The Sustainable Transitions Engaged Research Hub (SISTER-Hub) is a platform for co-developing partnerships across academia, industry and civil society. Embracing evidence-based science and creative approaches to enact meaningful change, Sister-Hub develops place-based knowledge to inform current research, actions and practices on sustainable transitions in Greater Western Sydney.

Housed at the Institute for Culture and Society, SISTER- Hub is a partnerships platform bringing members from across the Greater Sydney region to work together to co-produce new knowledge for sustainability transitions. The University’s campuses occupy the traditional lands of the Darug, Tharawal, Gandangarra, Bundjalung and Wiradjuri peoples, and today are thriving living labs for innovation and collaboration through local, national and global research partnerships. While Western’s neighbourhood gives it a unique perspective on the interdependence of natural, urban and agricultural systems, our research extends beyond the region and is oriented to the grand challenges and impacts of global environmental change, including those described in the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

As a platform for sharing research, consultation, methodologies and results, Sister-Hub draws on social-ecological systems thinking and practice to implement novel evidence-based and creative approaches to build capacity across public, private and community industry partners.

SISTER-Hub works to:

  • Co-develop frameworks for the implementation of partnerships and research translation, to build social capital and activate new collaborative ways to create long-term sustainable value to communities, business, and government.
  • Through events and stakeholder-workshops, we create communities of practice across sectors and disciplines through projects that are of direct relevance to partners. We develop priorities that are not independently attainable by identifying key regional focal areas and hotspots for policy intervention.
  • Establish a digital repository of resources to provide cutting edge social analysis and share existing and emerging knowledge in response to current advances on the local and global environment and sustainability issues.
  • Act as a cost-effective research development platform to improve competitive advantage in securing government funding for collaborative partnerships. Offer industry partners access to world-class research expertise through tax benefits. Leverage local and national investment in targeted urban sustainability sectors, including industry and other research end-users.

Sister-Hub is aligned with Western Sydney University’s Research Theme Champions Initiative and its research focus is on three clusters:

  • Urban Climates - improve liveability in climate-ready cities by optimising strategies and practices to ‘future-proof’ our cities in contexts of extreme climates, with a focus on urban heat mitigation and air pollution reduction.
  • Representative landscapes - integrate environmental ethics, evidence-based science, urban design, and Indigenous knowledges to protect and enhance urban landscapes, water management, biodiversity hotspots and green/blue corridors across urban and metropolitan rural areas.
  • Planetary health - safeguard the health and well-being of Western Sydney citizens through good stewardship of the region's unique natural systems, embracing more sustainable food systems, affordable energy and housing, and acting in more integrative ways to respond effectively to existing and new health challenges.

These respond to challenges set in the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals agenda.