The winners of the 2013 Green Gown Awards Australasia, presented by Ecosave, were announced at a fabulous dinner and award ceremony at the Scenic WatervieW in Bicentennial Park, Sydney on 26 September 2013.The evening was an extremely positive celebration for institutions undertaking sustainability and showcasing their achievements and was opened with an address from Robin Archibald, CEO, Ecosave.
In their fourth year, the Awards recognise sustainability excellence and this year drew winners in nine categories, with over 40 institutions involved, representing over 20% of the sector. Judged by a panel of independent experts representing 26 sector representatives, the judges were delighted with the high calibre and diverse selection of entries.
The Carbon Reduction category was awarded to Deakin University for tackling the thorny issue of transport between campuses, reducing over 1300 tonnes of CO2 eq. The University of Wollongong for their highly inspirational Illawara Flame House initiative, in the student Initiatives category, winning the international solar decathlon competition, as the sole Australian participant challenging university students to design, build and operate solar powered houses. Griffith University, winning the learning and teaching category for ‘greening their MBA’ being the first Australian business school to commit to the principles for responsible management education, and TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute, for social responsibility, embracing social inclusion and environmental outcomes for our most vulnerable community members.
New for 2013 is the ACTS Award of Excellence individual award – which saw AYCC International Coordinator and sustainability advocate Natasha Lay from the University of Technology, Sydney take out the top gong. Voted on by members – Natasha is an inspiration to her peers and was shortlisted with four other exceptional candidates. James Cook University claimed the covered ACTS Award of Excellence – Institutional award, from last year’s winner University of Tasmania.
Organisers are delighted to have a winner from New Zealand, Unitec Institute of Technology, who won the smaller institutions award for going green at Unitec. TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute show cased their tremendous ‘learning about nature’ initiative for pre -school children within the skills for sustainability category and Sunshine Coast TAFE won the extremely popular Continuous Improvement Institutional Change category for reTHINK for sustainability.
The most popular category – Learning & Teaching was this year developed in collaboration with Learning & Teaching Sustainability and the Office of Learning and Teaching and used the excellent sustainability.edu.au website in the submission process.
In their second year the International Green Gown Awards will see the Australasian winners compete with the UK winners to claim the ‘international’ title in three categories, – Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change, Social Responsibility and Student Initiatives. They will be announced in the UK on 12 November 2013. We wish our 3 Australasian winners the best of luck. ACTS is also delighted that the 2014 international Awards will be coming to Australasia and will be announced in Hobart on 6 November 2014.
Student Initiatives winner and finalist in the international Green Gown Awards Michael Whitehouse, a master students and services manager of team UOW said “This is a fantastic achievement for the team to receive recognition for our efforts for sustainability from here in Australia as well as China”.
Also commenting on the 2013 Awards, Leanne Denby – President of Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) said “we are overwhelmed by the response to this year’s Green Gown Awards Australasia, with winners delighting at the prestige of their accolade. The calibre of initiatives within the sector is extremely high, with all nominees deserving commendation”.
The Green Gown Awards Australasia ceremony was held in conjunction with the 13th International ACTS Conference, attended by international and national sustainability practitioners from the tertiary education sector, business and government. The Awards presented by Ecosave were proudly sponsored by Mojarra, Learning and Teaching Sustainability and the office of learning and teaching, Keep Cup and Envizi.
Carbon Reduction *Sponsored by Mojarra*
- Winner: Deakin University “There and back again, a tale of intercampus sustainable transport”
- Highly Commended: AUT University “Three pronged approach to reducing CO2 emissions – energy, transport and waste”
- Highly Commended: University of Wollongong “Moving the masses – a commuter revolution”
Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change *Sponsored by Envizi*
- Winner: Sunshine Coast TAFE “reTHINK for sustainability@sunshine Coast TAFE”
- Highly Commended: Griffith University “Leadership focused on sustainability”
Learning & Teaching *Sponsored by Learning and Teaching Sustainability*
- Winner: Griffith University “Griffith MBA”
- Highly Commended: University of Tasmania “UTAS’ Academic Operations Sustainability Integration Program (AOSIP)”
- Highly Commended: University of Technology, Sydney “Accountants: The New Climate Change Warriors”
Skills for Sustainability
- Winner: TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute “Early Years Bush Connections”
- Winner: TAFE NSW – Western Sydney “Building sustainable communities by strengthening the wellbeing of individuals and families”
- Highly Commended: Curtin University “John Curtin Weekend”
- Winner: Unitec Institute of Technology “Going Green at Unitec”
- Highly Commended: Sunshine Coast TAFE “reTHINK for sustainability@sunshine Coast TAFE”
Student Initiatives *Sponsored by KeepCup*
- Winner: University of Wollongong “Sunsational – Team UOW’s Illawarra Flame Sustainable House”
- Highly Commended: La Trobe University “Australian Environmental Law Moot”
- Highly Commended: The University of Adelaide “Waste Watchers – Bin Monsters Come Alive”
ACTS Award of Excellence – Institutional
- James Cook University
ACTS Award of Excellence – Individual
- Natasha Lay, University of Technology, Sydney