The world is full of challenges - big and small. Since GHD’s doors opened in 1928, its employees have made a difference in their local communities and built strong local relationships. And we’ve always favoured causes that deliver tangible results because we’re about getting stuff done. However, these efforts have been largely local.
There was a growing feeling we could do more. We all saw a string of disasters and unrest through 2020: COVID, racial injustice, fires, floods, economic inequality. These things had a big impact and GHD people all over the world were asking ‘how can I help’. Our local community work didn’t seem enough. It got us thinking: if we took the initiative and coordinated things, we could amplify our impact locally and globally. The GHD Foundation was born.
In the first 12 months, the Foundation had a broad focus and we learned an important lesson - we tried to tackle too many issues and our resources were spread too thin. We wanted to focus our impact.
We learned that there are many groups desperately under-represented in STEAM disciplines because they face barriers to access, particularly women and girls, first peoples, regional and remote communities and those experiencing economic disadvantage. As GHD is a design, engineering and scientific organisation it made sense that this could be a good GHD Foundation focus area.
So now we believe we can make a difference globally by expanding the skills base needed to tackle the world’s most serious challenges including climate change, energy and access to water.
May Ngui strove to be a role model for others throughout her extensive engineering career, including numerous high-profile infrastructure projects in Australia, Malaysia, India and Vietnam. Now, through her GHD Foundation directorship, she is focused on ‘passing the baton’ to future generations, showing the power of possibilities a STEAM education can unlock. May is also a volunteer and a trustee at the Brooke Trust, which aims to preserve, conserve and develop works that showcase the unique history and heritage of her birthplace, Sarawak, and using these works as a platform to engage, inform and inspire communities.
Jo oversees our impact across the globe. Raised on UNESCO and other development assistance donor projects in Nigeria and Solomon Islands and with not-for-profit involvement since she was a teenager she brings a personal commitment to our work. With arts, science and business qualifications Jo is passionate about research-led efforts, clear outcomes and demonstrable impact tackling critical problems worldwide. She’s won multiple awards for leadership and diversity, bringing issues of inequality into sharper focus by facilitating real dialogue and driving change through action.
It is better to give than receive. This universally accepted statement unites people around a common good, which is why Rob is committed to the development of the Foundation. Rob’s commitment to the Foundation is supported by his corporate experience as Chair of GHD Group, and prior executive roles across South America, China, Asia Pacific and New Zealand. He also brings experience from the not for profit sector as a Director of the national Australian charity Hands & Feet, which enables food distribution and Indigenous, NDIS and aged care services to the disadvantaged.
As CEO of GHD, Ashley leads a talented workforce of 11,000 people in solving the world's biggest challenges in the areas of water, energy and urbanisation. With a strong operational background as a professional engineer and business leader, Ashley has an active and ongoing curiosity for greater social inclusion and is committed to delivering lasting community benefit. He is the founding member of the ROADS Foundation, a not for profit road construction organisation working with underprivileged youth in regional Western Australia.
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