GGAA 2014 - Social Responsibility - University of Western Sydney - Winner

Tags: awards | education | International | learning | change | social | Action | schools | youth

Youth Eco Summit – Linking and leveraging social responsibility and sustainability in GWS and beyond

The unique internationally recognised Youth Eco Summit (YES) held annually in Greater Western Sydney has multiple impacts for fostering sustainability action and social change through engaged learning. With a local and global reach YES includes hands-on workshops, seminars, displays and active learning projects for over 8,500 students and their teachers from 240 schools and links in 45 different service providers and educators. Some 90% of teachers observed improvements in student knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues and challenges. 

Top 3 learnings:

  • Have a clear vision.
  • Be collaborative – listen, link and only then lead.
  • Good ideas with no idea of how to implement them are wasted ideas.

What it means to win:

“UWS has a strong commitment to the principles of Ecological Sustainable Development and Education for Sustainability as reflected by the UWS Sustainability Agenda and Environmental Management Plan. We would be delighted to receive Green Gown in recognition for our work on these initiatives.”
– Rhonda Hawkins Acting Vice Chancellor

What the judges said:

The judges really liked this project which was on a very large scale, impacting a lot of students in many different groups/networks. It has significant social impacts, engaging broader aspects of the community besides which it was intended. It’s a perfect example of how a university can become a good neighbour and an integral part of its local and wider community. It also demonstrated a broader impact as teachers felt more confident to teach sustainability in schools, thus having a significant ripple effect.