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LET'S TALK RESILIENCE! was the theme of the third edition of the Australia-Netherlands Water Challenge. Building on two successful editions in previous years, the 2015 program was unique in many ways: more universities, more companies and mentors, a plenary session at the Floodplain Management Association National Conference, an award ceremony at Brisbane City Hall and a 3-week traineeship in the Netherlands for the winners!

The challenge focused on a key area in which Australia and the Netherlands want to work together which is to strengthen the resilience of their countries in the face of climate extremes, particularly floods and droughts. There is a great opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences given the similarities ánd differences between both countries.

For good reasons, Australia and the Netherlands have been responding to climate extremes in very different ways: Australia has been more focused on disaster preparedness and recovery while the Netherlands has focused more on prevention, i.e. keeping disaster out. As we have come to understand: neither approach is and will be sufficient. Both are needed - and more. Across all (new) measures that are being planned in both countries, there is one common theme between them: making their nations more resilient.

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Few concepts have been more enthusiastically embraced in recent years than resilience and that's hardly surprising: the ability of people themselves – as individuals, as a community, as a society – to withstand and recover from adverse events and to emerge even stronger than before - is a very attractive and powerful notion. However, there is no easy recipe to building resilience.

In the 2015 program, we invited students and young professionals to come up with innovative and original ideas that can make a real contribution to strengthening resilience in Australia and/or the Netherlands.


VIDEO GRAND FINAL

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VIDEO TRAINEESHIP

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VIDEO INTERVIEW WINNERS

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“When asked if I’d like to develop my idea - of course I said “YES!”. I’d never been to Europe, or worked with smartphone applications, or worked with a Dutch company – I was terrified! Fortunately, everyone was very welcoming. I was amazed at the effort they put into making me feel welcome”
Kevin Loh, Winner Australia 2011
Kevin Loh, Winner Australia 2011
“It was a great experience for us, as Indonesia's young generation, to contribute our ideas for the development of Jakarta Bay. We learn a lot from the Dutch companies and how they think about solutions, which is much more than only engineering. It brought us to a better understanding about Indonesia, our beloved country.”
Aldea Permatasari Firdhaus, Amalia Handini Astari, Mochammad Imron & Aulia Fatwa Farizqa, Winners Indonesia 2014
Aldea Permatasari Firdhaus, Amalia Handini Astari, Mochammad Imron & Aulia Fatwa Farizqa, Winners Indonesia 2014
“The Holland Water Challenge brought me confidence and belief that an innovative idea is more important than gold. When preparing for the final, I spent days and nights to scheme a novel living-style with less carbon and safe water. So Many Thanks to my Dutch Friends, and Wish Our Friendship Forever!”
Li Xiang, Winner China 2010
Li Xiang, Winner China 2010
“An idea is like a projectile. Without a suitable catapult, it is just any ordinary stone incapable of making serious impact. In my case, the Singapore-Netherlands Water Challenge was the perfect platform to launch my idea.”
Victor Sim, Winner Singapore 2012
Victor Sim, Winner Singapore 2012
"We're looking forward to making the most of the opportunity to take our idea to the next level and implement what we believe will be a valuable tool for the water industry and emergency services, both in Australia and internationally. Thanks to Holland Water Challenge for organising and supporting the program!"
Dan Peade & Paul Munro, Winners Australia 2013
Dan Peade & Paul Munro, Winners Australia 2013
"The Singapore-Netherlands Water Challenge really helped us use our knowledge to make a little difference on the issues of water reclamation. The award ceremony was great. The trip to Singapore was also very vauable. We would like to let other students know such a good competition!"
Leng Ling, Fan Jingyu, Wu Junhao & Lu Ka Kit, Winners Singapore 2013
Leng Ling, Fan Jingyu, Wu Junhao & Lu Ka Kit, Winners Singapore 2013
"The Australia-Netherlands Water Challenge offers a great opportunity for young people to make an impact in the area of climate change and disaster resilience. We are thankful to have had this wonderful experience."
Tracey Lloyd & Tom Perfrement, Winners Australia 2015
Tracey Lloyd & Tom Perfrement, Winners Australia 2015
"We love every second of the program and always remember the time being with the program as one of the greatest memories through student life. I hope to see you again with another challenges and programs. We have the youth and capabilities and what we need is a chance to prove it."
Pann Ei Ei Phyoe, Winning Team Myanmar 2016
Pann Ei Ei Phyoe, Winning Team Myanmar 2016