It feels as though we’re giving daily updates left, right and centre at the moment (because we are!), but this one is a biggie! This update outlines what COVID-19 means for PEV moving into the next few months, answers a range of questions you are probably wondering, and provides some guidance around what you can do to support us and the PEV community at the moment.

As you know, many organisations globally are going through tough changes at the moment, ourselves included, but it’s still nothing our team can’t handle with ease! We like to remember that we work remotely every 6 months across at least 6 different time zones – plus having star team members operating “in the abyss” the rest of the time – so basically, we couldn’t be better prepared!

Remember: these kinds of challenges will either make or break other organisations – but we’re not like other organisations. We’re ready to show the world just what the PEV team is capable of.

Our Offices and Workspaces: From Thursday 19 March 2020 until 01 May 2020 (with the possibility of extension) our team will be working remotely in all key locations around Australia. We’re taking all our meetings and collaboration online via Zoom and hangouts, and you can bet we’ll be more active than ever on our internal comms channels – bring on all the WFH selfies!

All of our front-facing offices will be closed until the 01 May 2020, however, this may be extended. Our team will continue to be working remotely, with inboxes and our phones manned during this time, so rest assured that the PEV value of ‘Work Hard’ will still be very much in action.

June and July Project Periods: Due to the widespread international border closures, and DFAT updating Travel Advice for all countries to a ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel’, we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone all of our scheduled June and July 2020 trips. We are proud of maintaining a gold standard of risk and safety management, and so we’ve made this decision in the interest of prioritising the health and wellbeing of our trekkers, leaders, staff, and international communities and partners.

With insurance policy changes being implemented over the past week, our incredible team has already contacted everyone who has been affected, and provided them all the support and options available: this includes waiving the change of project fee if they transfer to one of our Summer projects instead. Yes, don’t worry, our Summer programs are still scheduled to go ahead as planned, given the travel ban is unlikely to last until December 2020.

We’d like to also acknowledge the incredible and tireless work of our partner Stacey at Corporate Traveller, who has also reached out to everyone involved with a range of options and support to help them get the best outcome moving forward.

Leadership Training
Team Leadership: Our renowned Team Leadership Training immersion has been pushed to September 2020 – the iconic training has always been challenging, so it will take more than a bit of coronavirus to bring us down! We are checking for any changes to the situation from the Department of Health, and if there are any significant updates, we have a plan well in-place (yes, of course we have a plan!) and all trainees will be contacted directly by us.

Senior Leadership: This one is a bit sooner than TLT, so given that next weekend we were due to run our Senior Leadership Workshop Intensive, we’ve decided to postpone this section of the training until July 2020. Our Immersion period at the end of May 2020 has also been pushed back to July 2020. All of our SLs-in-Training have already been notified of these updates, and in true form as the adaptable leaders that they are, all have been incredibly understanding and flexible – thanks team!

What happens to the stakeholders in-country? We have been and will continue to be in touch with all of our stakeholders and partners overseas and let them know of our changes for June/July – but also that we will definitely be around for summer! If possible, over the new few months we may send our staff over to certain areas to check-in and make sure all is okay, and provide any additional support that we can. This support includes pre-payments upfront for summer and support payments as necessary to keep our stakeholders going through this difficult time.

Going Digital in the face of Distancing: Distance has never stopped us before, especially with hundreds of us concurrently working all over the place without the prompt of a global pandemic. Over the next few months, PEV will be looking to the digital space to keep getting the word out about our projects, Summer internships, and of course what our team is up to in our own social isolation…

Given how many of our future trekkers hear about us in person on uni campus, the huge shift to online presence did pose a bit of a pickle… but we have been lucky to work with some incredible academics at universities who have continued to support us and their students digitally, as well as our innovative marketing and recruitment teams who continue to find new ways to keep everyone engaged. We’ll be looking even further into digital marketing opportunities, so if you are interested in supporting or promoting us in this space, we ALWAYS appreciate it!

As for our team, well we’ll be sharing the love from our own WFH set ups, sharing tips and tricks on how to stay safe and productive during this social distancing period, and we’ll even be doing daily takeovers of our instagram story from all across Aus… Stay tuned on our socials and use #projecteverest or tag us in your posts so we can spread positive vibes faster than coronavirus – social media has connected us all for years, so let’s not stop it now!

‘What Can I Do to Help?’ We are so grateful to everyone who has reached out to us given our proximity to the travel bans and uni restrictions, and we thank you for your ongoing support! Currently we’re still recruiting for our summer programs, so the best thing that you can do to support us at the moment is to keep engaging with us digitally and pass on the news that even though COVID-19 doesn’t care about positive social impact or getting graduate-ready skills, we certainly still do!

If you want to get involved further or have any opportunities (that are digital and COVID-19-free), we’d love to chat! Shoot us an email at [email protected] or give us a call during work hours.

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