NTEU Climate Change Conference pushed the boundaries
NTEU Climate Change conference pushes the boundaries of the Australian debate
The NTEU National Climate Change conference was held on the 28-29 April, 2011.
The conference brought together NTEU members from around Australia, along with members of other trade unions, and expert speakers on climate change and environmental sustainability.
The conference was web streamed, which enabled members to listen and watch the plenary sessions over the two days. We have feedback from members indicating that this worked well, enabling them to listen in when they were at their desks or on portable devices as they moved around at work.
We will now use this website for ongoing communication and action on climate change and environmental sustainability. The agenda and information about the speakers is on the website. You can also read feedback from the conference participants. Papers and slides from the speakers and presenters are also being collected and posted.
A more comprehensive report including the new ideas and actions arising from the workshops and plenaries is currently being compiled – and will be available on the website soon.
Pushing the Boundaries
As noted in our media release:
The (NTEU) conference aimed to ‘push the boundaries’ on the ways Australians are thinking, talking and acting on climate change and environmental sustainability.
“We called the conference Pushing the Boundaries because we believe that as a union of academics, researchers, university professionals and administrators we have a particular role to play in addressing this critical problem of our time,” explained National President Jeannie Rea.
“It is expected that people in universities will come up with the ways to tackle the causes and consequences of global warming, and this work is going on every day in Australian universities. University staff and students are pushing the boundaries of science, engineering, philosophy, politics, economics, psychology and education, and are working together across traditional disciplinary and professional areas. We assert the need to push the boundaries because the frame of the Australian debate is far too narrow and unambitious considering the immensity of the realities facing us.”
The objectives of the conference were to inform, educate and facilitate debate and action amongst the NTEU membership; to provide a platform for informed discussion drawing upon the professional expertise of our membership; and to influence public debate.
The anticipated outcomes included increasing the capability for NTEU to improve our visibility and influence internally and externally; more effectively participate in, and make changes for, environmental sustainability in our workplaces, the broader trade union movement and our communities; and implement NTEU policy and further develop practice.
From talk to action
The conference participants are very committed to implementing ideas and activities at their workplaces and seeking the support of their Branches.
NTEU has comprehensive policy in support of action for environmental sustainability and addressing the crisis of global warming. These policies include making changes to workplace policies and practices; to curriculum (including Educating for Sustainability (EFS) principles and practices); to personal attitudinal and behavioural change; to advocating for effective climate change policy at the corporate and governmental level.
For example, at a national level we are actively engaged in the Climate Action Group of the ACTU, and in advocating NTEU policy at the ACTU Executive. See the ACTU climate change campaign outline Climate Change is Union Business on the NTEU or Pushingtheboundaries website or www.actu.org.au/Campaigns/ClimateChangeJobs
NTEU policies on climate change and environmental sustainability can be found n the NTEU website or on www.pushingtheboundaries.org.au, A schedule of environmental sustainable practices in universities is also posted. This is updated by National Organiser Michael Evans on advice from Branches.
I’d like to take this opportunity thank all the plenary speakers and workshop presenters. Most are from the NTEU, which demonstrates the authority and expertise with which the NTEU can speak and act on these critical matters in any forum.
Branches and Divisions are very welcome to contact National Organiser, Michael Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself email@example.com for further information and to discuss NTEU policy and action on climate change and environmental sustainability.