Education for sustainability students rally in support of climate action

The release of the 15th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) brought new currency to our (in)action on climate change. Millennials have never lived in a world that was not constantly getting hotter. They are also in the hot seat when it comes to dealing with the impacts of environmental degradation.  To help equip young people and coming generations to respond to this challenge undergraduate students at Western Sydney University are offered the opportunity to learn about the issues and what they can do to promote a sustainable future.

Dr Brenda Dobia from the School of Education explains that education is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. “The challenges we face are unprecedented. We don’t have all the answers. We need to learn our way out of it. Understanding the evidence about what is happening to the planet and what is driving it is an important start. But this can be overwhelming. Education that inspires hope and empowers young people to take action is absolutely critical.”

Focusing on the positive impact of community action, students in Education for Sustainability complete their learning by running a Sustainability Expo. This semester they came together at the university’s Parramatta South campus for the Sustainability Expo to raise awareness for global warming, affordable energy, waste management and sustainability issues.

More than 130 students were involved, with the teams focusing on at least two of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDN). Many of the goals relate back to combatting climate change as one of the biggest challenges of our time. Western Sydney University is one of only ten universities in the region committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

The sustainability expo featured food, fun activities and free samples. One team addressed the urgent issue of deforestation displaying water samples that show the effect of trees on green land versus barren land.  They also gave away free seeds. Another team looked at biodiversity at the Great Barrier Reef, educating visitors on the rapid decline in turtle species that only exist there in such concentration. A project team focusing on composting and recycling handed out pencils that you plant in the soil and seeds will sprout!

Western Sydney University offers a number of study majors and modules related to climate change, which are in high demand by students across a range of degrees ranging from Science, to Business, to Humanities, to Law. Combined with specialisations in entrepreneurship, climate change studies at the University empowers students to think about and shape the world they will inherit in new ways. More on Sustainability Learning for the 21st Century.

In related news:

Taking a positive step in engaging and empowering millennials and their communities with the issues of a changing climate, Western Sydney University has launched a new awareness campaign Earth IQ. Through multimedia storytelling, expert commentary and activations, Earth IQ is a way of inspiring a generation to embrace more mindful and sustainable living - one carbon footprint at a time.

Find out more at or follow the conversation using #EarthIQ


5 November 2018

Isabel Wagner, Senior Media Officer