne; fortunately he has a superb collection of jumpers in reserve just in case.

Although Nick enjoys exploring the rest of Victoria, he is most at home in the city and loves discovering new places, ensuring he takes plenty of photographs along the way. He loves the contrasts that can often be found wherever old brick buildings meet the modern city landscape.

Nick Brown


Monica Chong

International Program COORDINATOR

Monica coordinates the International Program, which involved a broad spectrum of responsibitlies from supportuning our Field Professionals and projects overseas, to donoro reporting, to recruitment and financial management - the list goes on!

The avid foodie initially followed a corporate career trajectory (five years as an account manager in a telco), but took time out to explore more meaningful career options. She worked in Vietnam for 3 years through the Australian Volunteers Program before joining EWB in 2013 as a volunteer and then become a member of staff in mid-2014.

Her journey of exploration involved working, volunteering and travelling through South America, Europe and Asia. Not surprisingly, food was a feature of her travels and she enjoyed trying different cuisines while learning about other cultures and international development. In Vietnam, Monica created a Hanoi street food guide and map that has become quite well known around the traps. Her love of cooking and bringing people together has inspired her to one day start her own catering business.

Monica Chong


Tracey Cromby

EWB Challenge Program Officer

Tracey is motivated by helping people and delivering constructive process outcomes to smooth the way.  She  says that  “working in the humanitarian sector makes that meaningful.”

Her extensive experience in administration supports students to access the unique educational opportunities associated with the EWB Challenge.  This annual program engages 8,000 first year students from 33 universities across Australia and New Zealand to develop humanitarian engineering design solutions for sustainable cross-cultural development projects.

“One of the things that’s great about my role is supporting students to achieve an enlightened education…I’m continually inspired by the creative and innovative ideas that the first year university students come up with.”

Tracey relaxes with an eclectic range of creative pursuits including rock ‘n roll and rockabillly dancing, walking and writing.  She’s also working on a long-burn project to create an illuminated manuscript.


Tracey Cromby



Our awesome staff photos include photos by Dan A'Vard.

Bianca Anderson

humanitarian Design summit coordinator

Bianca grew up normal and has dedicated the best part of the last decade to radical unjobbing and cultivating her curiosity about the world. She brings experience in appropriate technology development, Human Centred Design methodologies and social impact business development to the EWB team.

Bianca graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and an appetite to expand the definition and boundaries of the field. Since she’s collaborated with the International Development Innovation Network – contributing to and coaching teams in appropriate technology development at the International Development Design Summit in Africa and completed a stint as an EWB Field Professional in India. Recently she completed her Master of Business Administration in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise at Colorado State University, USA. At EWB she continues to sate her desire to expand the future of engineering through the Humanitarian Design Summit – facilitating budding engineers through experiential learning that increases their understanding of global challenges. She envisions a future of empathetic engineers, equipped with the understanding, adaptability and emotional resilience required to tackle the ever-complex challenges we will face in an uncertain future.

She also loves being far away from office-land; usually rockclimbing, hiking in the bush or gaining skills to eventually run away and join the circus.
Bianca Anderson