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Sustainable Schools Network

SSN: Educating for Sustainability in Queensland

Wednesday 23 Sep
- Wednesday 23 Sep




About this event

Sustainable Schools Network is holding an online forum to discuss the release of there latest discussion paper.

This paper highlights the importance of strategic and collaborative approaches which could easily be adopted to ensure Queensland joins the growing international community educating for sustainability.

The Queensland EfS community are seeking:

  • Government commitment and agreement to the principles in the EfS Discussion Paper which endorse the Government’s Queensland Plan educational strategies of: being future-focused, advancing practical based learning, and building capacities for lifelong learning.
  • Collaborating and partnering with the QLD EfS community to implement the recommendations of the EfS Discussion Paper.
  • Demonstrate the Government’s commitment to finding solutions to unsustainability by including EfS on their election platform.

The Discussion Paper curated by Sustainable Schools Network outlines how EfS can:

  • Generate substantial economic savings for schools
  • Stimulate local, community based green economy opportunities
  • Prepare students for opportunities within sustainable economies
  • Enhance the wellbeing of students and staff
  • Improve community capacity to face change (e.g. COVID 19 social, health and economic challenges)
  • Improve ecological sustainability and STEAM learning outcomes, and vocational pathways for students
  • Enhance Indigenous perspectives in schools and community partnerships leading to authentic delivery of the cross-curriculum priority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, and improved First Nation students’ engagement and outcomes
  • Create more resilient and climate ready schools
  • Improve awareness and outcomes of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Model whole school sustainable approaches, responsive to the different roles and responsibilities of all within the school community

Panel Speakers:

Katie Norman

Katie has previously worked in the Department of Justice in Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia as a therapeutic program facilitator and drug counsellor. Since having her three children, she has lived overseas in Hong Kong where her school-based volunteer experience commenced. Over the last seven years Katie has been an active volunteer within local schools assisting in classrooms, fundraising and coordinating the creation and production of Tallebudgera State School’s Taste of Tallebudgera cookbook. More recently, Katie has assisted a top Gold Coast private school to develop a sustainability program, which is an ongoing endeavor. With an undergraduate Bachelor of Science (Psychology) with Honours and current participation in a Masters of Teaching (Primary) program, Katie has strong critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills. After exposure to environmental issues overseas, and a developing knowledge about education for sustainability, Katie is attempting to influence her local community towards partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals. Katie was recently awarded the Community Spirit of Somerset Award and Beaded Gecko Award for her service to the Gold Coast community. She is also a ROAR Social Hero Finalist and 2020 McPherson Community Achiever. The Chief Steward and Founding Member of the Sustainable Schools Network for the last 2 year, Katie is committed to improving the visibility and participation of education for sustainability in Australia.

Professor Stephen Billett

Dr Stephen Billett is Professor of Adult and Vocational Education at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. After a career in clothing manufacturing, he was a vocational educator, teacher educator, professional educator and held a policy role in Queensland. Since 1992, at Griffith he has researched learning through and for work and published widely in fields of learning for occupations, vocational education, workplace learning, work, higher education and conceptual accounts of learning for occupational purposes. He has been Fulbright scholar (1999), National Teaching Fellow (2009-11), ARC Future Fellow (2011-16) recipient of honorary doctorates from Jyvaskala University, Finland (2013) and University of Geneva (2020), elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia (2015) and research fellow at Oxford University (2019-22), and adjunct professor at University of Stavanger, Norway (2019-23) and University Vast, Sweden (2019-). His recent research projects are on: the standing of vocational education, integration of work experiences to promote university students’ employability, resilience in healthcare workers, worklife learning in an era of change, continuing education and training in Singapore and re-imaging rural general practice after CoVid19. He is the founding and editor in chief of the journal Vocations and Learning: Studies in Professional and vocational education, and the Professional and practice-based learning book series for Springer.

Samantha Morris

Samantha is a communication and engagement specialist who has worked in the community sector for more than 20 years. Most of her career has been spent working with conservation and land management groups on communication, fundraising and engagement strategies and she’s won several awards recognising her work in that space. She’s worked inhouse for organisations like Greening Australia and Landcare Queensland, has been Chair of Queensland Conservation Council and has even done a stint as a facilitator for the Queensland Government.

For the past 10 years she’s been the Managing Director of Wombat Creative, a boutique consultancy that helps communities across Australia achieve sustainability goals through strategic fundraising, events, media, communication, facilitation, writing, social media and online strategies. In 2013 she unexpectedly became a mother and decided to focus closer to home. She and a friend launched an old school print magazine focused on the Gold Coast’s music and cultural scene. Blank GC has since become the City’s cultural voice and has grown its readership to more than 30,000 people a month in print and another 30,000 online and has reached more than 30% of the Gold Coast population. In 2015 she also launched the Gold Coast Music Awards which has since taken place annually. Last year the event moved to the beach at Surfers Paradise and attracted 11,000 people above season average to the city’s leading entertainment precinct. The event is driving the city’s reputation as a hub for live music and gaining attention across national music media. Sam is also a freelance writer for City of Gold Coast, wearegoldcoast.com.au and a range of other publications –both environmental and cultural.Sam won a Queensland Young Australian of the Year award for her environmental work in 2001, was named one of Queensland’s Champions of Conservation in 2013 and won a Golden Gecko Award for environmental work in 2015. Blank Gold Coast magazine was named magazine of the year in the city’s most recent media awards (2016)

Donna Pendergast

As Dean and Head, School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University, Professor Donna Pendergast is a passionate educator and researcher with a global profile in the fields of middle schooling and young adolescent teaching and learning, and individual and family wellbeing. Donna leads a dynamic school of teacher and professional educators who are committed to preparing the next generation of teachers and related professionals through agile and socially just educational practices.Donna has previously worked in P-10, secondary and secondary colleges as a classroom teacher and administrator. Donna’s academic career more recently included her appointment to lead and develop the first dedicated middle years’ teacher education program in Australia, and she has been a prominent player in the state and national agendas related to junior secondary reform. Donna has also conducted a number of national research projects of significance and published extensively.

Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles Amy is a Professor of Sustainability, Environment and Education at Southern Cross University, School of Education. She is the Dean and Head of School for the School of Education, as well as the Research Leader of the ‘Sustainability, Environment and the Arts in Education’ (SEAE) Research Cluster. Amy’s research centres on climate change, childhoodnature, posthumanism, the Arts and child-framed research methodologies. She is particularly interested in the pivot points between environmental education and the Arts.

Online Event Details

Time and Date: Wednesday 23 September 2020 – 6pm till 9pm

Location: Online – Zoom Link will be sent upon booking

Investment: $30

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Make Your Change acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Lands on which we live, play, advocate, and activate.  We acknowledge their continuing connection to Country and community, and pay our respect to Elders past and present. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians.  We are committed to honouring their unique cultural, and spiritual relationship to the land, air, waters and seas—as well as their rich contributions to society. We acknowledge the sovereignty, land, and law of First Nations were never ceded—this always was and always will be the Land of First Nations people.


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