RCE Greater Western Sydney - 2018


Global Perspectives: Health and Sustainability - Ensuring Healthy Lives
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Global Perspectives: Health and Sustainability - Ensuring Healthy Lives
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Western Sydney
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE-GWS, Western Sydney University, RCE Greater Dhaka, RCE Srinigar
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Jen Dollin
Organizational Affiliation: 
Western Sydney University
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW, 2751
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Western Sydney is home to about 1 in every 11 Australians, it has the third largest economy in Australia and one of the fastest growing populations in the country. We are intersected and surrounded by water-ways and bounded by the world famous Blue Mountains. Western Sydney is also rich in cultural diversity and we speak over 100 different languages. But like the rest of the world Western Sydney is rapidly changing. The gap in social inequality is increasing. We have increasing housing and urbanisation pressures, transport gridlocks, higher unemployment than the national average and a steady loss of agricultural land, riparian zones, bushland and biodiversity. Climate change will lead to increased health risks for the young and old, greater variability in our food production systems, increased loss of plants and animals and less water flowing through our rivers and in our wetlands.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
RCE Greater Western Sydney (RCE-GWS) has over 25 regional partners. All stakeholders are committed to the RCE vision of building collaborative and innovative platforms for transformative teaching and learning. Four interwoven regional challenges have been identified for GWS:

1. Transitioning to a low carbon economy
2. Developing sustainable communities; health, housing and transport
3. Ensuring agricultural sustainability and food security
4. Conserving biodiversity and river healt
May, 2018
The Global Perspectives webinar was based on the global aspiration of the SDGs 'leaving no one behind'. This international webinar was hosted by Western Sydney University to engage our students, as well as community and the global RCE community, on the issues of community health, hygiene, sanitation and nutrition in India and Bangladesh. WSU student studying their first year unit "Professional Pathways in Health Science". Guest presenters Dr Abdesh Kumar Gangwar - Program Director, Centre for Environment Education Himalaya & North-East discussed "Rural Sanitation and 'Open defecation free' Environment", and Professor Mohammed Ataur Rahman- Director, Centre for Global Environmental Culture, IUBAT discussed "Improvement of Health, Hygiene and Nutritional status of Urban Slum Dwellers". This was also opened to all WSU students and the global community to watch and engage in.
The objective was to highlight for Australian students the real issues that developing countries face and the SDGs.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
An international webinar was created and hosted by Western Sydney University using Zoom software.
Size of academic audience: 
This webinar was very well received by all who participated. In addition 2 Bachelor Health Science (Public Health) students have been virtually placed with RCE Srinagar for a 140 hours placement as part of their third year university trained public health student to work from an online ‘desk top’ capacity on a program or project of your choice, using two case studies from the RCE publication Ensuring Healthy Lives - Herbs for Health and Rural Sanitation and Open Defecation Free Environment.
Lessons learned: 
Time zones were a little challenging, but we managed to fit it into a time that was suitable for our presenters. Building it into a class meant a more ridged structure, but it also meant a dedicated audience.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The discussions were based off the UNU RCE publication: Ensuring Healthy Lives, with guest lecturers from RCE Greater Dhaka and RCE Srinagar.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level