The University of New England, which was recognised for its commitment to sustainability by the NSW Government in this year’s Green Globe Awards, is once again the major sponsor of Armidale’s annual Sustainable Living Expo (SLEX).
UNE is a signatory to the Talloires Declaration, which supports sustainability as a critical focus of teaching, research, operations, and outreach at universities around the world.
Among the 11 experts from UNE who will be speaking at SLEX 2010 will be Dr Robyn Bartell, Chair of UNE’s Talloires Declaration Implementation Committee. Dr Bartell, from UNE’s School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, together with Valerie Dalton, from UNE’s Graduate School of Business, will give a presentation titled “By degrees: education for and about sustainability”. They will explain why education at university is essential for sustainability, and will give information on new degree programs at UNE that have an emphasis on sustainability.
UNE’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Peter Enlund, will speak about the University’s commitment to sustainability measures. “UNE is one of more than 350 universities worldwide that have declared their commitment to incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy into all aspects of their teaching, research, and operating activities,” Mr Enlund explained. “SLEX is a wonderful forum in which to introduce our latest additions to service and sustainability and their benefits for our students and the community.”
SLEX will run from Friday 29 October to Sunday 31 October at Armidale’s Curtis and Civic Parks. The three-day program will include a keynote presentation by the popular author and science commentator on Australian radio and television Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and a “backyard demonstration” by Costa Georgiadis from the SBS TV program Costa’s Garden Odyssey.
Other presentations by UNE staff members will address topics including how to live comfortably while using less energy in the home, international carbon markets, and native plant diversity in north-eastern NSW. Professor Martin Thoms, an expert on Australia’s rivers, will present a talk titled “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink”. Professor Thoms is the secretary of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences’ International Commission on Continental Erosion, and editor of the international scientific journal River Research and Applications.
More than 70 exhibitors will present a wide range of sustainable products and practices – including the Uralla Community Garden, New England Sustainable Strategy, and New England Land Care. On the Friday there will be opportunities for upper primary and secondary school students and teachers to participate in the educational activities about sustainability comprising “EdFest Day”.
The program also includes two “sustainable farm” tours and a tour illustrating the supply and treatment of Armidale’s water.