Press "Enter" to skip to content

Local Steps Agenda

Local Steps Banner


  • Welcome and introductions: Todd Houstein (Hobart), Sandra Murray (Launceston) and Caroline Smith (Burnie)
  • Welcome to Country: Launceston – Port Dalrymple students, Burnie – Sharon Dennis, Hobart –
  • Key note speaker: Jen Dollin from Western Sydney University about the beauty and benefits of collaboration.
  • Four short highlights from Tasmanian educators: best practice education for sustainability initiatives (see below)
  • Facilitated workshop session: the opportunity for participants to workshop ways to embed sustainability more securely into their teaching practices.
  • Closing remarks: Todd Houstein, Sandra Murray or Caroline Smith

Hobart presentations

Millie Rooney, The University of Tasmania

  • Subject: The Sustainability Integration Program for Students at the University of Tasmania
  • Relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goal: 
    • Goal 12: Sustainable cities and communities
  • Focus: Linking theory and practice for sustainability
  • The question: How can we work effectively with students to create a culture of sustainability at our institutions?
  • Topics covered: Working with students, linking theory and practice, campus sustainability, operational sustainability outcomes. Millie will outline how the university has developed and implemented an award winning program that enables students to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom and contribute to sustainability outcomes for the university.
  • Top tips/strategies for embedding sustainability in your teaching/training: 
    • provide structure for student passions and perspectives to be considered valid,
    • elevate student capacity to engage and act,
    • understand how much of a free reign your individual students can handle and
    • be kind. Always be kind.
  • Contact details:

Reuben Parker-Greer, MONA’s 24 Carrot Gardens

  • Subject: 24 Carrot Gardens, lessons learnt
  • Relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goal:
    • 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
    • 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
    • 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Focus: Over the past 3 years 24 Carrot Gardens has taken 12 public primary schools on a journey down the kitchen garden pathway. Creating a truly unique educational platform for students, teachers and our school communities to explore health and wellbeing, science, sustainability and of course ART. What are the lessons we’ve learned and how do they relate to others striving for a Sustainable world?
  • The question:  How do we address Tasmania’s poor health outcomes and social disadvantage while building a sustainable future?
  • Top tips/strategies for embedding sustainability in your teaching/training:
    • Sustainability in schools is not an add on, we need clear roles with consistent funding. Kitchen and Garden Specialist roles are central to the success of 24 Carrot Gardens. Providing passionate experts to work alongside teachers in providing meaningful educational experiences from Seed to Plate.
    • Make learning fun and make it real through immersion in practice. This provides students with pleasurable and tantalising experiences to what are daunting and complex problems.
    • Whole of school approaches are required.
    • Leadership is everything. Both from the principal and from the students!
    • You can’t do anything without the community!

Nel Smit, Greening Australia

  • Subject: Preserving biodiversity on the farm
  • Focus: Greening Australia’s initiative to restore 6,000ha of wildlife habitat corridors across the Tasmanian Midlands Biodiversity Hot Spot with a focus on endangered fauna such as spotted quolls, Tasmanian devils, bettongs, bats and wedge tailed eagles.
  • The question: How is nature-based education supporting authentic learning for Tasmanian teachers, students and their communities in developing a sense of place and stewardship?
  • Topics covered: Biodiversity Hot Spot restoration project;’ Bushrangers’; and ‘Species Hotels’ (purpose built, sculptural structures that provide habitat for birds and small mammals, including bats) and STEM. Nel will outline how Greening Australia is engaging students and their communities, through STEM, with University researchers, farmers, artists, digital gamers, community groups and business in large scale restoration.

Helen Hortle, A Fairer World

  • Focus: A Fairer World focuses on creating a more socially just world, which is one of the key pillars of education for sustainability
  • The question: What is diversity competence, how does it relate to a more socially just world and how do we teach it?
  • Topics covered: The session will demonstrate the effectiveness of the Hobart Human Library in building empathy by connecting students face-to-face with people from outside their normal sphere of connection. The Let’s Get Together diversity education program builds on this experience by helping students to develop the knowledge, skills and values for diversity competence.
  • Top tips/strategies for embedding sustainability in your teaching/training:
    • Keep these questions somewhere you can’t help seeing them when you’re doing lesson preparation:
      *Does this lesson/activity respect individual difference and diversity?·
      *What small changes might make it more inclusive and cooperative?·
      *How can I include a social or global element – a statistic, a game or reference to another culture or a social issue?
      *Am I modelling respect and inclusion?
    • Do an audit of your books and other teaching resources: do they represent diversity in race, culture, ability, social background, gender and sexual orientation?
    • Do an audit of games, activities and classroom procedures: are they inclusive, non-gendered and cooperative so all students feel safe and comfortable participating even if they have a disability, are questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation, don’t have easy access to money, clothes, computer, internet etc?

Launceston presentations

George Darby and Ben Clark, Launceston Church Grammar School

  • Subject: Launceston Church Grammar School – focus on sustainability 
  • Relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goal:
    • Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
    • Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
  • Focus: Implementation of education for sustainability in and outside the classroom  
  • The question: How can we nurture, challenge and inspire the next generation through curriculum to be sustainability leaders?
  • Topics covered: Lifelong learning, education focused, curriculum, partnerships and hands on learning. 
  • Top tips/strategies for embedding sustainability in your teaching/training:  Build strong community partnerships to embed sustainable learning in everyday School learning.  
  • Contact details: Ben Clark on 6336 6056 or 

Sherridan Emery, University of Tasmania with Katrina Miller and students from Port Dalrymple School

  • Subject: Cultural wellbeing: lessons from the cultural arts class
  • Focus: Interactions and processes in a cultural arts class in Tasmania which support cultural wellbeing.
  • The question: How does the cultural arts class help us learn to be well together?
  • Topics covered: An introduction to a framework for considering cultural wellbeing using hands-on art making experiences, working with materials and each other in a personal exploration of the concept of cultural wellbeing. Students of the Cultural Arts group will share the technique they have learned for making string, which is a traditional practice for Tasmanian Aboriginal women and a contemporary art form.
  • Contact details:

Sandy Murray, University of Tasmania

  • Subject: Food Security In Tasmania – Causes, Consequences and Solutions.
  • Focus: The pivotal role that local food systems could play in strengthening the local economy in Tasmania and improving community access to healthy food while providing a more environmentally sustainable food supply system.
  • The question: How can we build scale and scope into our local food industries to create a more sustainable, resilient and healthy food system?
  • Topic covered: Improving access; food deserts, reducing food waste; food system education; emergency food relief, Tasmanian Food Paradox (best food and worst health outcomes in Australia); and students as change makers locally and globally.
  • Contact details:

Gill Basnett, Program Coordinator, Tamar NRM

  • Subject: An overview of the Tamar NRM activities related to biodiversity protection, sustainable agriculture and sustainable living.

Burnie presentations

Sharon Dennis, University of Tasmania

Dr Caroline Smith, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania

  • Subject: Educating for the Anthropocene: Using the tools and concepts of Futures Education tools to support the principles of EfS
  • Relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goal:  No specific one, they are all addressed through education
  • Focus: The seven principles of EfS provide a useful framework to actively engage in sustainable futures through education. This presentation focusses on Principle 4: ‘Envisioning a better future engages people in developing a shared vision for a sustainable future’. It introduces some of the concepts and strategies from Futures Education that support EfS to provide powerful ways to enable students to actively envisage and critically engage in creating more positive, sustainable and hopeful futures
  • The question:  What are some ways that Futures Education can support EfS?
  • Topics covered: The seven EfS principles, Futures Education concepts and strategies
  • Top tips/strategies for embedding sustainability in your teaching/training:
    • The future must be central to the whole educational endeavour if we are to prepare young people for the Anthropocene. The concepts and strategies of Futures Education are worth investigating as they provide some really powerful ways you can help students feel more optimistic and engaged in creating sustainable futures, instead of feeling disempowered
  • Contact details:

Dr Robin Krabbe, Live Well Tasmania

  • Subject: An Agrifood Learning Region for Sustainable Wellbeing
  • Relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goal: 
    • Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
    • Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
    • Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable: Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • Focus: We will establish a Learning Alliance, of community groups, government, educational institutions, and businesses. Secondly, we are implementing community learning initiatives, including working with educational institutions, which aim for ‘sustainable norm adoption by stealth’ by increasing positive social interaction and physical and mental health on which successful learning is based.
  • The question: How we can we use satisfying material and non-material (socioeconomic) needs while minimising ecological footprints?
  • Topics covered: Learning Regions, Sustainable Wellbeing, lifelong learning, Social neuroscience, agrifood as psychotherapy, socioemotional intelligence
  • Top tips/strategies for embedding sustainability in your teaching/training: Learn a bit about socioemotional intelligence, commit to improving your own and help others to improve theirs.
  • Contact details:, mob. 0421 461 724

Kim Beasy and Bianca Coleman, University of Tasmania

  • Focus: Don’t Mess with Burnie: Fostering connections to place: An event co-facilitated by UTAS and DoE with local Primary schools and community organisations to promote connections to place within a sustainability education framing.
  • The question:  How can schools work with local community organisations to foster connections to place?
  • Topics covered: organising logistics, establishing connections, working with the energy
  • Contact details:

Dr Nick Towle, RESEED Centre

  • Subject: Embedding Education for Sustainability
  • Focus: This presentation will explore the journey of several northwest coasters who have sought to establish a sustainability education centre in the town of Penguin. Participants will be invited to reflect on the challenges of translating values and ideas into practical action.
  • Topics covered: Rethinking our economic culture. Creating physical hubs in neighbourhoods for health, promoting resilience and building community.
  • The question: What do you mean when you say you’re passionate about Education for Sustainability?
  • Top tips/strategies for embedding sustainability in your teaching/training: What you say matters, what you do matters most. Authenticity is crucial when trying to bridge the gap between values and action, and particularly where the goal of education is to inspire practical change. Education for sustainability can be embedded in everything that you do, from decisions around finances though to building community connections. When this happens every activity, every conversation becomes an opportunity to explore the values and actions needed to create a socially just and ecologically sustainable future.
  • Contact details: mob. 0428 834 748