RCE Greater Western Sydney Turns 10

(Report by RCE Greater Western Sydney)
RCE Greater Western Sydney has built collaborative and innovative place-based programs and initiatives to accelerate and mainstream Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in our region for a decade. We have delivered 27 collaborative sustainability programs and initiatives since inception, ranging from professional development days and networks for teachers and school outreach programs, to research projects and large-scale whole of region engagement programs. To name a few highlights:  
  • Schools for Sustainability fostering environmental stewardship with 60 local high school student leaders in partnership with local government;
  • A 2-day Wetlands for the West community workshop attracting over 120 residents, environmental volunteers, industry professionals and Western academics and students;
  • An internationally recognised award-winning, curriculum-based Youth Eco Summit engaging over 10,000 school students and their teachers; 
  • Riverfarm redevelopment, in partnership with TAFE NSW, transformed the historic site into a unique outdoor living and learning laboratory for a range of educational purposes, and is now occupied as a demonstration site by Local Land Services; 
  • Stemming from the Alive! Youth Environmental Engagement Project, PHEEN, the Penrith and Hawkesbury Environmental Educators Network, facilities links and learning opportunities for schools and environmental groups, showcasing, and supporting key environmental initiatives; 
  • Koala Fest engaged thousands of local residents during a 1-day event. Alongside this, Brewongle Environmental Education Centre deliver a Koala education and conservation program for schools, funded by the ‘Saving our species’ grant with approximately 500 primary students in the Hills district;
  • Greater Western Sydney Energy Alliance advocated for and hosted a range of workshops and information sessions across Western Sydney for community, industry, and SME businesses, focused on the uptake of renewables; 
  • Our global RCE SDG Youth Challenge which has mobilised action for the SDGs through 156 youth leaders engaging over 21,000 youth in 12 countries, led by Western Sydney University.
We also hosted to the 11th Asia-Pacific RCE Meeting and Symposium in September 2018, engaging key members from our region and beyond. Our sustainability initiatives have been recognised through several local, national, and international awards; a handful of publications; visits to and from RCEs around the world; as well as attaining external grant funding to support our efforts. 
Our network's most recent initiative, the Hawkesbury Resilience Project: Learn, Prevent, Prepare, and our latest working group Hawkesbury-Nepean Riverkeepers: A Waterkeeper Alliance (HNRWA), have been continuing to progress over 2021. We would like to formally announce our success in receiving one of six Sydney Water Community Grants for 'Building Citizen Science Literacies for the Hawkesbury-Nepean River'. The funds will enable HNRWA to co-develop and co-deliver place-based citizen science projects and reporting, with a first nations cultural training day to support community engagement with the River.
These achievements wouldn't be possible without the amazing dedication of our partners, colleagues, and friends - both here in Sydney and across the globe.
To learn more, visit the RCE Greater Western Sydney page here.
(Photo: Community training day held on the banks of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, Windsor, hosted by Western Sydney University, RCE Greater Western Sydney, with RCE Greater Western Sydney partners StreamWatch and Greater Sydney Landcare Network. Photo credit: Josh Newman).