Staff snapshot: Emeritus Professor Stuart Hill

Profile image of Emeritus Professor Stuart Hill
Dr Stuart Hill is Emeritus Professor and Foundation Chair of Social Ecology in the School of Education at Penrith campus (Kingswood).

Stuart recently received a Lifetime Achievement "Leadership for Sustainability Award" from Australia's Centre for Sustainability Leadership, recognising his scholarship, community engagement work, and role as a public intellectual.

Tell us about the work you do that led to this award:
My work at Western Sydney University included leading the Social Ecology group. It became recognised globally as a leader in offering a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate transdisciplinary programs that were informed by ecology, psychology and health studies, sociology and cultural studies, post-structuralism, critical theory, creativity and ecofeminism.

I was a key driver in persuading the University to become a signatory to the Talloires Convention for ecological sustainability. During my tenure, I gave over a dozen keynote presentations each year in which I championed the value of social ecology as the most effective framework for achieving deep understanding of local to global issues, and for planning and taking effective action. Throughout my career I have published more than 350 papers and reports, co-authored four books, and authored over 30 book chapters.

Prior to coming to the University I conducted one of the first whole-ecosystem studies (in the mid-60s – for which I received awards for Best PhD and Best PhD Student); established the first Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in a university (in 1974); redesigned a coralline island in the Indian Ocean to be self-sufficient in food and energy (in the Seychelles); was an advisor to various government ministers (in Canada); and from 2004 to 2005 was appointed as Provocateur for the Victorian Government (for Department of Primary Industries and Department of Sustainability and Environment).

What roles have you had at the University?
I came to the University as Foundation Chair, Professor and Head of the School of Social Ecology. I served as an Executive in various Schools and Faculties. I also served on the UWS Hawkesbury Research Committee and Promotions Committee, and was Chair of the Environment Studies Forum.

Describe your current work with the University:
Some of my work at the University includes presenting guest lectures in Social Ecology and Education, giving graduation addresses, supporting postgraduate students and providing academic writing workshops. In my many external roles (on the Editorial Boards of several academic journals, as a frequent keynote speaker at conferences, and as an active public intellectual) I promote the scholarship and social roles of our institution.

What do you love most about working at the University?
Inspiring students and colleagues, and providing support for Social Ecology. I am particularly proud of the University's commitment to equity and community engagement.

I believe that Western Sydney University has made great progress over its years of existence, yet it has only scratched the surface of its potential.

What are you going to be working on in the next 12 months?
I will continue to write and publish, give workshops and presentations in a range of areas (deep leadership, ecological sustainability, sustainable food systems, etc.), as well as chair conferences and maintain a dialogue with many other scholars and activists around the world. Many of my past presentations may be viewed and downloaded online (opens in a new window).