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Education in Emergenies

Thinking outside the box

This year, I took part in the Education in Emergency Challenge (EIE) run by InnovationXchange and Oaktree.

EIE invites university students to use their humanity, resolve and creativity to innovate ways to provide education in emergency situations. Six teams are chosen to present their idea to a group of experts in Canberra, and workshop their idea.

Our research, team meetings and one very energetic design sprint led to the creation of our idea: Thinking Outside the Box.

Our aim was to build on the school-in-a-box kits by creating a drama guidebook that promotes the mental health of all students. We specifically wanted to target the wellbeing of girls and students with a disability – students who face additional barriers in accessing education.

We were over the moon to discover that our submission was one of the final six. Emily and I were chosen to present our idea in Canberra.

We spoke with our EIE mentor, Cass Cleever, an Honours student in Monash University’s Global Challenge Program. She helped us prepare our presentation and strengthen our idea in response to feedback we received.

Finally, challenge day arrived. The event kicked off with incredible speeches by Oaktree and InnovationXchange about the power of young people making positive changes. The enthusiasm, innovation and unique perspective demonstrated by each team reminded us of young people’s creative energy and valuable ideas.

We were last to present. Emily and I pushed our nerves aside and had fun sharing our passion for our idea. The audience participated, the judges gave encouraging feedback and we were beaming after such an incredible experience.

And we won! A number of the EIE judges even offered us assistance to take our ideas further. Working with experts to develop our idea in an environment where the voices of young people are supported, valued and celebrated was a powerful experience.

Thank you to Oaktree and InnovationXchange for the hard work that went into making the challenge so inspiring. I can’t wait to see where these ideas might lead.