Julian O'Shea - Founder and CEO
Julian is a social entrepreneur, educator and humanitarian engineer. He has a passion for creating social impact projects in Australia and around the world including Link Festival of Design, Technology and Social Change; the Regioneering Road Show and the Journal of Humanitarian Engineering.
He previously headed up the Engineers Without Borders Institute, the organisation's education and research division. He has led education and training programs around the world including in Malaysia Cambodia, India, Nepal, Argentina, Kuwait and more.He loves adventure and has travelled to over 100 countries and had some amazing journeys: swimming with (friendly!) jellyfish in Palau; visiting the abandoned city in Chernobyl, Ukraine; and setting a Guinness World Record riding fast trains across China. He loves coffee, comedy and calling Melbourne home.
Melanie Lazelle - Project Manager
Melanie's background is in international and community development. She has worked with development organisations in NZ, Australia and Vietnam, on a range of programs from DRR, to agri-business, Indigenous health and community development. Most recently, she has worked as RMIT's Fair Trade Coordinator while completing her Master of International Development, with research on the impact of fair and ethical trade in India and CSR and sustainability in a university context. Melanie always welcomes a good development discussion, but has a keen interest in social entrepreneurship and supporting producers and small businesses as she believes in improving livelihoods as an important pathway from poverty. Struck hard by wanderlust, Melanie adores travel. Some of her travel highlights have been roasting marshmallows in lava in Guatemala, diving with manta rays in Komodo National Park, and camping on top of a volcano in Indonesia. She loves change, discovering hipster coffee spots, wooing all animals, and getting out into nature.
Carl Muir - Program Facilitator
Carl’s an engineer by education and a social worker by trade. He’s passionate about making the world a better place, especially for the most vulnerable. He doesn’t really understand why in capital cities it can be hard to get clean water and 24/7 power so he studied his Master of Engineering. Carl’s recently lived the dream he’s always had of travelling the globe and recently road a motorbike across the Asian continent and spent a lot of time in a countries ending in ‘stan’.
Carl has worked on a range of international development and education programs in Australia and across the region - all up he thinks that's about as good as it gets. Carl loves his Melbourne coffee and also brewing beer and learning new languages.
Joshua Barker - Program Facilitator
Joshua is passionate about people and real-world issues. He believes that empathy if used correctly can be a catalyst for innovation. A strong proponent of human centered design and design thinking, Joshua honed his facilitation skills in the woods of Middleburg, VA. His involvement in humanitarian projects in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Uganda & Vietnam have provided him with a range of cultural lenses to view the world.Through his studies at RMIT University in Entrepreneurship and Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Joshua has been involved with programs promoting STEM education with high school students. He has a strong desire to innovate in energy efficiency and sustainability of products and services. This passion is the foundation of his honours thesis with Engineers Without Borders Australia.
Brittany Laidlaw - Program Facilitator
Brittany is a permaculture educator and sustainability specialist with an extensive background in international and community development. Her work has primarily focused on South East Asia and the South Pacific Islands, having collaborated with countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, Samoa, Hong Kong and Timor Leste.Brittany was the Australian Youth Delegate to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development and recipient of the Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Award for her commitment to sustainable development in Asia. Brittany holds a Bachelor in Sustainable Enterprise and a Master of Environment, where she focused her thesis on using dance as a means of connecting to the environment. This was strongly influenced by her ongoing engagement and interest in Indigenous Australian culture. As such, she is always up for a good dance and loves to chat about re-uniting the arts and ecology.
At just 18, Brittany moved from the beaches of Perth to the mountains of Canada which kickstarted her love for travel. Some of her favourite adventures include scuba diving with dugongs & sharks in Vanuatu, getting caught in a Vietnam flood & renting a boat to get back to the hotel, dancing in a country hoe-down in Texas, and learning how to climb a coconut tree in the Philippines. Her lifetime loves include diving, remote camping, learning survival skills and dance!
Laura O'Neill - Program Facilitator
Laura is a passionate member of our team with a background in international community development and education. She has worked and lived in many places throughout Asia Pacific working for both small grass roots organisations, and large international Not-for-profits.
Laura has worked alongside local communities in both Nepal and Indonesia to cofound two grassroots organisations providing youth education to vulnerable communities. She strongly believes that sustainable development and innovative solutions are found within communities, and loves to strengthen other’s capacities so that ownership and solutions are driven and developed by those whose challenges have been identified.
This was the approach taken when Laura set up a refugee led learning centre, which is still successfully run by the community, positively impacting hundreds of lives. She has worked in disaster risk reduction, training and education projects, refugee protection, livelihood development, child protection, program management and event coordination.
Kaia Myers-Stewart - Communications Manager
Kaia specializes in communications and marketing strategy, with a diverse background in technology, software development, education and psychology.
She graduated from the University of Ottawa with an honours degree in psychology and worked in a number of neuroscience research labs for nearly 4 years before transitioning to the world of tech startups, specifically software development projects centered around sustainability and ESL e-learning tools.
Kaia's goal is to combine her science & technology skillset with her passion for communication, social impact & intercultural connection and foster more multi-disciplinary approaches to innovation and education. Her love of travel recently took her to the Himalayas, where she volunteered as an education coordinator at the College of Language & Culture Studies in Trongsa, Bhutan.