LTLT academics receive sustainability award

LTLT academics receive prestigious award for sustainable thinking

Dr Colin Hocking, Senior Lecturer Academic Development, and Associate Professor Matthew Riddle, LTLT were awarded first place at the World Symposium on Sustainable Development in Universities for their paper 'Aiming for Full Coverage'.

The paper describes the processes for developing sustainability thinking as one of three 'Essentials' integrated into our courses at La Trobe, and the achievements, barriers and lessons learnt through this process.

The paper was selected from more than 400 contributions from 300 delegates from 31 countries.

Matthew and Colin are very proud to have received this recognition of their work.

'It's really exciting that the university's work in an area of such significance is being recognised at a world conference,' Matthew said.

'It's a strong endorsement of the approach we have adopted to assure sustainable thinking is an essential part of every student's journey at La Trobe.'

Colin said this award recognises La Trobe's leading role in sustainability education in undergraduate courses.

'This was obvious at the Symposium, where many people showed a high level of interest in the approach that La Trobe is taking. It is a reward for the excellent vision and hard work of the entire university,' Colin said.

Sustainable thinking
The paper discusses how sustainable thinking is defined in different ways in different disciplines.

These discipline views are brought together under the common theme of reflecting on, and taking responsibility for, the consequences for the future of the decisions we make.

'One of the things that is so significant about La Trobe's approach is that so many equally valid views on this question can enter the curriculum,' said Matthew.

I think that's just what is needed if we are going to solve the complex problems we face. For me personally, sustainable thinking is making sure the things we do now don't mess up the planet for my children.'

Matthew and Colin believe incorporating sustainable thinking in university education is one of the most important things we can do as an organisation.

'As the writer David Orr has pointed out, the people with higher education qualifications are the ones who will decide whether we take the world in a sustainable direction or not', said Colin.

As university educators we need to ensure they have the know-how and attitudes to tackle the difficult, complex problems that surround sustainability, and contribute to the best outcomes.'

Please join us in congratulating Colin and Matthew on this wonderful achievement.

Published in UniNews 29 September 2014.

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