The Monash Association of Sustainability is a student team at Monash University with the aim of fostering student-led sustainable development. They aim to promote collaboration between sustainability groups and passionate students, drive local solutions and undertake student-focused research projects.

Their team is the UN SDSN Youth SDG Student Hub for Monash, and therefore they also aim to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Goals guide much of the work the Association does today.

What are you working on this year?

This year we have various projects planned. We are aiming to undertake one research project per semester, in addition to the events and social media campaigns we usually run. Whilst this semester’s research project goals have not been finalised yet, we are aiming to research student relationships with climate change action. We hope this will provide the information necessary to get Monash University to declare a climate emergency, whilst also motivating further climate action by students.

What support do you have from your university?

Our group receives support from the University when it comes to funding particular events or projects. For example, we ran a ‘Reusable Container Campaign’ last year, and the University paid for 100 containers to give out (read the project report here). The University also allows us to use some of its storage facilities and rooms for undertaking work.

What advice do you have for students with an interest in sustainability?

Generally speaking, environmental and social sustainability clubs are present at every University, and they often struggle with recruitment every semester as not many students are able to volunteer large amounts of time. If sustainability is something you’re passionate about, then I would suggest looking into these clubs and emailing/messaging them to see if they are recruiting. Once you have joined a team you can float the idea of undertaking a research project like ours. Alternatively, if there are no suitable clubs/teams on your campus, why not start one! Research-based student teams tend to be rare, so you might be the next trendsetter on your campus.

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