Real World Learning
The Office of Sustainability is located in the Learning Futures Portfolio with the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning Transformations) Professor Simon Barrie. This provides us with a renewed focus on Education for Sustainability (EfS) and curriculum transformation. We aim to connect our students to real world learning opportunities within a structured learning environment and we can match student with potential sustainability themed work placement and research project placements via our UN RCE Greater Western Sydney centre. We have links with local councils, NGOs, government instrumentalities and we can also arrange degree-based projects, internships and volunteering opportunities with our partners.
Case Study: Social Sustainability with St Vinnies
In 2016 final year marketing students in the School of Business are compiling marketing plans for St Vincent de Paul, as part of their capstone marketing unit: Marketing Planning Project. This project is a win-win for both the students and St Vinnies. The students are writing a marketing plan for an industry client and learning new skills and St Vinnies have near to professional marketing plans presented to them for their future marketing. The focus for the marketing plans is Vinnies' retail operations in Western Sydney. The students investigate the overall environment, customers, competitors, St Vinnies themselves and then devise strategies to take advantage of any opportunity or issue that they deem as critical. Students use a variety of information gathering tools including primary and secondary market research which allows insight into the marketplace. Students work to a budget but are able to be as creative as possible when devising solutions for Vinnies. The University and St Vinnies are looking forward to seeing a variety of creative marketing solutions from our budding marketers.
Case Study: Laura and Leachate – Parramatta Council
Parramatta City Council (PCC) are supporting Natural Science students in their field studies project throughout 2016. Laura Jones is investigating whether an ex-landfill site is contaminating a near-by creek with leachate in Dundas Valley through macro-invertebrate collection and water quality testing. A pilot study was undertaken in April, with preliminary results aligning with that of typical urban streams impacted by pollution. Laura is in the final stages of collecting her data and will prepare a final official report for PCC that will assist future planning and programs. Other third year research topics this year include duck behaviour at Lake Parramatta, Cumberland Plain Land Snail distribution in Parramatta LGA and a Frog study at Baludarri Wetlands.
World Solar Challenge
Integrated within the university, the Solar Car Team bring students out from a theoretical world into a more practical environment to apply their knowledge and expand their horizons. We are made up of undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines ranging from engineering, computing, business, media & communications. The racing car showcase cutting-edge sustainable engineering and demonstrate the incredible potential of electric vehicle technologies. By designing a car to run on solar power alone, they are driving the changes in vehicle efficiency and new technologies for a low-carbon future.
Student Study Tour is the Philippines: Eco-Tourism, Agriculture and Sustainability
"International Perspectives for Sustainable Development" study program supported by the Office of International at Western Sydney connected 10 Western Sydney University students with local government officials, schools and farmers in the Philippines. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Tourism Management undertaking the Destination Management Unit, along with Bachelor of Natural Science (Environmental Management) and Bachelor of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security studying Environmental Planning and Climate Change, undertook a week long transformative study tour in April 2017.
Based in the Bohol, the students learnt about sustainable development, land-use, eco-tourism and embraced the local cultures. Students experienced first hand and research the impacts and challenges of local urban planning and poverty in the contexts of climate change developing ecological agriculture, conservation and eco/agri- tourism in a largely subsistence Asian farming economy.
Students Study Tour in South Korea: Regional Tourism Forum
"The Business of Sustainable Tourism" program funded by the Australian Commonwealth's New Colombo Plan Mobility Project connected eight Western Sydney University students with local tourism networks in South Korea. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Tourism Management undertaking the Destination Management Unit, along with two University staff, undertook a two-week transformative study tour in July 2016.
Supported by the United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development network the students connected with students from Yonsei University and Gyeongsang National University during their stay. They participated in cultural tours, lectures, hands-on activities including a joint session on Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and a Regional Tourism and Policy Planning workshop attended by forty local tourist operators, organisations and local government members.
Telstra Innovation Challenge 2017
Do you know an innovative student or student group who could tackle Australia's largest problems in agriculture? Then encourage them to join the Telstra Innovation Challenge 2017. Telstra, in partnership with Landmark, are inviting all hackers, creators, and coders to join the Uni Telstra Innovation Challenge. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to work collaboratively with fellow innovators to produce real-world solutions to real-world problems facing Australian agriculture today. Not only will the finalists get to pitch their solution to an expert panel, but will also be in the running for a range of great prizes, and help build the future of Australia's agricultural industry. The Challenge starts 27 March 2017. For full program details and competition T&C please visit the Telstra website (opens in a new window).