As quite a young organisation, we’re actually a lot more like a person than a story. Since our birth in 2015, we’ve experienced it all: the sleepless nights, the tears, the tantrums, a lot of mess… but thankfully we found our feet and started running.
In leaps and bounds, we have grown from just 16 students on a couple of assessment-based projects in January 2016. We now have an alumni community of over 700 trekkers from around the world, have trained nearly 100 people in team and senior leadership, and have university partners all over Australia. Our projects have also grown across all of our countries of operation, with over half of our ventures returning revenue, including FarmEd, the Rocket Stove, and Everest Recycling Solutions.
We could lie and say that we hired industry pros, or hid in a garage and “just hacked it out”, but that isn’t even close. Our growth and success is a testament to our people: talented, passionate, and dedicated to enabling social change, and as a result, we have built an incredible community around us at home and in country (our second homes).
Our Impact Programs
The value of our internships is becoming exponentially recognised by universities and organisations alike. We are continuously securing credit, grants and funding for students from a range of unis to seek financial support and academic acknowledgment of their internship experience. Beyond this, companies such as UBER have jumped on board as graduate partners, offering advanced opportunities to our alumni at the point of their graduation.
This year we’ve partnered with Rough Diamonds, a tech-based project incubator working to further develop our ventures through to commercialisation. Whilst we are yet to operate overseas 12 months of the year, our project commercialisation team will work in Australia to support the rate of growth.
With newly accredited avenues for our team leaders, senior leaders, and business development consultants, our training is recognised to count towards certificates in project management and leadership. We continuously develop our training immersions to ensure that our people are best prepared for project and skills beyond their time in country.
MEET OUR TEAM
Founder & General Manager
Previously a full-time serving infantry officer in the Australian Army, Wade was the Head of Leadership at 40K Globe, worked at UBS, and Centric Wealth. This mix of international leadership and business, combined with his moon-shot mind ensures we have the most innovative, flexible, and autonomous organisation in this space. It’s strange when people call him Wade rather than Tink.
Founder & Head of Product & Risk
Having worked in the social enterprise space for 6 years, Jimmy has coordinated, executed and led multiple projects overseas. He is heavily invested in the personal and professional development of all our students and is focussed on developing out our product and service offering. Having been involved in working with over 500 students on the ground and over 1000 students on training, Leadership Training is like Christmas for Jimmy. You can find him riding his motorcycle, developing training curriculum or trying to obtain his dive licence.
JESSICA STEPHANIE ARVELA
Founder & National Head of University Engagement
Loves a challenge, now onto her third degree, a Masters of Environment with a specialisation in Climate Change. Jess believes in facilitating development both globally and personally, starting in Training and moving into Relationships, Jess has established our Adelaide and Melbourne base. Jess has led teams of up to eighty in India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Timor-Leste, and Malawi since 2014. Jess lived in a van tracing the European coast for a year, has travelled to 46 countries, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Passionate about plant-based, Yvon Chouinard, Gunther Holtorf, surfing, surf boat rowing, scuba diving, and her motorbike. Personality type: ENTJ.
Head of Business Operations
Our go to for all things business operations, Amber has been working in the space for over 6 years. She has a Commerce (B.Com.), Marketing and International Business degree from USYD and has led teams of over one hundred and fifty in India and Cambodia since 2014. Amber is huge on automating everything (and we mean everything), to ensure the best experience for both our students, clients and staff alike. Amber is a keen Sydney Brunch Crawler fan, and enjoys a cocktail or a beer by the sea.
Fi joined our team to focus on the commercialisation of our ventures. With a Bachelor of Business (Management) and a Diploma in Business (Marketing) under her belt, Fi used her extensive experience in sales and marketing experience to transition into business incubation and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for facilitating the evolution of ideas into successful business and the potential of the Australian start-up space. Although Fi did ballroom dancing for 8 years, there’s conveniently a lack of incriminating evidence on YouTube.
Digital Content Associate
Lily is our resident designer’s eye, operating as content coordinator and pun-queen. She has a double degree in Design, and Creative Intelligence and Innovation from UTS, and has been with Project Everest since January 2016. Since then, Lily has spent multiple months senior leading in Timor Leste and runs Design Thinking training. She is passionate about enabling the personal development of others, and is often embarrassed by her general clumsiness.
Rose started as a trekker in February 2018 on the ERS project in Timor Leste, and now, so help us if anyone tries to mess with it! She has a Commerce/Economics degree from UNSW, and as an ex-gymnast, she’s a professional when it comes to teaching the worm to anyone (and everyone) interested. Rose has led multiple teams over in Timor-Leste and now looks after the team working to recruit and vet our biggest and brightest for projects. Win Rose over with an acai bowl and Messina gelato.
Although Court only recently joined us full-time, she’s been part of our team for ages, having spent 4 months in Fiji with us in Trekker, Team Leader AND Senior Leader positions. Court definitely ups our team’s collective cool-factor, having completed both a science degree majoring in physiology, and a Masters of Commerce majoring in strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship and marketing. The definition of effortless old school charm, she’s very comfortable either watching cheesy 80s movies with a block of chocolate, or finishing up a sun salutation with a spicy jalapeno margarita whilst SmoothFM plays softly in the background.
If you’re wondering what it takes to be an incredible Product Coordinator, well having experience in every leadership role, 6 months of overseas experience across 3 different countries, and facilitating 10 pre-departure and 3 team leadership training sessions definitely helps… Bringing insights from a Bachelor of Science, a Masters in Teaching, and years of swim teaching experience, Lauren consistently wows us with genuinely fun facts – including the fact that she’s a national sailing champion – and info gleaned from a deep love for Ted Talks, and her wholehearted dedication to trying to catch em all in Pokemon Go.
Digital Content Coordinator
Every day we count ourselves lucky to have nabbed freshly graduated Alice straight out of her uni degree to coordinate our university engagement in NSW, QLD and the ACT – in fact she managed to coordinate this role whilst simultaneously team leading our Female Sanitation project in Malawi in early 2020! Considering Alice majored in Earth and Geographical Science, it’s no surprise to anyone that she is quite the proud, proficient, and self-professed plant parent. Honestly, it wouldn’t be unexpected to find Alice in her dream ‘happy place’ surrounded by ferns, succulents and steaming hot plates of dumplings.
University Engagement Coordinator
Since her first month in country in February 2019, Abbey has become rapidly involved with PEV as a Team Leader, Marketing Coordinator and Senior Leader in-training. An Environmental Science student at RMIT, Abbey has applied her degree to waste management and agricultural projects across Timor Leste and India, with her heart now lying with both countries of operation. Describing Abbey as “fiercely passionate” is an understatement, and a descriptor that no-one would argue with – in fact we’ve even seen her fiercely passionate about her yoga practice in her downtime.
Krit is the recruitment team pocket-rocket with the world’s most infectious smile. Halfway through a Commerce/Law degree majoring in International Business at USYD, she joined our team after trekking in Fiji over Summer 2019. Completing her Team Leadership Training in April, she’s heading back to Team Lead in Fiji this winter. If you want to win Krit’s heart, your best bet is with a solid meme, a gorgeous sunset, or, according to her, “pretty much any type of food”.
While they’d never admit it, everyone has a soft spot for Felix, coming on board as our intern, and soon heading into a Senior Leadership position. Not only has he thrown himself into a double degree of Biomedical Engineering and Commerce majoring in Economics, he’s taken on board all the leadership opportunities that go along with them. As the self-proclaimed ‘epitome of humility’, in addition to recruitment Felix balances the roles of both the office charmer and the target of all jokes.
When Zak isn’t down in Wollongong, hard at work studying a Bachelor of Commerce (International Business), he’s grabbing his first caramel latte of the morning in time to hop on the train to join us in the Sydney office. We were lucky enough to see his degree put into use in July 2018 with the Social Consulting team in Malawi, and were even luckier to have him join our team upon his return. There’s only one recorded interview note from when we first met Zak: “he is amazing” – it still stands true.
The phrase we’d most often associate with Mel is ‘absolute weapon’. Always quick with a savagely witty one-liner, a lover of Oreos and dairy-free baked goods, and “not a fan of land sports”, Mel has been part of the team since trekking in Fiji in February 2018. When she’s not in the office making us jealous by bringing her Grandma’s handmade dumplings, she’s finishing off her double degree in Psychology and Business at UNSW.
Recruitment Team Member
Phoebs joined our recruitment team this year following her trek in Cambodia in December 2017 on ERS. With one year to go on her honours degree in Chemical Engineering (Sustainable Energy) at UOA, she’s a huge advocate for women in STEM and environmental sustainability. Her love of all things spicy is completely incongruent to calm and controlled nature, which has earned her the title of ‘chill mum’ around our Adelaide office.
Recruitment Team Member
We’re not sure how she manages it, but Mira manages to switch from giggles to game-on faster than anyone we’ve seen. Just two months after trekking in Fiji on the FarmEd project, Mira had smashed out her Team Leadership Training and is keen as ever to get back overseas. “Hard Work” is a pretty accurate value to attribute to Mira, given that when she’s not finishing her Commerce degree, she’s kicking goals with us – after all, she claims her best feature is “the KPIs”.