2022 Showcase – Yirrganydji Country, Cairns

The ‘EWB Challenge Showcase’ event invites the top student teams from 23 participating universities across Australia and New Zealand to share back their innovative design ideas with Dawul Wuru and EWB, which aim to enable Yirrganydji people to protect and care for their Country. As we’re hoping to support Dawul Wuru in engineering services with their aspirations for a ‘Hub’ (including a ranger base), these ideas can feed into the design of this infrastructure through our pro bono program.

9 – 10 December 2022

The Cairns Institute – JCU Smithfield Campus

Nguma-bada in Yirrgay dialect – ‘place for tomorrow’s learning, knowledge and wisdom

Swinburne University team at the 2022 EWB Challenge Showcase at The Cairns Institute – JCU Smithfield Campus

Find out more about the EWB Challenge and Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation

Program at a Glance

Note: All times below are in local Queensland time AEST (UTC+10:00). Make sure you move your clocks if you’re travelling from a different time zone when you arrive!

Showcase Information Flyer

List of Showcase Awards

Weather in Cairns 

December marks the start of the summer wet season in Cairns. We found this handy guide on what you can expect this time of year. We recommend the following during the event

  • Day 1: casual clothing, closed in shoes, hat, sunscreen and water bottle. Ensure you’ve eaten some lunch beforehand. Rain jacket or umbrella if the weather forecast predicts rain.
  • Day 2: smart casual clothing

Shuttle pick-up and drop-offs

Hub on campus – Cairns Student Lodge
Hub at Cairns CBD – Coral Tree Inn

We will arrange transportation to and from the cultural tour on Day 1 and the presentations at The Cairns Institute on Day 2. Each of the two hubs will have its own designated pick-up and drop-off points. If you’re staying in another accommodation at the Cairns CBD, we advise that you walk to the Coral Tree Inn pick-up point.

1:00 PM

1:30 PM

4:30 PM

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

5:00 PM

7:00 PM

Shuttle departs from Coral Tree Inn (CBD)

Shuttle departs from Cairns Student Lodge (JCU)


Shuttle drop-off at Cairns Student Lodge (JCU)

STUDENT STALL SET-UP at The Cairns Institute

Shuttle drop-off at Coral Tree Inn (CBD)

WELCOME DINNER and NETWORKING at Pachamama (CBD) – exclusive to academics, judges and sponsors

8:00 AM

8:00 AM

8:30 AM

9:00 AM

10:15 – 10:40 AM

10:40 AM -12:00 PM

12:00 – 1:00 PM

1:00 – 2:20 PM

2:20 PM

3:30 PM

4:15 PM

4:45 PM

5:15 PM

5:20 PM

Shuttle departs from Coral Tree Inn (CBD)



Shuttle arrives at The Cairns Institute (JCU)


JUDGES PANEL: Experience on Real-world Projects

Morning Tea







Judges Deliberation

AWARDS CEREMONY and Photographs

Stall Pack Up

Shuttle departs from The Cairns Institute (JCU)

SUNDOWN DRINKS at Boardwalk Social (CBD)

Shuttle drop-off at Coral Tree Inn (CBD) – Optional

Showcase Finalists

Note: The order of presentation delivery will be released closer to the day.


1.4 Transportable ranger base office 

University of Western Australia*
Melbourne Polytechnic*
1.5 Modular framework design for multi-purpose hub 

University of South Australia*
University of Tasmania
1.6 Basic maintenance outstation 
Flinders University
1.7 Erosion control on river banks using mangroves

Charles Darwin University*
Charles Sturt University
ICT2.3 Citizen science and wildlife awareness raising app
RMIT University*
University of Canberra
2.4 Educational tools to share language and culture
University of Technology Sydney*
3.3 Low-energy, secure keeping place for artefacts

University of Adelaide*
3.4 Transportable and scalable clean energy system 
Central Queensland University*
3.5 Electric outboard for waterway access
Murdoch University
Caring for Land Country4.1 Nursery for cultivating bush tucker and native plants
Western Sydney University

Caring for Sea Country
5.1 Tank for rehabilitating injured dugong
University of the Sunshine Coast
5.4 Traditional fish trap inspired aquaculture 
Monash University*

5.5 Mechanisms to reduce noise and vibrations generated by crocodile monitoring boats

Curtin University*
Griffith University*
Waste & Reuse7.1 Methods to reduce littering on Country
Swinburne University of Technology*
Canterbury University*
*confirmed to attend the event

Student Briefing Pack

Presentation Format

The presentation will be held at the building foyer, marketplace style where each university team will have a dedicated stall.  A panel of judges will move across stalls and spend 20 minutes maximum per team : 10-minute presentation and 10-minute Q&A afterwards from judges and EWB guests. 

Setting up your stalls

We will provide a long desk and a poster board with a university banner. Check the Stall Display Guide for more details. In the past, students brought along project posters, prototypes (if relevant), flyers and their laptops. However, there’s no hard rules on setting-up your stalls, so get creative and design your stall to your liking!

The stall set-up will open on Day 1, 9th December at 4:30 pm after the cultural tour. For those staying at the Cairns CBD, we advise that you bring the materials with you during shuttle pick-up.

Preparing for your pitch 

Judges will assess your pitch according to this Judging Criteria.  Remember, the goal is not just to showcase the success of your project but also the process you followed and what you learned throughout. Here’s a high-level presentation structure that you may optionally follow. 

We suggest you request from EWB (email ewbchallenge@ewb.org.au) and reflect on the Industry Reviewer’s Comments to your report. Take this opportunity to highlight the parts they commend most and address those areas that need improvement. You may also think about potential questions the audience might ask based on their comments. 

You can assign specific sections of your pitch to different team members. We suggest taking the time to assess your team’s strengths. Some people may be good at explaining and simplifying ideas, while others may be natural at engaging the audience and providing supporting information. 

Plan a strategy for question time, as this may create confusion if many people jump in to answer at once. It’s okay to pause before answering and ask for clarification if you don’t fully understand the question. 

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! We’re all here to celebrate your achievement for the year!

Meet the Judges

Gavin is currently a Project Manager with the Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation and coordinates the Yirrganydji Land and Sea Ranger Program and Yirrganydji Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreement. Gavin’s experience and contributions include representation on advisory committees such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Indigenous Reef Advisory Committee, Reef 2050 Indigenous Heritage Expert Group, and Cairns Regional Council’s First Peoples Advisory Committee. Gavin was a presenter/performer at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland (2018), TEDx JCU Cairns (2018), and United Nations Oceans Conference SD-14 in New York (2017). Gavin has also featured in media networks and communication productions such as ‘ABC the Drum’, IUCN Video ‘Voices from the Reef’, Tangaroa Blue Foundation’s video ‘how to run a beach or river clean up’, and the Queensland National Parks Video ‘Be Pest Free’.

Brian is a Yirrganydji Rainforest Bama (People) whose people Ancestral Traditional Lands are from the Cairns region to Port Douglas. Brian works as a Senior Ranger at Yirrganydji Land and Sea Program, and has been a Board Member with the Centre for Appropriate Technology for 8 years. He has more than 20 years of experience in engaging Traditional Owners and Indigenous Communities in Land and Sea Management. Brian is passionate about providing training and knowledge exchange to communities and Traditional Owners to manage their own sea country.

Xenia is currently the Head of Learning at EWB Australia. She is a highly experienced award-winning leader in design and implementation of industry-led community and workforce development projects throughout Australia including rural and remote communities in the Northern Territory and Torres Strait. 

Utilising collaborative consultation within a community development framework Xenia has designed and delivered workforce development and capacity building projects through innovative approaches to employment, education and training.

Angus is a technology development lead at EWB Australia. He grew up on Yuin Country in NSW, studied mechatronic engineering on Gadigal lands in Sydney and now live and work on Ngambri and Ngunnawal Country in Canberra. He’s excited about engineering collaborations between settlers and First Nations peoples. He’s interested in how we can co-design technologies that value and center Indigenous knowledge, making possible sustainable, just and reconciled futures. At the moment he is working towards two such projects – exploring technology solutions for Indigenous-led native seeds and grains economies and designing a portable solar energy solution for remote Indigenous homelands.  

Hannah is currently the Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Specialist at EWB Australia. In this role, she works closely with staff to evaluate the impact of their activities On Country and overseas. Before joining EWB, she has worked in academia and the federal government, with a decade of public health research and evaluation experience in Canada, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mozambique. She is a strong advocate for approaches that empower and champion the voices of community members, particularly marginalised populations. In 2019, the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation recognized Hannah as a “Top 30 Under 30” for her contributions to gender equality in East Africa.

Lizzie is a social business leader and entrepreneur. She has 20 years of experience leading start-up organisations and teams in the non-profit and social enterprises sectors across Australia and South-East Asia. 

Lizzie has held CEO positions with Kindred Spirits Enterprises and Engineers Without Borders Australia. She has significant experience as a voluntary director with various social enterprises and non-profit boards including xpand Foundation, FREO2 Foundation, ATEC, Robogals, Co-Design Studio and The Next Economy. 

I am looking forward to hearing more about the strong partnership of EWB and Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation has formed to bring engineering students and Traditional Custodians together to protect the environment and strengthen community and culture .”

I am looking forward to seeing the designs from all the other universities and hearing about other peoples’ experience of the challenge. I also look forward to learning more about Yirrganydji country”.
– Jeremy

I am really looking forward to sharing our project with other people and getting a chance to show what we’ve worked really hard for. I am also looking forward to seeing all the other finalists and learning about what they created.”
– Connor

In partnership with

2022 EWB Challenge is sponsored by

2022 EWB Challenge Showcase is presented in collaboration with