Community and Engagement

Think Global, Act Local

Western Sydney University continues to be connected and engaged with our region. We have a wide range of programs and initiatives from school's outreach, work integrated learning placements and strong research partnerships that demonstrate this commitment. The University hosts one of  five Australian Regional Centre's of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development - RCE Greater Western Sydney (opens in a new window)  (RCE-GWS). Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs) are endorsed by the United Nations University (UNU). They bring together multi stakeholder educational networks including, Universities, TAFE, Schools, NGOs, Local Councils and Government instrumentalities in a specific region to link and leverage sustainability outcomes.

RCE-GWS sets out to establish a model of how the linked challenges of social, economic and environmental sustainability can be addressed through an integrated process of collaboration between the multiple partners from institutions, organisations, businesses, community groups and local councils. Our  network has identified the following broad challenges for the region and we work collaboratively with our partners under these themes:

  • Transitioning to a low carbon economy
  • Developing sustainable communities; health, housing and transport
  • Ensuring peri urban agricultural sustainability and food security
  • Conserving biodiversity and river health

Youth Eco Summit

The inaugural award winning Youth Eco Summit (opens in a new window)  takes place at the Newington Armoury in Sydney Olympic Park and is a flagship initiative of the UN RCE GWS with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and NSW Public Schools. The summit has now been running for over 5 years with more than 10,000 students from primary and secondary schools across Sydney, regional NSW, nationally and internationally, together with over 100 organisations to showcase and workshop environmental projects with students. This summit providesresented opportunities for young people to creatively express what 'sustainability' means for them.

Love Food Hate Waste

The University is an associated partner in the Love Food Hate Waste Program. The Office of Sustainability runs student workshops each year to promote the issues of wasting food and tip to help you waste less food to benefit your wallet and our environment at the Hawkesbury EarthCare Centre. Love Food Hate Waste aims to raise awareness about the impact of food waste in NSW and reduce how much 'good' food we waste. Love Food Hate Waste is managed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) partnering with corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations committed to reducing food waste in NSW.

Please see the clip below as an example of the workshops held at the Hawkesbury Earthcare Centre between the Office of Sustainability and Henry Doubleday with students from the Hawkesbury campus.