Environmental Engineering student, Grace Mullins, kicked off her final year of study by participating in a ‘Dialogues of Development’ study tour in Cambodia with Engineers Without borders.

“I discovered Engineers Without Borders in my first year at Griffith. By the end of my third year in 2013 I felt that I had developed a strong understanding of development work and was ready to see if my perceptions about the challenges and complexities of working with developing communities were close to accurate,” she said.

The program was comprised of workshops, community partner visits and some free travel time.

“We discussed the Cambodian context, the current influences of the country’s treacherous history, various models of development, development imperialism, development priorities, the role of foreigners in Cambodia and the impacts of large-scale projects compared to grass-roots development projects. I cannot believe how much I learnt in three and a half weeks,” she said

During the project visits Grace had the opportunity to meet passionate individuals working in a wide variety of organisations such as the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthodontics, The Royal University of Phnom Phenh, Cambodians Rural Development Team and Friends International that are leaders in the areas of health, education, infrastructure, rural development and child safety.

“The above organisations work towards development priorities to create meaningful and lasting change for Cambodian communities,” she said.

The School of Engineering encourages students to make the most of these opportunities and provided financial support for this trip.

“Engineering at Griffith has illuminated so many avenues to follow to build a career which services both people and the environment. It has also enabled me to build a strong network of likeminded students and professionals which have and will continue to be invaluable to my career.”

What’s next for Grace?