Early USC graduate building Habitats for Humanity

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Early USC graduate building Habitats for Humanity

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USC graduate Megan Krolik in Port Vila, Vanuatu following Cyclone Pam.

29 May 2017

One of USC’s earliest graduates has built a 13-year career helping people across the Asia-Pacific recover from some of region’s most destructive natural disasters.

Since graduating from USC with an Arts degree in 2001, Megan Krolik has worked for international humanitarian aid organisations like UNICEF and Care International, and is currently working in a major program management role for Habitat for Humanity Australia (HFHA).

The former Noosa resident has helped coordinate recovery responses to events including Cyclone Winston in Fiji, Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and the flash floods that devastated Honiara in the Solomon Islands.

Now living in Sydney, Ms Krolik is HFHA’s Regional Program Manager (Asia Pacific & Emergencies), a role that sees her work with international teams to ensure safe housing for those in developing communities.

“All of our projects have some kind of shelter focus,” she said. “However, we always work in partnership with local communities as we build the homes and upgrade water and sanitation facilities.

“We provide different types of training and link our community partners to livelihood opportunities and support services, so that by the end of the project, the community is thriving and sustainable.

“We’re also undertaking programs that aim to improve the disaster resilience of many communities, such as training people how to make their homes more resistant to cyclones.

“I’ve been lucky to live and work in a range of places around the world, and it’s shown me how incredibly unequal things can be between different countries. Once you’re aware of that, it’s very hard to turn your back on it.”

As well as earning a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) at USC, Ms Krolik has completed postgraduate degrees in Hazard and Emergency Management and International Social Development.

She said her study at USC had opened her eyes to the possibilities of a career in international development.

“I knew all my lecturers on a first-name basis, and the conversations I had with so many of them were incredibly rich,” she said. “It was fantastic to have a group of mentors that were so willing to open up the world to you.”

Gen Kennedy

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