October 16, 2023
Connecting minds for a sustainable climate future
Global Climate Change Week returns to UOW with a program of events, activities and resources tackling climate change
With record-breaking temperatures and bushfires predicted for the summer, the impacts of climate change are more than visible, influencing not only people’s physical health and safety but also their emotions, leading to eco-grief and climate anxiety.
This week, between Monday 16 October and Friday 20 October 2023, Global Climate Change Week (GCCW), an event for everyone concerned about climate change, returns to the University of Wollongong (UOW) for five days of discussions, seminars and climate action events, uniting academia, the local community and policymakers under the theme: ‘Connecting Minds for a Sustainable Climate Future’.
“Our focus this year is on ways we can discover hope in our collective efforts to address climate change, and we have prepared inspiring stories, knowledge-sharing and important discussions on how partnerships can maximise actions to protect our planet,” said UOW climate change warrior, Associate Professor Belinda Gibbons, who coordinates this year’s GCCW activities at UOW.
On Tuesday 17 October, a microplastics webinar led by Dr Karen Raubenheimer, UOW Senior Lecturer at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), will aim to raise awareness of plastic pollution and its effects on human and planetary health while dispelling some myths surrounding microplastics and inspiring ways of reducing the use of plastic in our lives. The event will feature an expert panel discussion, including Dr Sarah Dunlop, Head of Plastics and Human Health at the Minderoo Foundation and Michael Stapleton, a UOW PhD candidate specialising in sustainable waste management practices.
Connecting Over Fair Food, a special evening for fair food champions, exploring making food systems more sustainable and resilient, is planned for Wednesday 18 October at Civic Centre Auditorium in Shellharbour. It will feature lectures and workshops on food growing, permaculture, community crop swaps and a special screening of an uplifting documentary, Rachel’s Farm.
In addition to many educational events, UOW GCCW will focus on promoting sustainable practices through community-oriented activities, such as the popular cycling event, Ride2UOW (Wednesday 18 October), where participants join guided rides to UOW Wollongong campus and get to enjoy free coffee and breakfast, or the Op-Shop Ball (Friday 20 October), a fun-filled evening of sustainably sourced food and clothing, live music and dancing.
GCCW is a global movement that encourages universities and communities worldwide to engage in activities that raise awareness, inspire behaviour change and drive political momentum around climate policy. At UOW, the event started in 2015 and, since then, has grown to a community-wide initiative, encompassing local organisations such as Healthy Cities Illawarra and Wollongong City Council, as well as UOW students and researchers from diverse disciplines and faculties.
The full list of events is available here.