Special Issue on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Making a Difference on a Local and Global Scale

As we welcome you to this special edition of Future-Makers, we are delighted and proud to again share with you a landmark moment for Western Sydney University, as we are recognised as number one worldwide in the 2022 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings — an international acknowledgment of our efforts to drive social transformation. The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across four areas: research; stewardship; outreach; and teaching.

As a leading advocate for the region, Western is embedded in the economic, cultural, and social life of Greater Western Sydney — a region experiencing first-hand many of the sustainability and resilience challenges of the 21st century, including rapid urban growth, urban heat and areas of socio-economic disadvantage. In this SDG Special Issue of Future-Makers, we bring you the stories of Western’s research excellence, demonstrating our strong commitment to tackling society’s grand challenges and supporting a more just and equitable world. The issue is testament to the staunch resolution of our researchers to making a societal impact by reducing inequality, addressing issues like food and water security and the effects of climate change, both locally and globally.

The range of research stories presented to you in this special edition of Future-Makers provide insights into the impactful work of our researchers across a number of SDGs. The issues tackled include combating Islamophobia through innovative multimedia tools, greening our cities by planting vegetation along light rail tracks, managing plastic packaging waste, understanding how people with intellectual disability experience the transition from school to adult life, boosting diabetes prevention through community intervention, making sport more inclusive through flexibility in dress codes, and using the stories of society’s most vulnerable to effect positive change for renters, to enhancing survival rates of koalas.

This research breaks new ground, offering solutions to the challenges faced by the modern world. We encourage you to read these stories, and to connect and collaborate with our researchers to co-investigate and co-create a more conscious, healthy, equitable, and sustainable society.

Professor Barney Glover AO
Vice-Chancellor and President 

Professor Deborah Sweeney
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President 
(Research, Enterprise and International)

Explore the SDG Special Issue