Call for gardeners and greenies to sow seeds for a sustainable future

Kathy Nguyen

Western Sydney University is going green, one garden at a time – and the accumulating crops have prompted a call for more environmentally-savvy student volunteers.

The Environment Collective (EC) is a new student group which channels its energies into creating more green spaces and leading more sustainable practices on campus.

Kathy Nguyen, a Bachelor of Natural Science student and the Secretary of the EC, said planning is underway for a range of on-campus and virtual initiatives in 2021 that students are invited to be a part of.

“You don’t have to be a ‘hard-core greenie’ to join The Environment Collective – you just need to be willing to meet up and occasionally get your hands dirty,” said Kathy.

The EC maintains two campus gardens, ‘The Grove’, located opposite the Library at the Kingswood campus and ‘The Croft,’ located behind the Secret Garden at the Hawkesbury campus.

Kathy Nguyen

Kathy said each garden aims to provide a natural space for people to gather around and come together.

“The Grove is a new space that we are working to establish in 2021. The aim is for it to be a small, self-watering garden that we will use as a demonstration space – to show students that it’s possible to have a productive garden with very little space and very little maintenance,” said Kathy.

“The Croft is on 500 square metres of land and grows a much larger variety of produce. We have a working session at Hawkesbury every Saturday to tend to the gardens, and we always need more helpers.”

In 2020, the EC started a popular series of online DIY Workshops, teaching students how to make their own environmentally-friendly beauty and cleaning products during lockdown.

“In our most recent workshop, we made beeswax wraps – which is basically a piece of cotton cloth, covered in beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil, which is reusable, compostable, and can be used for up to six months as an alternative to food covers and cling wrap,” she said.

32 people registered for the event and were posted care packages of ingredients prior to the workshop. Participants were then stepped through the process of making their beeswax wraps in an online Zoom session.

The DIY Workshops are continuing this year as part of the University’s Summer Series. The upcoming workshops, which will include making homemade kombucha and soy melts, will be advertised on WesternLife.(opens in a new window)

Western has a range of Collectives that students can join, including:

  • Women’s Collective
  • Queer Collective
  • Indigenous Student Council
  • Disability Collective
  • Ethno-cultural Collective

Each Collective is wholly independent, student-led, and supported by Student Representation & Participation.(opens in a new window)


22 February 2021

Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer