Yezmin Assad is cracking the code for Australian wildlife this International Women’s Day

08 Mar. 2023
Jane Palmer/AWC

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re shining a spotlight on Yezmin Assad – an AWC employee using cutting-edge technology to help protect Australia’s threatened species from extinction. 

The 2023 IWD theme set by the United Nations “Cracking the code: Innovation for a gender-equal future” highlights the role that bold, transformative ideas, technologies, and education can play in combatting discrimination and the marginalisation of women globally.  

“To crack the code to gender equality, we need to leverage technologies, embrace disruptive innovation and ensure access to education – to combat generational and systemic gender-based discrimination, embedded in our cultural bias for generations.” – UN Women Australia

Leveraging innovative technologies is something Yezmin Assad knows all about, as one of the bright minds on AWC’s Information Technology team.

Yezmin Assad

Born and raised in Argentina, Yezmin completed a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering at Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto before joining AWC as an intern in 2021. Recognising her potential, Yezmin was quickly recruited by the non-profit on a part-time basis while she simultaneously completed an Advanced Diploma in Telecommunications Network Engineering at the National Institute of Technology in Perth. Upon completion of her studies, she was awarded the 2021 WA International VET Student of the Year and asked to join the AWC IT team full-time as a ‘Network & Telecommunication Specialist’.

Over the last two years, Yezmin has played a significant and hands-on role in setting up and trialling Internet of Things (IoT) devices in remote regions of Australia, including on AWC’s Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary in the WA Wheatbelt and Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary in the Avon Valley. These devices combine GPS data, 24/7 vibration and acceleration detection to monitor the integrity of the feral predator-proof fences that house and protect reintroduced and threatened species.

Currently, Yezmin is trialling IoT devices to notify AWC head office when a gate is opened and for how long. She is also testing a water presence detector to detect any water flowing under the fence, indicating holes or potential breaches by which feral predators might be able to enter the fenced area. This suite of new technology is a first for AWC and could be the future of informing and delivering conservation.

A young woman stands in front of a grey fence looking at a handheld device Damien Kerr/AWC
Yezmin setting up IoT devices at Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Australia.
A young woman holds two thumbs up while standing in front of a solar panel Damien Kerr/AWC
Yezmin setting up IoT devices at Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Australia.

Today and every day, AWC celebrates the immense contribution made by women across our organisation, working on the frontline as field ecologists and land managers; and in critical roles in development, communications, IT, legal, finance, human resources, and operations. 

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