University community celebrates World Environment Day

June 16 / 183

University staff have come together to brainstorm ways individuals can take action to reduce their environmental impact, as part of consultation on the Sustainability Charter.

Participants were also invited to vote about their key concerns in a live poll. Voters chose waste and consumption, food, and transport, to be the first three university-wide sustainability challenges to kick off second semester.

Speakers at the event were Director of the Office for Environmental Programs Associate Professor Kath Williams, ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and Environment Professor Kate Auty, and UMSU Environment Officer Anisa Rogers.

Ms Rogers said she found it inspiring to be able to work with others at the University who want to enact positive change.

“This event is a really important opportunity for staff and students to come together,” Ms Rogers said. “We can show that we have a community and that we can work together.”

Continuing with the community theme, Professor Auty described her experiences working in both Indigenous and farming communities, and the importance of starting small and building networks.

“Part of what happens with this sort of conversation is that you start to realise how important every small step, every small conversation, every handshake, every shared glass of water is in the journey,” Professor Auty said.

The event was organised by sustainability groups across the University, including the central Sustainability Team, UMSU Environment Department, the Office for Environmental Programs, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Graduate Student Association, and Melbourne Energy Institute. 

The upcoming sustainability challenge will empower individuals to take action, which fits into the wider-agenda of the University towards its carbon neutral goal by 2030.

The Sustainability Charter was launched earlier this year to define principles, values and high-level sustainability commitments for the University, and a detailed Sustainability Plan is currently being developed.

“The Sustainability Charter makes it really clear that through knowledge, imagination, and the action of this whole community, we’ll move closer to becoming the ecologically sustainable community we aspire to be,” Associate Professor Williams said.

Interested staff and students can find out more and sign-up to be a part of the sustainability challenges here.

Click here be involved with the Sustainability Plan consultation.

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