The 5th PRME Chapter Australia & New Zealand Forum was hosted and took place at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia with representatives from academia and industry coming together to celebrate 10 years of PRME and to discuss topics relevant to the meetings theme ‘Inspire, Motivate, Engage, Act‘ (IMEA) in regards to realising the Sustainable Development Goals.
Inspire reviewed our growth over the last 10 years and provided us an opportunity to congratulate our wisest PRME members, LaTrobe, Griffith and Waikato for having the insight and stamina to sign as the first PRME signatories in AUSNZ and remain committed and active ever since. We have had steady growth since this time and took the opportunity to celebrate officially becoming an Established Chapter with all signatories present signing the MOU.
Motivate engaged rich discussion around student engagement tools, achievements for 2017 and hopes for 2018. Prior to the forum all attendees sat the Sulitest. We discussed our thoughts on using the Literacy Sustainability Test in our classrooms and set an action to design our own AUSNZ set of questions. We engaged in another online test conducted under ‘The Ignorance Project’ (the Gapminder test). This test is very quick to enact and allowed us to engage in discussions around what we know/don’t know about current global development progress. Each PRME signatory institution then had an opportunity to briefly present their achievements for 2017 and their hopes for 2018. Areas discussed included; curriculum mapping, international collaborations – SDG workshops in regional areas, communities of practice, sustainability majors, research centres, accreditation requirements, film and case study examples, web pages, citizenship day, BCorp certification, SDSN membership, industry partnerships/engagement, learning outcomes, vision/mission modifications, position descriptions and students engagement test/quizzes.
Engage provided the opportunity to hear from an enriching panel that included;
- Alice Cope, Executive Director UN Global Compact Australia
- Anna Stewart, Head of Corporate Sustainability ANZ
- Sue Noble, CEO Volunteering Victoria 2012 – Oct 2017
- Giselle Weybrecht, PRME Secretariat Representative
- Sarah Goulding, DFAT
- Soyuma Gupta, Deakin student
The panel discussed how their sector has been impacted by the SDGs since their introduction, what are realistic SDG goals and potential collaboration support. Sarah Goulding from DFAT discussed the Voluntary National Review (VNR) report that is being put together by SDSN/Aus Govt for delivery in 2018.
Act enabled Chapter members to consider what being an Established Chapter means and we discussed and opened nominations for a small steering committee that would work on common core needs and begin to build a sustaining Chapter. From the Motivate session, key themes arose around;
- Student engagement activities (WikiRate, Aim2Flourish, Literacy Tests) and embedding SDGs in the curriculum
- Building communities of practices within Faculty and across university/universities
- Mapping SDGs across curriculum and research and
- Research and cross sector collaboration
If you would like to participate in the activities of the PRME Chapter AUSNZ, or to receive more information on PRME Chapters, contact PRME Chapter AUSNZ Coordinator, Belinda Gibbons (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sydney Business School University of Wollongong, Australia.