Meet Our Team
Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder
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.
Head of Training and Country Operations, Co-Founder
Having worked in the social enterprise space for 5 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.
Head of Relationships and Student Opportunity, Co-Founder
Jess is onto her third degree, currently completing her Masters of International Development at UoM. Jess is passionate about facilitating development both globally and personally. You will find Jess on her red Ninja Kawasaki, and can win her over with neat whisky or fresh coconuts. Jess has led teams of up to eighty in India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Timor-Leste since 2014. Personality type: ENTJ. Jess has established our Adelaide base and will lead Melbourne in 2019.
Head of Project Development, Co-Founder
Andrew operates within Projects, Relationships and Recruitment. Andrew is a qualified Materials Engineer from UOW and has led teams in India, Uganda, Cambodia and Malawi since 2015. In his spare time Andrew loves a Guinness, flying his Phantom Advanced drone, and looking into how to combine his love of travel and positive social impact. Andrew is an infantry officer in training with the ADF.
Head of Commercialisation
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.
Business Operations Manager
Our go to for all things business operations, Amber has been working in the space for over 5 years. She has a Commerce (B.Com.), Marketing and International Business degree from USYD and has led teams of over one hundred 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.
Relationships and Student Opportunity Manager
Working, studying and travelling through the U.K., Europe, Asia, and the U.S., Emma has experienced shifting environments and role requirements. From leading a team in India to working for an advertising agency in L.A., Emma has built an impact directed and multifaceted approach to marketing. Definitely a country girl at heart, Emma lives and breathes social media and spends her time between herding cattle on her family farm in Forbes, and enjoying smashed avo in the best cafes on the eastern beaches.
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.
Training & Country Operations Coordinator
Ryan has recently transitioned from Recruitment and Relationships in Adelaide, to coordinating trekker, business and leadership training. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from UOA, and has a passion for innovation, social impact, and pasta. Ryan has spent considerable time in Timor-Leste and Malawi with Project Everest working on multiple projects based on access to clean drinking water, sanitation and energy. Win his heart over with Jatz and 12/12 banter.
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-Lesté and now looks after the team working to recruit and vet our biggest and brightest for projects. Win Rose over with an acai bowls and Messina gelato.
Jack is completing a Maths degree at UOW and is a massive extrovert. Our second Trekker to ever come on board, Jack has been with Project Everest since 2015. Having led in Timor-Leste, Cambodia and Malawi, he currently operates within recruitment and gets excited by all things data. We’re yet to meet a person that Jack doesn’t like or can’t get along with- he is the definition of Company Morale.
Issy joined our recruitment team off the back of a trek to Timor Leste over January 2018 within an Environmental Sustainability project. She’s halfway through a double degree at UTS, studying both Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation. If you’ve spoken to her, you’ll have either heard her rave about Timor Leste or an adorable hiccup – both if you’re lucky.
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.
Studying Mechanical Engineering and Finance at UOA, you’d think fitting in a social life would be a struggle, yet somehow we always find Patrick in the middle of all the action. Patrick joined PEV in 2017 as a trekker in Timor Leste, and although he found his feet on the Energy Assessment project, his heart now lies with anything agriculture. He’s all about finding the best views in Adelaide, a good bit of banter, and polishing off thirds at lunch.
Juj is the self-proclaimed “North-Shore Princess” of our team, and yet she’s also one of the most down-to-earth people we know. When she’s not flat out involving herself at USYD completing her Engineering / Commerce degree, she’s either coaching aerobics, all over a netball court, hitting the dance floor, or chatting on the phones about her time in Timor Leste.
Our go-to-girl for all things Malawi, Ella has spent a whopping 4 months (and counting) overseas in a leadership role. With us she coordinates recruitment, our health project and at the University of Sydney she studies both Science and Adv Computing. If you can’t spot her iconic blonde curls, you’ll find Ella running completely unqualified Zumba classes for trekkers in country.
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.
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.
Dr Cristian Birzer
Chartered Engineer, PhD. Mech. Eng.
Dr Cristian Birzer MIEAust CPEng is the Director of the Humanitarian and Development Solutions Initiative. He is a Chartered Professional Mechanical Engineer and Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Energy Engineering at the School of Mechanical Engineering. He is a former consultant engineer and also a member of the Australian Defence Force, having worked in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. Cris also deployed to Nepal with the World Food Programme to assist with the 2015 Earthquakes emergency response.
Cris is the Director and co-founder of the Humanitarian and Development Solutions Initiative, Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Humanitarian Engineering and also the Deputy Head of School and Director of Engagement for the School of Mechanical Engineering. He is a former Manager of MechTest, the consulting arm of the School of Mechanical Engineering, and former Manager of the Adelaide Wind Tunnel.
Relationships Manager – Singapore
Working simultaneously at Alfa Tech VestAsia, Aakash is a wealth of knowledge on business development procurement strategy. Aakash has supported the implementation of multiple pilot projects and has diversified business clientele by acquiring new capital projects from the Australian education and Singapore government sectors. Aakash is our Singapore champion, successfully onboarding the brightest students as well as managing our relationships with prominent universities in the region. Aakash is an avid lawn bowler in his spare time and really, really likes chicken wings.