Durack highly commended at 2014 Green Gown Awards Australasia

12 November 2014

The world was watching as the winners of the 2014 Green Gown Awards Australasia and the International awards were announced live last night from the Hotel Grand Chancellor in the  breath-taking city of Hobart.

42 finalists were on the edge of their seats as ACTS president  - Leanne Denby and Vice President  - Jonathan Pheasant announced 24 winners from 26 institutions from Australasia and internationally. 

Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens, attended the event  to present a number of Awards. “I am delighted to know that the universities around Australia have their own awards - the Australasian Green Gowns - Europe’s got them, the UKs got them, it really is an example of the thought leadership of the sector and I congratulate everyone involved”. 

Every year the Awards bring together the most inspirational projects from across the sector. Senator Milne presented RMIT University with a hat trick of Awards including the national and international Continuous Improvement - Institutional Change Award for ‘Shaping Sustainable Cities’, a holistic approach to sustainability capturing RMIT’s goals to be global, urban and connected. 

"Receiving three significant sustainability awards provides fantastic recognition for the work undertaken by RMIT to embed sustainability across Learning & Teaching, Research and Operations. Being honoured with an International Green Gown Award aligns with the University's global vision to shape sustainable cities" said Professor Paul Gough, Pro Vice Chancellor and Chair of the RMIT Sustainability Committee.  

Conference and Awards hosts, the University of Tasmania continued the success, winning the inaugural Facilities & Services category for their ‘Thinking beyond the rectangle’- an initiative on sustainable transport. They were also highly commended in the student engagement category. Sustainability Manager, at UTAS Corey Peterson went on to win a personal accolade - the Staff ACTS Award of Excellence.  “It’s wonderful for institutions to acknowledge one another and we are honoured to be recognised for our unique efforts by our peers, as so many of us are striving for the same goals and we hope our learnings will inspire others”. 

Guests at the highly engaging and fun packed evening, now in their fifth year, included sustainability professionals from tertiary education, as well as Leaders from the sector, such as the Australian Greens, Australian Conservation Foundation and the Office for Learning & Teaching (OLT).

A snap shot of some of the winners include:

  • University of Canberra in Best Newcomer category for ‘Last starter, fast runner’ for embedding sustainable procurement into  campus operations and influencing ethical student purchasing.
  • The University of the Sunshine Coast in the Carbon Reduction category, sponsored by Envizi, for reducing their total general waste by 75%.
  • Swinburne University of Technology, in the Learning & Teaching category sponsored  by and the Office of Learning & Teaching for Transforming VET Teachers into sustainability champions. 
  • Monash University in Skills for Sustainability 
  • University of Western Sydney for their leadership in the Youth Eco summit in Social Responsibility.
  • Macquarie University for their student led and inspired project, sponsored by Green Steps, for ‘Tap it – it’s fresh and free, significantly reducing water bottle use on campus.

All eight winners and ten highly commended achieved recognition for 13 Australasian institutions for sustainability excellence.

The Green Gown Awards Australasia are an inspiration within the educator sector, evidenced by the International Green Gown Awards.  Now in their 3rd year, they see Australasia, the UK and French-speaking Europe go head to head in 3 categories. Taking out the top accolade this year was RMIT, with Hull College, UK and University of Strathclyde, UK winning Social Responsibility and Student Engagement respectively. This is the first year that Australasia has announced the Awards and many viewed the ceremony live online from around the world. 

Commenting on the 2014 Awards, Leanne Denby – President of Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) said “we are overwhelmed by the response to this year’s Green Gown Awards Australasia, with winners delighting at the prestige of their accolade. The calibre of initiatives within the sector is extremely high, with all nominees deserving commendation”.

Christine Milne also inspired the ACTS 14th International Cconference delegation, along with Kelly O’Shanessy CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation and Professor Stephen Sterling, Plymouth University, UK with  highly inspirational and engaging key notes that ran alongside the Awards on the 5 – 7 November 2014 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

2014 Green Gown Awards Australasia Winners

Best Newcomer
Winner: University of Canberra
Highly Commended: Durack Institute of Technology 

Carbon Reduction 
Winner: University of the Sunshine Coast
Highly Commended: Western Sydney Institute of TAFE

Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change
Winner: RMIT University 

Facilities & Services
Winner: University of Tasmania
 Highly Commended: Griffith University

Learning & Teaching 
Winner: Swinburne University of Technology
Highly Commended: James Cook University
Highly Commended: TAFE NSW – Northern Sydney Institute

Skills for Sustainability
Winner: Monash University
 Highly Commended: RMIT University

Social Responsibility
Winner: University of Western Sydney 
Highly Commended: James Cook University
Highly Commended: TAFE NSW – North Coast Institute

Student Engagement 
Winner: Macquarie University 
Highly Commended: University of Tasmania
Highly Commended: James Cook University

2014 ACTS Awards of Excellence
ACTS Award of Excellence – Institutional
RMIT University

ACTS Award of Excellence – Staff                                     
Corey Peterson, University of Tasmania                                      

ACTS Award of Excellence – Student
Oliver Lovell, University of Tasmania

2014 International Green Gown Awards
Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change
Winner: RMIT University, Australasia 

Social Responsibility
Winner: Hull College, UK

Student Engagement 
Winner: Manchester Metropolitan University, UK


FT - Full time

PT - Part time

FLX - Flexible

RPL - Recognition of prior learning

ONL - Online

OPL - Open learning

PRE - Preapprenticeship

APP - Apprenticeship

TRN - Traineeship

WPA - Workplace assessment