2012 TropEco Award winners

2012 TropEco Sustainability Awards

Culture Award

Winner - Student and Academic Services led by Julie Woodward (Cairns)

Student and Academic Services (SAAS) is a large Directorate, with over 100 staff, within the University Services Division. In January 2012, the Director, Julie Woodward, celebrated a 10% reduction in printing and copying across SAAS for the previous year and set a new, more difficult target of cutting MFD usage by a further 20% in 2012, in support of the USD Sustainability Action Plan.

The 2012 target was communicated to all staff and, importantly, the amount of printing and copying was measured and reported back to managers through quarterly reviews.

Through regular review, discussion and commitment to the task, staff have actively changed practices such that printing and copying was reduced across the Directorate (to end of financial period 10) by a massive 35% compared with the same period in the previous year. This equates to a saving of $16,556 to date.

Highly Commended - Lisa Westcott

Lisa has had a large impact on the culture of sustainability at JCU by demonstrating a clear commitment to embedding sustainability in institution wide processes and strategies.

Lisa has used her networks and influence to build support across many different Departments and Faculties. Furthermore, she engages with sustainability from a holistic perspective, and fully understands and promotes the social environmental, economic and cultural implications. She has demonstrated, through projects like work-integrated learning, a commitment to community engagement and social inclusion.

What really stands out about Lisa is her personal willingness to engage and support these initiatives, often going beyond the call of duty. Her personal approach is very inclusive and collaborative.

Highly Commended - Deb Cavanagh and Ginni Hall

As School Manager and the nominated Sustainability Champion for her School, Deb has been influential in implementing several sustainability initiatives to change the culture within the School of Arts and Social Science with the assistance of Ginni Hall. In 2011 the School reduced paper use by 10% compared to 2009 levels, resulting in $4,000 in savings and an even greater reduction is expected in 2012.

Deb and Ginni have also rolled out recycling bins to the entire School and have promoted this to staff with the erection of posters and sending of emails to highlight the benefits.

Campus Award

Winner - Dr. Ian Craigie

Within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Ian has taken on an active role in driving sustainability initiatives within his building, going over and beyond his normal role. He has personally identified and investigated energy saving options, and implemented small changes to eliminate unnecessary electricity cost to James Cook University thereby saving C02 emissions whilst measuring the resulting savings. One example is the installation of timers on Zip water boilers in the Centre, with an estimated saving of $70 per year per timer. He has also campaigned for improved bicycle facilities for the Centre and the Townsville Campus.

Highly Commended - Adella Edwards

Adella Edwards has been President of the JCU Bicycle Users Group for several years. In this time Adella has rallied JCU for better cycling infrastructure and end of ride facilities and much of the infrastructure improvements have come about because of her strong advocacy.

Highly Commended - Ryan Vasta for the website meYOU.com.au

JCU student Ryan Vasta developed the website, meYOU.com.au, as an online notice-board to replace the traditional notice-boards from around the university campus in an attempt to help reduce JCU’s carbon footprint and eliminate the paper waste seen with the use of physical billboards. meYOU.com.au provides a more efficient, secure and cost-effective system for students and staff to buy, sell and advertise university related items.

Highly Commended - Alice Donne

In 2012 Alice coordinated Rotary International House's community garden, producing fresh produce to supplement student's meals. She has promoted and rallied students and staff to become actively involved in "Garden Days" and undertaken the garden's preparation, mulching, planting, weeding and irrigation installation. Alice was also one of the Green Reps for Rotary, helping them to improve their recycling and reduce energy use during the TropEco Shield Challenges.

Community Award

Winner - Leon Van Wyk

Leon has played a major role as a first year student, supporting sustainability on the Cairns campus in 2012 and promoting the values of sustainability to the wider community. Leon has contributed articles for TropEco News and engaged with staff and students on sustainability issues as well as volunteering to be the student rep for the Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Leon played a primary role in establishing the JCU Permaculture Society, a group that focuses on:

- Providing a social network focused on sustainability prospects

- Coordinating activities and events that creatively promote social wellbeing, ecological regeneration and economic viability

The group currently has 28 members and is growing.

At its initial meeting, Leon brought together members from the Smithfield residential community, members of the Cairns and Kuranda Permaculture Society, staff, students and a local food network distribution business. The group, under Leon’s guidance is already promoting local food networks, empowering people to grow their own food and collaborate with people who share a sustainability mind-set or are interested in knowing more.

Highly Commended - Prahlad Dahal

Prahlad arrived in Cairns in March 2010 as a Bhutanese refugee and has since played a key role as an advocate and a bridge for his fellow resettled refugees with the wider Cairns community. Upon arrival in Cairns he immediately went about establishing a working link between his newly emerging community and the wider Cairns community including links to JCU.

Highly Commended - Bec Tuma

Second year medical student, Bec, is a keen supporter of cycling and has used her passion to raise money for charity through several events. In mid-semester 2011 she rode 2400km from Townsville to Sydney to raise money for Angel Flights as well as raising awareness for cycling safety.

In October 2012 Rebecca and a group of friends held a public awareness campaign on The Strand, 'Kites4Rights', the six stalls highlighting a different issue regarding woman's rights. Rebecca's stall was about empowering women with a bicycle.

Bec participated in the ‘Run to Better Days’ charity run from Townsville to Hervey Bay, with the team of 16 raising $24,000 for Caritas and she was also responsible for signing up 120 students for this year’s Ride to Uni Day.

Highly Commended - Adella Edwards

Adella has worked tirelessly to engage the JCU community in getting involved in cycling through the JCU Bicycle Users Group. This has been especially evident with the ridership for the Ride to Uni Days and her promotion of the Entertainment Book to raise over $1000 for the JCU BUG this year.

 Curriculum Award

Winner - Dr. Colin MacGregor

With support from Prof Steve Turton (SEES) and Assoc Prof Andrew Krockenberger (SMTB) Dr Colin Macgregor developed JCU's Bachelor of Sustainability, which accepted its first enrolments in Semester 1, 2012. The degree has encouraged inter-disciplinary and inter-school/faculty collaboration across the university and is made up of subjects from a variety of disciplines.

The degree directly supports the '4Cs' concept and Colin has ensured the course links with JCU campuses, along with the various operations, to act like a living laboratory, providing students with hands-on opportunities to engage in practical sustainability initiatives. Colin also volunteers his time as Chair of the Sustainability Action Group and is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Highly Commended - Peter Jones

Peter, through his work in developing and delivering the subject WS3214: Developmental Approaches to Eco-Social Justice has been instrumental in bringing ecological sustainability into the social studies curriculum. This subject is a core component of the social work course, meaning that all students passing through the degree are now exposed to this content area and are challenged to incorporate ecological sustainability perspectives into their practice.

The significance of Peter’s work is that through his teaching and scholarly activities, he is facilitating the development of an ecological consciousness amongst students and practitioners in a profession with great potential to contribute to action and social change for sustainability.

Highly Commended - Dr. Michelle Lasen

Michelle is leading a JCU Teaching and Learning Academy Fellowship, seeking to enhance student and staff engagement in Higher Education for Sustainability across the Schools of Education, Engineering and Physical Sciences, and Earth and Environmental Sciences.

In addition to Fellowship activities, Michelle has been the JCU representative on a 2012 OLT project seeking to enact a state systems approach to embedding sustainability within pre-service teacher education.

Highly Commended - Dr. Madoc Sheehan

Madoc has taken a proactive role in developing a new methodology and implementing it to systematically embed sustainability in the four year Chemical Engineering undergraduate program.

In this process, Dr Sheehan developed the generic sustainability attributes for the program and mapped the attributes against the progressive learning objectives achieved in different subjects. With his leadership, the discipline identified key subjects to convey sustainability content such that the learning outcomes are integrated and scaffolded across the entire program. 

 TropEco Excellence Award

Winner - Adella Edwards

Adella Edwards has been President of the JCU Bicycle Users Group for many years. In 2012 she was heavily involved in promoting the benefits of cycling to the JCU and wider community through the JCU BUG.

Some of her achievements include:

  • Organising two Ride to Uni breakfasts, attracting over 100 cyclists in March and 200 registrants in October.
  • Collecting over 60 abandoned bikes from the JCU colleges and organising to refurbish some of the bikes to be donated or sold to JCU students during O-week.
  • Maintaining several communal bikes and borrowing them out to staff and students on short term loans so they can get to and from Uni and around Townsville.
  • Promoting the Entertainment Books to fundraise over $1000 for the BUG, which resulted in the purchase of a public bike repair station for the Townsville Campus.
  • Supporting the Cairns JCU BUG with funding and assisting the process of becoming a recognised group through the Student Association.
  • Rallying JCU for better cycling infrastructure and end of ride facilities for many years and taking on the issues, complaints and ideas of others to ensure cyclists have a voice on campus.
  • Promoting cycling through the JCU BUG mailing list, website, facebook page and blogs to ensure cyclists are kept up to date with the latest information and have a voice, and
  • Developing the BUG workshop near the Eddie Mabo Koiki Library and ensuring BUG members use it productively.

Adella's passion and commitment to promoting cycling is evident in the change in culture and attitude that has been seen on the Townsville Campus in recent years and much of the infrastructure improvements have come about because of her strong advocacy.

Highly Commended - Lena Taylor

Lena joined JCU in August this year as the Sustainability Project Officer. This is a new position within the University and it has many diverse and challenging responsibilities to support sustainability and JCU's '4C' approach. This commendation is in recognition of the fact that despite only having been in the position for a short time Lena has made truly excellent progress in all strategic and specific tasks associated with her job.

Highly Commended - Dr. Colin MacGregor

This recognises Colin’s work in developing the Bachelor of Sustainability course and volunteering his time as Chair of the Sustainability Action Group and a member of the Sustainability Advisory Committee.