Sustainable Futures has 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 UNU RCE Greater Western Sydney centre. We have links with local councils, NGOs, local government and we can also arrange degree-based projects, internships and volunteering opportunities with our partners.
This international travel opportunity is for WSU undergraduate students to in Sogeri, Papua New Guinea (PNG) in July 2020 (during winter break). We have 15 x $3,000 funded scholarships to for undergradaute students studying ANY* degree to engage in a global experience via the New Colombo Plan (NCP) mobility program. During this program, students learn about our World War 2 legacy with PNG, have to chance to walk on the Kokoda Trail and engage in sustainability in action through research for systemical development. Download the PNG trip flyer (PDF, 1872.08 KB) (opens in a new window) to read more about the experience, *eligibility criteria and draft trip schedule. Applications to apply for this trip close 29 March 2020. Please research this destination before applying.
Managing Sustainability in the Philippines, 2020
This international travel opportunity is for WSU undergraduate students to in Bohol, Philippines in July 2020 (during winter break). We have 20 x $3,000 funded scholarships to for undergraduate students studying Science (any discipline) to engage in a global experience via the New Colombo Plan (NCP) mobility program. During this program, students will engage in science in action through research and will take deeper look at how a small tourist destination is changing in response to increased tourism and rapid development challenges. Students will undertake their own research projects in small teams connected to local partners that will generate data that will be used in the future management of this beautiful locations. Download the Bohol trip flyer (PDF, 347.37 KB) (opens in a new window) to read more about the experience, eligibility criteria and draft trip schedule. Applications to apply for this trip close January 2020.
Fridays for the Future, 2020
In a partnership between Student Experience Office and Sustainable Futures, across 2020 expect to see a wide range of sustainability activities, forums and discussions on a wide range of topics, with a particular focus on climate action, across all campuses. Follow our WesternLife (opens in a new window) page to be notified of upcoming events.
Past Student Experiences
International NCP: Sustainability in Action
Forty-five Western Sydney students undertook an international mobility program with Sustainable Futures in 2019 . Funded by the Australian Government New Colombo Plan, the programs focused on the perspectives of sustainability to critically examine themes of community development, rural livelihoods, tourisms impacts and conversation in view of the SDGs. These immersive programs took students to Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and rural China. Students were given the opportunity to work on real-world projects, undertaking first-hand research as part of an intensive internship or their academic program. “The moment you get to the destination and realise just how much your research project could impact the people living there, it is an unreal experience and a fantastic learning opportunity. This NCP trip definitely opened my eyes to the opportunities I could have in the future. After taking this trip, I have decided to apply for my Master of Research.”, student after Philippines trip
International: RCE SDG Youth Challenge
The RCE Asia-Pacific SDG Youth Challenge “Youth for the Goals” is an international, place-based initiative run annually that connects youth leaders working in their own communities to a larger global platform. The aim of the SDG Youth Challenge is to mobilise and motivate youth across the region to get involved and take action. Each project is distinctive yet are all working towards a common goal which unites them. This Challenge has a global impact and models how to successfully mobilise existing sustainability networks to engage with youth in a meaningful and empowering way. It takes on the global agenda for sustainable development directly through education and partnerships to localises the goals for each place. The initiative targets youth at all levels of learning and from a wide range of social contexts and cultural backgrounds, to transform education delivery and to develop knowledge, skills, values and behaviours needed for sustainable development.
International: Youth Leadership Program in Sustainable Development
Students Jessica Campion (B. Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security) and Jenny Fitzgerald (B. Animal Science/Zoology) participated in a week long intensive program in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in September 2017. The course focused on climate change and community resilience and gave them opportunity to work with youth from the Asia-Pacific region to create innovative solutions that will improve quality of life for all.
International: Bridge to the World Youth Camp
The 2nd Bridge to the World International Youth Camp held in Tongyeong, South Korea, supported 3 Western Sydney students to partake in a 2-week intensive focusing on Sustainable Development in July 2017. Students Shannon Khalifeh (B. Law/B. Science), Isabelle Figatowski (B. Science) and Sam Opt'Land (M. Teaching/B. Social Science (Geography and Urban Studies), along with 30 other delegates from 13 different countries, learnt how to become leaders in their communities and support local change.
Local: Social Sustainability with St Vinnies
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.
Local: Leachate with Parramatta Council
Parramatta City Council (PCC) supported Natural Science students in their field studies project. 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.
Local: 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.
Local: P.E.A.C.E. Unlimited
Western Sydney University students have created the ‘P.E.A.C.E. Unlimited’ student club - an acronym for Partnership, Education, Awareness, Campaign, and Empowerment. They are working to develop a framework to expand active projects, institute new initiatives, and cultivate partnerships. ‘P.E.A.C.E. Unlimited’ aims to disrupt unsustainable practices and current ideologies while also empowering people to become active change agents throughout their University and wider community. The student team were awarded a very competitive UNAI and MCN Millennium Fellowship in 2018 to help support and elevate students' leadership for the Sustainable Development Goals. Find them on Facebook (opens in a new window).
Local: HOPE Students for Sustainability Conference
The first national Students for Sustainability (S4S) professional conference was based on the theme "HOPE for the Future" held in September 2015 at Western Sydney University. The theme explored the social and environmental impacts of our society with focus on empowering youth with knowledge and skills to lead into us into the future. Thirty-two undergraduate and honours students professionally presented and shared their game changing solutions and stories of success, whilst advancing their own knowledge of current and emerging sustainability issues outside of their discipline areas from others. The conference streams were focused around on food, ethics and environment with the underpinning notions of sustainability, design and innovation. Over 110 attendees participated over two days, representing 17 national universities, 25 different degrees.
See the difference a Tea Bag can make as student Cheryl Jendrachowski shares how the Tea Bag Project started.
See how the Bridges to the World Event in South Korea made a difference to our Western students.