Leading environmental warriors to join forces in Wollongong

Leading environmental warriors to join forces in Wollongong

Professor Tim Flannery and Alone Australia winner Gina Chick to speak at UOW-hosted event

Some of Australia’s leading environmental warriors will join forces at the University of Wollongong (UOW) later this month to empower Australia’s environmental education sector and tackle important sustainability questions.

Chief Councillor of the Climate Council Professor Tim Flannery will be joined by Rewilding Facilitator and winner of Alone Australia, Gina Chick; author Dr Inga Simpson; TV presenter and landscape architect, Costa Georgiadis; Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change President Cynthia Houniuhi; and UK Government Focal Point to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Professor Daniella Tilbury.

They’ll be at UOW for the Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) Biennial Conference which will be held from Monday 25 September to Wednesday 27 September.

Conference Chair Dr Peter Andersen said the conference is an opportunity for people working in the environmental education space to gain new tools to inform professional practices.

“We’re delighted to host this important conference in Wollongong for the first time and want it to bring celebration, revitalisation, hope and empowerment to our environmental education sector,” Dr Andersen said.

“The conference is for teachers, university lecturers, council, private industry, not-for-profits, government agencies and anyone who is working in the environmental education space.

“At a time when so much of what’s happening in the world can leave us feeling overwhelmed, it’s imperative for each of us to connect with our place, community, story, voice and sources of inspiration.”

The theme of the conference is Listening to Country, learning together and transforming the future. The organisers’ intention is to turn the conference moment into a sustainability movement by challenging old thinking and fostering innovation, collaboration, resilience and genuinely effective action.

Dr Andersen said listening to Country and First Nations Peoples is a key focus of the conference.

“Listening to Country and First Nations Peoples, listening inwards to ourselves and outwards to others and the Earth, listening to the quieter marginalised voices and children and youth can promote well-being for all and experiential engagement with the natural environment,” Dr Andersen said.

The three-day conference will include presentations, field trips out on country, tours of sustainable university buildings, workshops and hands-on activities.

“We’re delighted to bring together some of Australia’s leading environmentalists to learn together about how we can tackle these big issues,” Dr Andersen said.

“We want people to leave after day three with renewed purpose, energy, skills, and tools to inform professional practices, as well as everyday choices, lifestyles and behaviours.”

Dr Andersen, a Senior Lecturer in UOW’s School of Education, is an expert in sustainability education. His teaching and research is underpinned by his belief that children should be given opportunities to have a voice in addressing global social and environmental issues relevant to them. Dr Andersen’s most recent research projects have focused on how educators can most effectively support children to become intergenerational environmental change agents in their schools, communities and homes.

For more information and to register for the event visit the AAEE 2023 Biennial Conference website.

About the Australian Association of Environmental Education

AAEE is Australia's peak professional body for Environmental Educators. Their members work in government agencies, schools, businesses and community organisations.

As an organisation AAEE advocates for Environmental Education and promotes best practice; supports and contributes to skills development among educators across Australia and internationally; helps Association members to stay at the forefront of sustainability education and behaviour change; and provides a network for cross-sector environmental educators.