Gemma's Book LaunchWelcome to my Media page, where you can find an extensive selection of interviews, talks and lectures I've given on the subject of the humanitarian sector and burnout culture.


This includes interviews I gave in the wake of the sexual misconduct scandal of 2018, a video of my book launch, and podcast interviews discussing my own personal journey of burnout and recovery, and awakening to anti-oppression strategies as part of my approach to staff wellbeing.


This is a great place for you to find out more about me - my humanitarian career, burnout and recovery, and how I came to write The Vulnerable Humanitarian. It is also where you can get more of an idea of the approach I take to ending burnout culture in the aid sector. 

Do write to me with any questions or feedback!

Service without Sacrifice

31 January 2024

In this podcast interview with Dimple Dhabalia, author of the book Tell Me My Story, we explore the power of vulnerability, grief, and how shifting our perspectives and sharing our stories in the humanitarian sector can help us more effectively do our work. And that to do this is an act of meaningful resistance against what society often expects of us. It is an important conversation at a time when connection and hope feel so vital in the face of huge suffering and division in the world.

Listen to the Podcast

The Heard Space podcast Episode 1: Burnout, recovery and vulnerability in the aid sector

17 January 2023

This is an interview recorded with a dear friend of mine and incredible writer and facilitator on vulnerability, leadership and culture change in organisations, Elloa Phoenix Barbour, as part of her podast The Heard Space. This is a great starting point if you want to find out more about my personal journey as a humanitarian, and why culture change in the aid sector is so important to me. More details here.

The Vulnerable Humanitarian: Book Launch

7 October 2021

The official book launch for The Vulnerable Humanitarian: Ending Burnout Culture in the Aid Sector, with guest speaker Atif Choudhury from Diversity and Ability. Filmed using Facebook Live.

How Leaders Can Help End Burnout in the Humanitarian Sector

4 October 2021

An interview with Torrey Peace for the Aid for Aidworkers Leadership podcast, exploring the role leaders can play in ending burnout culture, creating brave spaces and having courageous conversations about mental health. Listen to the podcast.

How to End Burnout Culture in the Aid Sector

1 June 2021

A webinar for the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen’s School of Applied Social Studies, exploring the main ideas in The Vulnerable Humanitarian, including the differences and inequalities between national and international staff, how stress is understood and approached in the aid sector and recommendations for ending burnout culture. Youtube video.

The CHS Global Gathering: Transforming Organisational Culture

21 May 2021

An online workshop held during the CHS Alliance Global Gathering on Living Our Values: Care, Culture and Power in Aid Organisations, in which I explore ideas and practices from The Vulnerable Humanitarian on how to change organisational culture and embed a culture of self- and collective care. Youtube video.

Making Staff Wellbeing an Anti-Racist, Anti-Colonial Endeavour

28 April 2021

A presentation recorded during the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership’s conference: Who are the Humanitarians? I discuss the main ideas in my book The Vulnerable Humanitarian, including feminist, anti-racist and decolonial approaches to stress, wellbeing and organisational change in the aid sector. Youtube video.

The Vulnerable Humanitarian

2 October 2020

An interview with Mary Ann Clements for the CHS Alliance Embodying Change podcast, exploring among others: the concept of the ‘perfect humanitarian’, the importance of vulnerability in the workplace, and why diversity and difference matters for our understanding of wellbeing.

Rethinking stress and wellbeing in the aid sector

6 August 2019

A podcast interview with Ian D. Quick for One Step Forward, exploring, among others: the concept of the ‘perfect humanitarian’, cultural and situational differences in approaches to stress, the drawbacks of technical/managerial styles of working in an idealistic sector, and how we achieve culture and systemic change for the better. Listen to the podcast.

Let’s not make stress in the aid sector only a white person’s problem

2 July 2019

An article for Open Democracy discussing the discourse on stress and mental health in the aid sector and the neglect of the lived realities of national staff and people from the Global South. Read the article.

Oxfam probing new sexual misconduct claims as scandal engulfs aid sector

20 February 2018

A feature piece and video discussing the ongoing reports of sexual abuse in aid organisations. Read the article

Life on compounds is removed from reality – this can fuel the misconduct of aid workers

19 February 2018

An article for the academic online magazine the Conversation, discussing the working culture and lifestyle of aid workers in humanitarian compounds. Read the article.

The Oxfam Scandal: How to keep predators away from the most vulnerable?

15 February 2018

A panel discussion about the implications of the sexual abuse and exploitation of local women in Haiti by Oxfam’s representative there in 2011. Read the article.