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ACTS is a non-profit member based organisation representing higher and further education institutions within Australia and New Zealand. We aim to inspire, promote and support change towards best practice sustainability within the operations, curriculum and research of the tertiary education sector.

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2011 Green Gown Award Australasia Categories

ACTS is pleased to announce the opportunity to win a prestigious Green Gown Award Australasia, recognised throughout the tertiary education sector in Australia and New Zealand. In its second year, the Awards aim to recognise and reward excellence in sustainability initiatives undertaken by institutions in tertiary education. This year, three new award categories have been included, making a total of six for the 2011 Awards.

2011 Award Categories

Sustainability Victoria

1. Continuous improvement – Institutional change

_________________________________________________________________________________________________This This category recognises sustained and successful activities to improve the sustainability performance of whole tertiary education institutions, at a holistic level, over a number of years. Applications are likely to be successful if they provide considerable evidence on the nature of the improvements made, and also demonstrate a causal relationship between activities undertaken and improvement achieved. Initiatives must have been running for at least two years.

2. Continuous improvement – Specific area

This category encompasses initiatives which have been sustained over a period of years, supported by long-term investment and/or which span a number of areas. One intention is to provide recognition for ‘coalface’ initiatives which may not be high profile, nor deliver great benefits in a single year, but which keep on creating benefits. Applications are only likely to be successful if they provide considerable evidence on the nature of the improvements made, and also demonstrate a causal relationship between activities undertaken and improvements achieved. Initiatives must have been running for at least two years.

3. Student initiatives and campaigns

This category recognises initiatives which have been developed and/or substantially influenced by students. Examples include awareness campaigns, procurement actions, volunteering activities organised by unions, societies and similar organisations within universities and TAFEs, the general sustainability activities of students’ unions, and specific initiatives or campaigns by national student bodies. Activities aimed at changing student awareness and behaviour by universities and TAFEs themselves are also eligible, provided that there is evidence of substantial student involvement. (Please ensure you strongly highlight sufficient evidence of student involvement or student led activities as this will be scored more favourably by the judges).

4. TAFEs and smaller institutions

This category recognises the commitment and impact of TAFEs and smaller Higher Education institutions in relation to their total sustainability agenda. It encompasses any sustainability-related initiatives which contribute to improved environmental and social conditions and outcomes. It is open to all TAFEs, registered training organisations and those universities with less than 10,000 enrolled students, within the Australasian tertiary education sector. (Note – all other categories are also open to TAFEs, RTOs and smaller institutions and may be a better choice for specific initiatives, such as student engagement or teaching and learning etc).

5. Learning & Teaching

This category recognises achievements in education for sustainability in undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational courses in Further and Higher Education institutions. Examples of possible application topics include effective integration of sustainability principles and/or practices into disciplines and courses not traditionally engaged with sustainability; the development of new courses focused on some or all sustainability issues; adaptation of existing courses; use of practical sustainability-related projects or other practical activities within courses including work-based learning initiatives. Awardees will demonstrate ways in which they have maintained high levels of achievement and evaluated against stated learning objectives of the course.

In addition to the Green Gown Awards, there will also be another new Award:

6. ACTS Award of ExcellenceACTS


This award will recognise the sustainability achievements of one of our institutional members. ACTS members will be asked to nominate themselves of another member institution that can clearly demonstrate an improvement in sustainability performance. (Please note, this Award is about supporting and recognising the efforts of other institutions and so that those applications that nominate another institution will be favoured by the judges). Examples of possible application topics include the continued effort of staff and students, an institution’s outreach to the local community, other institutions/entities etc and the sharing of knowledge and/or resources. Winners for this category will be decided on by ACTS members who will be asked to vote from a shortlisted group. Winners will be announced at the Green Gown Awards ceremony.

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