Meet MDC’s Game Changer Convenor – Ellie Hewitt

MDC is made up of a diverse team of professional volunteers who bring skills and knowledge from their international and local experience to build a community of development professionals.

Ellie is part of the MDC team as the convenor for our Game Changer events and organises engaging Ellie is passionate about equality committed to creating innovation within the NFP sector. Through her role as Purpose and Impact Coordinator at The Funding Network, Ellie supports non-profits to build their capacity and provide new opportunities for growth whilst increasing collective giving and connection between sectors. Ellie has a background working within non-profits in a variety of capacities, focusing on social areas such as education, poverty, people seeking asylum, and people with disabilities.  

We had a chat with Ellie to learn about her and how she became involved with the development sector. 

Hi Ellie, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I moved to Melbourne 4 years ago from the beautiful Coffs Harbour to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in International Development Studies, and to challenge myself in a whole new city which I had only visited once before. I have 3 siblings and a very cute 7 month old nephew, but unfortunately have never had any pets, although I recently got a worm farm with 1000 worms, so I am not sure if that counts! I am absolutely obsessed with learning new things and often try my hand at a number of hobbies (although usually not so successfully)! I am passionate about both community and international development particularly in the space of social impact and education.

What inspired you to embark on this development journey?
I am inspired or more accurately frustrated at the great inequality that exists and I feel a sense of urgency to work to redress this.

How did you come to join MDC and what has your experience been?
I absolutely love talking about all things development and to be able to discuss big challenges with people who care. I often find myself talking about these big issues with people who only respond with, “Oh that sucks.” This is why I wanted to join MDC so I could meet more people who care, to have more inspiring conversations and be part of a community that is passionate about development. My experience has been great so far, although I can’t wait to meet everyone in person and get to experience the ‘real-deal’.

Can you share any insights or revelations that you have learnt from your experience in the development sector?
I work within the Non-profit sector in Australia and I have learnt the importance of bringing corporates and the general public more into the non-profit space instead of working in silos. I think there needs to be a reframing of ‘charities’, instead of begging for money, non-profits need to improve upon their value proposition to show people their importance and what they can bring.

Here is an article I wrote with more reflections on this topic.

Do you have a personal theory of change?
My personal theory of change is based on a two prong approach to international and community development. The first is a focus on the redistribution of wealth to support the important work of charities. My other key focus is on increasing global educational outcomes as education is key to a prosperous global future.

Lastly, what are a few development resources you’d recommend?
A few I recommend are:

(Share your thoughts or favourite resources on our Facebook page)

Thank you Ellie for sharing your development journey!

Join Ellie and meet other MDC members at our upcoming Game Changer event “Solving Development Challenges in a Digital Age” – register here!