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Delivering Humanitarian Engineering in a COVID-19 World

Delivering humanitarian undertakings is challenging at the best of times. The turbulent, often chaotic context arising from a global pandemic makes the challenge even greater. The strength of fundamental principles is tested, lessons are learnt, and strategic priorities clarified.

The two speakers, Eleanor Loudon (CEO, Engineers Without Borders) and Kirsten Sayers (CEO, RedR Australia), will address these issues from the perspective of their respective organisations.


Eleanor Loudon | CEO, Engineers Without Borders

As the CEO of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Australia, Eleanor leads a team of more than 30 staff and hundreds of volunteers to implement a strategy that is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Her leadership enables engineering program teams in Australia, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu to deliver technology, designed with communities to support their plans for better health, livelihoods and shelter. EWB also supports the education, training and mobilisation of values-driven engineers to deliver technology that benefits all, so that one day EWB is no longer needed. Eleanor’s vision is that all engineers will be designing for community and sustainability first, and that the profession is leading on Australia’s commitment to the SDGs, Paris Targets and to our First Nations people.

Kirsten Sayers | CEO, RedR Australia

A former lawyer and diplomat, Kirsten Sayers, is CEO of international humanitarian response agency, RedR Australia. RedR Australia is the only United Nations Standby Partner in the Southern Hemisphere and Asia Pacific and is the sole delivery partner of the Australia Government’s civilian humanitarian deployment program, Australia Assists.

Kirsten has previously held senior diplomatic and commercial appointments in Paris, Bangkok and Taipei. She was Australia’s Chief Negotiator and Delegation Leader to the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Women Leaders’ Network meeting and APEC Gender Focal Point Network in 2009, and managed Australia’s delegation to the APEC CEO Summit the same year.

Eleanor Loudon

Kirsten Sayers