“After working in developing countries for some time, I came to the Northern Territory to work as a water engineer. I discovered that in some aspects this region has many similarities with some of the places I’ve worked. I realised that the local knowledge of professionals, working hands-on in the field, analysing data but also living and understanding the unique circumstances that we have in the NT, could be used to a much greater extent,” says Isabel Caballero, President of the newly founded Northern Territory chapter of EWB Australia.
Isabel is an oceanographer with wide experience across the Australasia region, and a long-term commitment to sustainability issues related to water and environment. For the last years she has been based in Darwin where she works as a consultant water engineer while also collaborating with international universities on research projects. In her view NT based professionals "working together with Aboriginal elders, other NGO’s and government agencies, can make a valuable contribution to the development of strategies to improve water safety, environmental protection and advances in the various field of engineering in the region.”
Early in , with the support of Adriana Stibral, Lecturer at Charles Darwin University, Isabel joined forces with Kip McCauley-Wassell a Site Engineer with Territoria Civil, and Susi Bertei, former Engineering Professor at Charles Darwin University (CDU) to found the newest EWB chapter. Kip McCauley-Wassell is now Vice President of the NT chapter, and by day works on the INPEX project at Bladin Point. He developed a passion for humanitarian engineering and EWB during our school outreach programs, water quality forums and whilst attending an EWB Design Summit in Nepal. “I believe that EWB can be an enormous force for good if the right people are involved, and work towards a common goal. With no pre-existing presence in the NT, and many marginalised social groups, EWB NT can have boundless positive impacts” he says.
With an industrial and teaching background, Susi Bertei is a chemical engineer who has served as an EWB Design Summit Academic Mentor and now coordinates the EWB Challenge at Charles Darwin University. She will act as the Charles Darwin University liaison, and feels driven to provide opportunities for students of Humanitarian Engineering. “Through my involvement with the EWB Challenge and EWB Design Summit I have seen many first year students across university become passionate about Humanitarian projects. But after that first year it was a case of where to? My motivation for the establishment of the EWB NT Chapter is to enable a pathway and support for students interested in further exploring Humanitarian Engineering” she says.
The committee reflects the academic and professional mix that EWB NT aims to attract and support, with the remainder of the committee – Nadia Craven, Ririn Vogler, Shannon Kieran, and Eren Fraser – also representative of students, graduates and mid-career professionals.
The NT Chapter has already grown to over members. “Due not only to geographical but also historical reasons, Northern Australia is closely related to South East Asia,” explains Isabel “Darwin is greatly influenced by its neighbours, and there are many working professionals and students from these countries that develop their skills in the NT. For this reason one of our aims as the NT Chapter is to set up collaborations and projects in various countries within the Asia-Pacific region. I hope that the NT Chapter of EWB will be a platform through which engineers and scientists from different fields unite to share knowledge and support healthy engineering advancements for this region.”
Clockwise from top left: Ririn Vogler (Treasurer), Shannon Keiran (School Outreach Officer), Kip McCauley-Wassell (Vice President), Isabel Caballero (President), Nadia Craven (Secretary), Susi Bertei (CDU liason officer), Eren Fraser (Student Engagement Officer).