Green Ambassadors Plant the Seeds for a New Program

7 Oct 2019

The Green Ambassadors Program allows for staff and students to communicate, coordinate and collaborate to achieve student-led initiatives, to further the goals of the Sustainability Strategy, and promote behaviour change within and out of the UQ community.

In 2019, UQ initiated this program to expand networking around sustainability in our community.

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Within UQ, there are currently four Green programs. Green Residents & Great the Team focus on sustainability initiatives including energy and water consumption between residential halls. Green Fund aims at providing grants for student-led sustainability projects.

The Green Office and Green Labs programs help staff implement environmental workplace changes. The Green Ambassador’s program aims to foster collaboration and coordination between staff and students to implement sustainable initiatives.

Within this program, everyone that has an interest in sustainability is automatically an Ambassador. This includes, students, staff, alumni, professionals and academics.

It is then up to the individual in how much they want to get involved, whether it just be attending events, or organising them. Every level of participation is valued.

The Environmental Council, comprising of key representatives from UQ areas and other interested individuals, meet more frequently, discussing key topics within the sustainability space and supporting the Ambassadors program.

The structure and access regarding these meetings is being determined, but everyone who can contribute is welcome to be involved.

While this is the concept behind the Ambassador Program, it is an idea that has evolved over recent years as the existing programs have grown and the number of environmental clubs and student initiatives have expanded.

In 2019, the idea was presented to the UQ community during Sustainability Week with a survey, seeking input into the structure of the program.

At the Eco-Action workshop event in August, members of the Sustainability Office gave a presentation on the program and Sustainability Strategy, which would inform the program’s goals. This was to receive feedback and generate interest ahead of the preliminary meeting.

After further brainstorming and consultation, the first meeting of the Environmental Council was conducted on the 1st October.

This involved people known to the Sustainability Office, those who has previously worked on the conceptualisation of the program, and students who discovered the meeting invitation through social media.

This first meeting was a huge success, with 19 people creating an atmosphere full of passion and proactivity. Even students who would be graduating at the end of 2019 were eager to stay involved.

If you’re also eager to be involved, keep an eye on social media to hear about the Environmental Council’s meetings and other events.

If you have any questions, or would like to become further involved, please email sustainability@uq.edu.au

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