Sustainable development leaders inspire discussion as part of series

Western Sydney University is inviting the community to engage with its cutting-edge research as part of a series of thought-provoking events focused on sustainable development.

The ‘Thought Leadership’ series follows the University’s success in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings, where it ranked number one in the world for its social, ecological and economic impact.

Aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), events throughout 2023 will be hosted by a leading expert with topics to be explored including urban heat, inclusion, gender, and climate change.

Associate Professor Sebastian Pfautsch, from the University’s School of Social Sciences and Urban Transformations Research Centre, will host the first event for this year on Tuesday, 14 February at the Parramatta City campus titled ‘From Hot Suburbs to Cool Towns’.

A leading urban heat expert, Associate Professor Pfautsch explains as one of the most urbanised countries in the world, the expansion and densifying of Australian cities is making them hotter.

During his talk, Associate Professor Pfautsch will explore why it is necessary to pivot urban design and development to create heat-smart towns and cities, highlighting his extensive research into urban heat including in Greater Western Sydney.

The ‘Thought Leadership’ event series is an initiative linked to the University’s decadal strategy, Sustainability and Resilience 2030 (opens in a new window), which sets out an ambitious roadmap to address climate adaptation and mitigation, and social inequality.

For more information about the series, including to register to attend an event, please visit the web page (opens in a new window).


Tuesday, 14 February 2023: ‘From Hot Suburbs to Cool Towns’, Associate Professor Sebastian Pfautsch

Tuesday, 28 February 2023: ‘Life after school for young people with intellectual disabilities’, Dr Lise Mogensen

Wednesday, 8 March 2023: ‘Celebrating Female Scientists’, Women in Science panel

Tuesday, 14 March 2023: ‘What did Australia learn about Country after the 2020-21 catastrophic bushfires?’, Dr Jessica Weir

Wednesday, 26 April 2023: ‘Gender Matters’, Professor Susanne Gannon


6 February 2023

Media Unit

Image credit: Sally Tsoutas