The GCA Standards and Awards Committee ensure that the highest standard of applications are awarded each year. The committee is comprised of a cross-section of the International volunteering and Development Education sector in Ireland to ensure inclusivity of all perspectives.
Adam has backgrounds in Social Care and Innovation & Enterprise and worked as a youth worker with a keen interest in wellbeing. Adam first got involved with EIL Ireland in 2013 when he won an award with C.I.T’s Volunteer Abroad Programme where he spent a summer working in Jaipur, India in a Women Empowerment project. Adam has stated that his journey and experience in India was “without any doubt, the greatest learning of my life to date”.
Since then Adam went on to become a member of the Global Education Committee with the rest of “The Dream Team”, and has led inbound and outbound groups from Ireland, Hong Kong and the USA.
A travel lover, son of a Cork “mammy”, a Mauritian father, and living the first 11 years of his life in Britwell, Slough, England – cultures and diversity is something Adam is accustomed to and he loves meeting new people, from new places, with new insights and believes everyone has something special to bring to the party! Being an active role model is something Adam brings to the work and volunteer work he does with the mission – “aspire to inspire.”
Claire is an arts educator from Cork, engaging with young people and adults on creative projects and programmes for over ten years. She feels most strongly about nurturing creative expression in teenagers on the fringes of traditional systems – those in ‘hard to reach’ places, such as outside of mainstream education or in state care, direct provision or criminal justice setting. This passion has found her working with many great organisations throughout Ireland and beyond, as well as setting up her own arts facility, Splattervan, in 2013. Claire is also on the staff team of Creativity & Change at MTU Crawford College of Art & Design, a unique educational programme promoting the arts as a weapon in the fight for a fairer world. Here, she designs and delivers creative experiences, training and events and facilitates the Climate Youth Artivists in their mission to confront climate justice.
Emma coordinates the Development Education programme at Tearfund Ireland working primarily in the non-formal youth and adult and community sectors. Having spent a number of years volunteering overseas in Nepal, Emma has been involved the development sector in Ireland since 2007. Emma currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Nepal-Ireland Society, the Comhlámh Steering Group for the Code of Good Practice in Volunteering, the Comhlámh Orphanages Working Group, and the IDEA Quality and Impact Group. Emma joined the GCA Standards and Awards Committee in August 2019.
Gareth Conlon is from a small village in Monaghan called Inniskeen. He studied Community Sports leadership in Dundalk institute of technology and then went on and did an MA in International Development in Kimmage DSC. Gareth been lucky enough to have worked in Palestine, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Uganda, Liberia. As well as across Europe. He has worked in several development education organisations including Development Perspectives and ECO UNESCO. Gareth is currently the Volunteer engagement project office in Comhlámh. Comhlamh is the organisation for development workers and volunteers in Ireland. He loves being in nature and has a passion for Permaculture, sustainability as food growing. Gareth has two pet Alpacas call Al and Paci and he likes to meditate.
Making her debut in the development sector as an international volunteer in Uganda in 2014, Joanne now has over five years experience in coordinating international volunteering and development education programmes for youth. Joanne has worked with a number of organisations including VMM International and UCD Volunteers Overseas, gaining experience overseas in Kenya, Haiti and Uganda during this time. For the last two and a half years, Joanne has worked with Suas on their STAND Global Citizenship programme, where she has engaged university students and young people in Ireland on development issues through a range of creative and innovative projects, such as the STAND Student Festival and the Ideas Collective. Joanne is very passionate about youth activism and loves providing a space for students to get creative and innovative about tackling global injustice.
Jorge Ruiz Villasante
Jorge is the chairperson of the EIL Global Education Committee (GEC). The EIL GEC perform a wide range of tasks but are best known for delivering Development Education workshops at Network Weekends. His skills in photography have allowed the work of the GEC to be shared with people all over the world through videos, social media and exhibitions. Jorge is a photographer and educator with a passion for Development and Global Issues. Jorge has extensive international volunteer experience with EIL in placements in India and South Africa and locally in Cork with a range of community organisations. He piloted the Gold International Volunteer Award and his since been awarded the Gold Global Citizen Award three times!
Kate is a Biomedical Engineer with an interest in all things Goal #3, Good Health and Wellbeing. Her first venture into GCA work was in 2012 with a volunteer sending agency called Serve working in Zambia. Two years later she volunteered again with Serve, this time in India, where she had the opportunity to put her career experience to good use working with Leprosy patients and prosthetics. Luckily the prosthetics work could be kept up long after leaving India so she was able to keep up the volunteer work for another 2 years but from home. More recently she put that experience to use here at home, volunteering with emergency COVID-19 respiratory devices. She is currently a GCA mentor and received a Silver award in 2018. In her own words speaking about SDG3 “we all have the right to be healthy, and to support when we have been unlucky with our health. Once we all take care of one another’s health, all other goals become more possible”.
Lorraine Tansey is the Student Volunteer Coordinator of the Community Knowledge Initiative. Lorraine has a Masters in Education from the University of British Columbia, Canada, with a specialty in the Internationalisation of Higher Education. Lorraine earned her BA in Legal Science and Sociological & Political Studies, and LLB from NUI Galway. As the coordinator of NUI Galway’s student volunteering programme, ALIVE, Lorraine has developed a number of resources to support student volunteers.
Siobhán Hughes is communication officer at SERVE is a development and volunteering organisation committed to tackling poverty in the developing world. We strive to do this by working in solidarity, service and partnership with marginalised and oppressed communities, empowering them to tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice. SERVE focuses specifically on programmes and projects that help communities enhance the lives of children and young people and recognises that gender equality is pivotal to achieving justice, equality and sustainable development.
Tessa joined the EIL team in January 2019 as the Global Citizen Award Coordinator. She has moved back to Cork after living in France, Spain, Peru and Dublin, among others. After an experience of international volunteering in India with Suas Educational Development in 2004, she became motivated to become more involved with local issues and got involved with the students union and the Suas Society in UCC. Her intercultural learning experiences continued during an Erasmus year in Caen, France and a Masters in Natural Language Processing in Besançon, France and in Barcelona, Spain. However, the experience which impacted on her most significantly was living in Chimbote, Peru for two years and working with an Early Childhood Educational Project. She is passionate about Development Education and hopes to bring her experience from volunteering and working with NGOs to her role as GCA coordinator.
Tony Daly has been involved in community development, human rights education, development education, curriculum reform and research projects in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, the UK, the Netherlands and Australia for 20 years. He is co-ordinator of Irish non-governmental organisation 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World which promotes popular education on human development and human rights, co-editor of 80-20 Development in an Unequal World (published by 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World and New Internationalist) and project manager of the Irish NGO-led global issues and learning consortium developmenteducation.ie. Having spent the first half of his life in South Africa and the Netherlands, he holds degrees from University College Dublin and University College London, is a member of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Working Group(GWG) of EuroMed Rights and is a trustee of Fairtrade Ireland. Tony has been a member of the GCA Standards and Awards Committee since November 2017.