Deadly Discussions Episode 3
Brian. Hi. Excellent. Okay. Here we go. Welcomes deadly discussions a podcast on social entrepreneurship. I'm your host Isak Carson for you. Get started like to thank the traditional land on his on whose land we are recording. Today, the were under people of the Kulin nation. Excellent. So Rubio you there walked pie. Is going great. Thank you. How you too bad? So what thanks so much for giving up your time to come on deadly discussions law. Right. Or is it? And yet what does talk about your story your career? And what you're doing understand really that? You are a electrical engineer. He's of indigenous heritage, and you've just recently got back from the states. So why don't we work with what you grew up in a bit your story and how you ended up in America. And then why you have returned. So I grew up in the country, Victoria, and a place called hanging rock, which is a very small town the Parkway between Melbourne and Bendigo. So I went to high school there and and then university in Footscray, Victoria University. I decided I at the time. I didn't know what an engineer was. And and when I found out, and you ten I knew what I was after reading the description. So it took engineering it, it's joy, university, electrical and electronic, and then also that I just settled into Melvin got a job in Melbourne. I lived actually over the other side of Melbourne way, your company's go, hopefully, and then I went through Melvin for about full you. I've always hated the weather. It's too cold. I'm sure you aggressive Queensland. I completely agree. Yeah. So I decided today thirty so much funnier. And and I'd work more in the area of renewable energy. Unfortunately, I wasn't told that San Francisco was not a sunny place in California. I ended up moving from one one dreary place to to another. So. Fantastic and no sunshine for. Yeah. I worked at every hour. I was looking for for another two and a half years. And and then I decided that that wasn't working for me. I I was watching for big companies like Google, and that just wasn't feeling that wasn't fulfilling my mission. Yes. Sorry. Sorry before we hear the entire story. Lemme interrupt in Oxford annoying questions. Let's take it back to when you're young. You said you read a description of what an engineer is a was. And he said, that's me. What what resonated in that description that you just knew that was you. It was it was the problem solving aspect. And and the fact that an engineer is it takes a little bit from from every everything I'm so I read well, you're gonna have to look at contracts, so this legal, and you're gonna have to understand the behaviors of people people that are using your products and things like that. So then there was some psychology aspect to it. You'll you'll have to write reports and do research. So there was my a literary aspect to it. And obviously the max in the science suspects. And so I that was me that I was just a lot of different things rolled up into one. And I didn't know how to which which area to foster, and then I realized I didn't have to choose 'cause engineering was everything. Were you one of those those kids that were building replica awful tau is with moving trains around the bottom at the ages like four or. We always kid. But I was just I was just to get that was pulling things pot all of my toys, I would pull them apart. And if I could fix them, I could fix them. And if I couldn't well, it was cool that I saw. Well was poorly designed so a company back together. Yeah. That's cool. That's really cool. Now, there's a stigma I think that sort of dissipating now around engineering being a mainly a male dominated. Arena. Do you want to shed some Watson that when you engineer you like all, but I'm a young lady. That's what you guys do any of that sort of subchallenges. When you started university wasn't mainly a lot a lot of blokes. And they will you know, what was it like for you? I don't think I grew up realizing that there was there was things that men did. And things that women did very that. That really helped me because I I didn't feel that. As I grew up. I grew up myself and two sisters two youngest sisters. And so I was the son that my dad didn't have also he he encouraged me to do everything that he might encourage you Sunday undergr- up that way. But then definitely when I got into mostly university. I didn't I didn't really feel that way in high school. But in university does definitely that kind of stigma, and I felt that the boys in the clause wanted you to answer for why you were there needs to have their reason. But you had to have a reason because you were woman and sorry in my class, those about one hundred people that we started with students and five women. And four years later. We graduated with about twenty five students and five women think that says a lot definitely definitely says a lot, you know, it's very interesting with digits cultures. Well, we've got men's business women's go business, which I grew up, but my mom is was a majority the breadwinner. She would stay government. And I actually didn't know any different on either. I thought that was a normal bomb at education mum had the hustle, and I'm winning one the bread for the family, and it wasn't into spending time with cousins who the fathers were breadwinners in the most stat home. They log all your, you know, your dad stays at home. He picks you up from school on what know what's wrong with that. So I think it's amazing just in a loss twenty twenty years or side how much strays sort of changed. But what? Yeah. One indigenous ELD actually said to me that men's business is actually women's business Ovando. Versa that it's important that boy for soda entwined together, not the sort of separation, which you know, we've had full office century. So let's bring back so university finishes you finish university and do a couple of years work here in Melvin. And then it's off to the states straight away. Or is it what happens then? Sorry off to San Francisco. We have not enough Cloyd. Is a lot colder in San Fran. It was a colder than expected because I expected the California Gurls Sunkist skiing. Definitely not written that stuff's not written about Francisco. Yep. Yep. So it wasn't what I saw out for. But that was okay. I really enjoyed the the work. I was doing for a long while. Sorry. Company. Google wasn't it. Tawny? Little company. Then was it hard to get into. So we are in San Francisco and ally had birth been working for Google for quite a while. And that was that also left a lot with apple sorry. I think that was just the space sewer in and that that was just an ongoing client. Today, you know, working titties? What did that look like? What I was doing for them was very lodge and complex building integrated solar arrays for some of their campuses. Along wrist investigating them having earning their own infrastructure earned distribution network within the campuses. Regards to Google being very very, socially minded is that some of the sort of soul in the US that was more advanced than what we'd see here in Australia talking. Equal agenda pay skilled migrants talking disabilities. Did you see a lot of that in Google? I definitely did. I have strong targets for environmental environmental aspects. And. I wasn't really that close to what they were doing in terms of identity and things like that we see in. It was very strong that you that they pushed identity, and it was very evident that diversity within the office. Now just out of interest because yeah, we don't see that much from the states, and I know that supply nation to indigenous comb wealth body sort of mirror date organization over there in America. So it'd be interesting to know. So you're at Google you're in San Fran you like, I need warmer weather and weady head from the ruby. On their. I take a leave of absence to Hawaii. And I take that on a farm and farming Karas, which is a rich. Yeah. Potato. Hey, it's a bit like cater only get a much better for you. And just wonderful tasting. If you cook it properly, it's it's a really beneficial. That's terrible. It's funny funny because I'm reading doc, Amy and the author Bruce pest good on f. Sorry, if I get that wrong. He talks about Yam or a route. That was vomit around JR. Along area that the indigenous people Fum for thousands of years, very similar to other first nation groups in the islands. And obviously in Hawaii car is so important to the Hawaiian people, actually, it's collared in the Hawaiian. But it's so important to them that they believed that the ancestors evolved out of the collar plants the leaves that grow tall. So there is some significance to the to the culture. So that's very interesting. So you're in Hawaii. Now last time I spoke with you. You said you lived in a treehouse. Absolutely lived in St.. Renewable energy. Yes, I had drumming at a couple of solar panels and a battery that was in my thick and house, my fist rebound completely those nor Cala at all. So that was that was interesting, no power and no walls. So I shared that with the mosquitoes, and what you said you wanna ride. What you said you wanna ride back to culture? So. So the second one has passed. So you like, wow, this amazing. Did you go down to Jake or Hawaii's equivalent in grad, the Pennells and the cable yourself, actually, it means solution that was already there. But it wasn't working. When I first got walk near electrical engineering. You sold up problem is exactly. So I got up on the rickety tree house Ruth. And I found the panels were just quite daddy. So all I really needed was a good clean. And then they grade buttery charging, and and I've got excellent. So that's one for our listeners. Remember, always clean, your solar panels in next big difference. That's right. Awesome. Now, you've so you're in Hawaii and a new also lost. And we spoke. There was engineers without borders. Yeah. Yeah. I had actually had been in Hawaii for four weeks, and then returned to San Francisco, and I thought that I felt a lot better about being in an office again. And and I just didn't, sir. I decided I had to I had to leave. It wasn't for me anymore or at that point. So then I returned to Hawaii, and I spent four months there the second time, and I'd also apply to go and work with engineers about Boorda's volunteer in eighth year appeal. So I'm reading into a lot of trend in your life. Where you aren't really fitting the mold of what's expected. I think when you when you graduate, and you go way for big organization, and you do your time and you put the work in. And you get rewarded fifteen twenty years down the track on I'm sort of reading into that. That's the way you built ruby. And an odd question. If that's actually the way that anybody's built because I saw a lot. I saw a lot of people struggling with that. A lot of people not knowing if that was the mission, and what they really should have been doing a lot of people becoming kind of ill and on well, the amount of stress and the amount of expectations. But also RIC the working environment itself. Yeah. When we sit down with some of the big tier, ones and contractors, and we talk about doing some work. I usually opened the meeting with you have on shares two minutes away from sort of thing. And I say, well, I'm a cubby, man. I very he grew up in in Queensland in a small town and explain my culture, and what I found was people then would go around the room and explain the heritage before they would go into any qualifications or roles, and I thought that was really inspiring because we're starting to change culture from the outside in because a lot of these people have like you said the Mondaym nine to five reading of contracts looking over designs, you know, getting it implemented getting it delivered. And then you have someone come in who's a social enterprise in the first thing that I lead off is a story about culture about about life. I think everyone resonates of that. Really? Yeah. And okay, sorry. Now, you catch a plane from Hawaii to Ethiopia engineers without borders. What are your thoughts when you get off the plane in view? It's hot. It's dry in the south of Ethiopia eight-year beyond has very different climate throughout the very southern pot is full of it, really. You know, is it what you thought it was when when people I think straddling think of Africa in places like Ethiopia Eritrea, the Congo. They thinking, you know, low socioeconomic low quality of life living standards is that pretty much what it was when he got there. Or was it different? I run we're not to address a baba, which is the capital that was very different to what I expected for that. That's completely different to the refugee camps at odds union, the south it rains, it's called felt like I was still in San Francisco. It was it was not at all what you'd have in your mind. It's very green bit as waterfalls, and the there's a really big gap between you can say the wealth, and then you can say the extreme poverty within city, and it's a lot more developed than you might think as well. Yeah. So it is the prising. Cool. So you thought I'm coming over to help people. You get any like hang on a second. It looks like this some welfare that could be distributed. The way what do you go then? So you're at refugee camps that correct? Yes, I laid that baba very early the next morning, and I take a very tiny Totta plane down two and half hours south and then on the border of Kenya Somalia, an eighth year appeal and not use those words, very dry vit-. Just desert, really. And so your now these refugees that in a theater from Somalia and Kenya all from Kenya. Where where the refugees majority coming from her from Somalia base? Okay. Cool. And so your job is to. My job is to train refugee and hurts community cooperative's to design and install Sola mini grids. So Sola and batteries. That would have been very interesting. It definitely was listens. Very interesting, the panels and the equipment are they coming from like. From kenya? They coming from Ethiopia who to someone donate them. The whole ration- net is is almost fully funded by the IKEA foundation, and this is working with UNHCR so United Nations High Commissioner of refugees, and so their compound and their work is is quite heavily funded by the KEA foundation, and they purchased the equipment somebody purchased it before I got there long before I got there, and it it is in voted from the middle and big John invert is and batteries from Jimmy. So it's definitely not look anything like local. The people are wanting these mini of grids were is that for lack lot to read at night. Or is it to run a fan charge, a laptop, and I find what is it a majority for? So the first thing we targeted was the the house centers because they the shocking thing there was they had generators fun because of the limited availability of fuel and the cost of fuel. They might run the generator two hours a day or less. So there was no refrigeration to the vaccines, which is going bad because they need to be constantly refrigerated. They would delivering babies at night using just the Mughal ferns using the white on their offerings to deliver babies. Sorry. There was just a lot of things oxygen machines, then it'd be people oxygen and those those are electric machines. They it just wasn't nothing there, which people. So we started there. That's did. You think it'd be that intense before you go there? I I actually thought it might be more intense. I wasn't sure exactly the situation that. 'cause there was it was good. It wasn't those no war torn people spilling spilling through the camp. It was it's quite a stable cat. So it was pleasant to say that at least from that point of view. That was good and they had set up some infrastructure already. So everybody had access to water, which is fantastic. What just energy had just not happened yet? So there was a clear correlation. There's something I like talking about between pow in the lack of and poverty. Isn't the the sort of a clear in because you can't get access to technology and equipment or internet Tibet you law, but then who's going to provide infrastructure because there's not really any interest ago build infrastructure refugee camp in yet sort of a catch twenty twenty. So let's take it back to now Australia we have over one hundred and fifty digital communities with over five hundred people in age running on diesel generators in it's not as bad as can you really compare it to what's happening in Ethiopia. But it's definitely not a good thing. And you've come back to a stray. And you've started your company, which is a linga. A linga which means what does that mean in your language, so Aline gate, use it and aboriginal, son? Gotta which is very fitting for my company because I was on energy and clean energy. And it all comes from the sun. Wholesome and the goal of lingers on amongst commercial activities is to go into these communities, and I'd with the transition of removing diesel generators as the primary source generation. Is that correct? Yeah. Definitely one of my target areas. And that's what I was doing in Ethiopia. So I've got I've got the experience, and that's what I'm passionate about. That's awesome. And UCLA similarities in culture with the peans in the way, things are set them with indigenous people here in Australia. This clarity that lay between just the remote nece and the white that we're delivering pal to remote areas. So that's and then also just the the limitation. So that that's putting on people in the struggles. And yeah. Schools. What's awesome? So you've been going now for how long's the Lindo being going for now? Set it up last year while I was in Ethiopia in July. So. Going on know what I'm going to do. Now pretty much. That's awesome. Awesome. It's definitely not going back to Google guy. It's tempting that would be excellent say comeback was set up on. I spent a couple of days in brother rat. We've had you into the city. There's some customers that we're looking at working with we've got aboriginal styles. We've got all the different housing commissions. We've got remote communities and all that sort stuff. I suppose the question is where is ruby in five years from now. Oh, well, I'd I'd love to be very well established in that area. Third that on helping many communities, and I'm on the go-to Bill for for that sort of stuff. Yeah. That's that's my name to get this debate. Trouble. The trouble is much. You can go for the boy. For the both of us. As much as I love catching a plane to dominant and catching a little dinky plane for another five out to the middle of nowhere. Think will elect you to that from now on. That's excellent team. That's all we've pretty much go full today. I wanna keep talking this so much stuff to unravel about you'll story, I suppose we'll finish out with your culture in your mob. So we're that's what was your from your heritage indigenous heritage for my family is from the the Kimberley very do the jar ru people from the Kimberley on and the out specifically to be playing which is where my name comes from. That's the actual rabies at in those planes. Oh, I if there is I'm I'll probably have to go. No, that's excellent. That's really inspiring. And the next week actually have Namie Dickinson. Another female electrical engineer, he'll be sharing some of the stuff she's gone through. But he has really great to have you on today. Here you'll store in. Hey, y'all pretty much how you knew that you will cold social entrepreneurship, you sort of found that out when she went to Ethiopia Malaka does have to run in a prize that gives back, and that's pretty much what stories since routes. I thank you so much for coming on today. Is there anything else you'd like to finish out with? Oh. Not just the fact that when you said social entrepreneurship, I had to to think about what that actually meant. Because to me, it must be the bubble that I mean, but I just kinda think that everybody starts this business to benefit people in some ways. So that was a little bit interesting for me. Oh, not everyone. Does that? I think the difference between a social entrepreneurs and entrepreneur isn't a social entrepreneur is super intentional about decisions made for us at a boondoggle. We say if does it increase more into the indigenous economy, you know, whether that's wages contractors or. Using other indigenous businesses that's all that question at hinges on when we're about ninety nine percent of a way of making a decision between supplies all people we work with. And if it does increase that indigenous economy circular economy, then we say, yes. And sometimes to own detriment, you know, people talk about risk, and because the indigenous marketplace's is still very young and it stage, and it's maturing. There's a lot of new businesses. No, new startups such as yourself, and we just believe stress built on everyone having a affair go. So. Yeah. So we try to practice. But. Yeah. And as you know, it is hotter than you think. When you start a social because you think people would just jump on board because you're doing the right thing. But at the end of the dice estimate commercial sense. It's beautiful awesome. Thanks, ruby. Thanks for coming on. And we'll probably get you back on. I think later in the year to catch up and see how lingers going. Thanks for gesturing. See let up but.