UOW GCCW team Alison Haynes, Melinda Waterman, Krystal Randall, Diana King

UOW Global Climate Change Week centres on climate action

UOW Global Climate Change Week centres on climate action

UOW academics, staff, students, and community explore the theme of planet-positive partnerships

Universities are vital hubs of research, teaching and leadership on climate change. Since 2015, Global Climate Change Week (GCCW) at the University of Wollongong (UOW) has been an important gathering of hearts and minds, all committed to tackling climate change through discussions, policy changes and climate action.

This year, UOW GCCW will run from Wednesday 12th October to Tuesday  18th October. The team of over 100 people, spread across various UOW entities, clubs, departments and schools, and comprising local organisations: Healthy Cities Illawarra, Menzies, Wollongong City Council and Green Connect, have united under one theme: “Planet-Positive Partnerships”. Together, they have developed a program of online, in-person and hybrid events, activities and resources focused on the impact of our changing climate with potential solutions and mitigation strategies. Most events are free and open to everyone.

“Since we already know that climate change is a scientific fact, we’re focusing on practical action we can all take to mitigate the associated risks. That is why we’re working collaboratively and holistically with our community partners on various planet-positive solutions,” said Associate Professor Belinda Gibbons, UOW’s climate change warrior and Australia and New Zealand Chapter Coordinator for the UN-supported Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

“GCCW is going to be a great week, filled with planet-positive aspirations and inspiring stories, knowledge-sharing and ideas, and discussions on how partnerships can maximise actions to protect our planet,” Dr Gibbons said.

To amplify how climate change affects our Australian landscape, Josie Atkinson, artist, Indigenous Research Assistant and UOW student, created a poster for the week. Her “Heal Country, Heal Climate” artwork represents the diverse waterways and land of healthy Country with the ancestral songlines of the First Nations Peoples of Australia in the background.

Heal Country Heal Climate artwork by Indigenous artist Josie Atkinson

"Heal Country, Heal Climate" artwork by Indigenous artist Josie Atkinson.

The GCCW celebrations will kick off with an online welcome event  on Tuesday 11th October, 4 pm. The discussion will feature Katherine McConnell, Founder and CEO of Brighte (a solar energy platform for sustainable homes), alongside a panel of senior UOW climate researchers and community partners, Distinguished Professor Noel Cressie, Professor KerryLee Rogers, Associate Professor Owen Price and Professor Anthony Dosseto. 

Other big events include Clean Energy Transformation Q&A, hosted by Healthy Cities Illawarra on Wednesday, 19th Oct 2022 in Wollongong Town Hall and the Op Shop Ball, organised by UOW Pulse on Saturday, 15th October at the Innovation Campus. There is also a video competition with $1000 up for grabs for eligible UOW students.

Activities to get hands-on are also on offer, such as self-guided Koala walks facilitated by Wollongong Botanic Garden’s Discovery Centre, nature-writing workshops, tree planting at Wollongong Campus and a FOGO Deep Dive workshop, explaining how food waste can become a nutrient-rich soil conditioner.

Following on from the recent 2022 UCI Road World Championships that united the Illawarra while also encouraging the switch to more sustainable transport solutions, UOW GCCW will feature diverse cycling events, including free bike maintenance workshops, Try an E-bike Day and a Ride to Uni Breakfast.

For more information and to register for these and many other activities happening during GCCW, visit www.uow.info/climate-change-week.