Leadership Forum | A burning world: a catalyst for generational change or apocalypse?

Leadership Forum | A burning world: a catalyst for generational change or apocalypse?

A burning world: a catalyst for generational change or apocalypse?

Time: 3pm – 5pm
Location: National Convention Centre, Canberra
Members: $95 (includes High Tea in Canberra)
Non-Members: $195 (includes High Tea in Canberra)

Register to Attend Here

Join sector leaders and practitioners for Engagement Australia’s signature Leadership Forum A burning world: a catalyst for generational change or apocalypse?

This summer Australia has shown the world just how bad the notion of a burning world can be, and it seems timely to start a debate about what engaged universities should really be doing in order to address these urgent realities.  The Opinion Piece A burning world: will we choose transformation and sustainability or apocalypse? is a ‘think-piece’ designed to stimulate discussion and debate about these burning issues.

This year’s Engagement Australia (EA) Leadership Forum will lead the debate about How can we advance our university engagement agenda in the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the impending world ecological disaster?  We must acknowledge the sustainable goals for the ‘wicked issues.’ Poverty reduction, hunger amelioration, equal health chances, decent work, responsible consumption, climate change action, sustainable cities and social justice are all listed as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations. This is a world issue of which we are a part, right here and now and right in your home town. This is a ‘heimat’ issue for each community and neighbourhood in your town, throughout Australia and across the globe. No-one can afford to ignore the challenge because it is quite simply coming your way.

Join us to hear from an international panel of experts about how engaged universities can provide a powerful voice to government(s), industry and the communities they serve; about how they can apply SDGs within their strategic and operational plans through deep and collaborative partnerships; and about how they can seize back the debate in the current climate by recovering the learning spirit and critical thinking many associate with our universities.

The Leadership Forum will also launch the new Engagement Australia Awards, formerly known as the BHERT Awards, and provide attendees with the latest edition of Transform: the Journal of Engaged Scholarship.


Emma Camp

Dr Emma Camp is a marine biogeochemist at the University of Technology Sydney, a United Nations Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, National Geographic Explorer and a 2019 Rolex Associate Laureate. Emma researches and advocates for the world’s marine life under threat from environmental and climate change. An ocean explorer, Camp has discovered natural populations of super tolerant corals, which she is researching to better understand how corals may survive into the future. Emma is an advocate for Women in STEM and improved Climate Action – attending the 2019 United Nations Climate Summit in New York. Emma has won numerous research awards for her work, including the British Ecological Societies Early Career research Award (2018) and was named a 2019 New South Wales Tall Poppy.


Dr Billy Osteen is the Associate Professor of Community Engagement at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. This position came about after thousands of Canterbury students provided help across the city following the devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Billy gave students the opportunity to connect their service with academic content and critical reflection through the creation of a service-learning course, CHCH101: Rebuilding Christchurch. The course has been taken by over 1,000 students who have contributed more than 30,000 hours to the recovery of the city. In addition, the course has been adapted and used as an academic response to other disasters around the world.


Duncan Ross, Chief Data Officer, Times Higher Education who will join us from the UK via video conference (in an effort to keep airmiles down) to speak about the UN SDGs which will be a major focus for this year.  Duncan oversees the team that generates university rankings at THE and last year launched their University Impact Ranking based on the UN’s SDGs.

The Un SDGs will be a major focus for the Times Higher this year.


Dr Geoff Scott is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education and Sustainability at Western Sydney University, Australia. From 2004-12 he was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Quality) and Executive Director of Sustainability at WSU.
During this time he led a range of successful external quality audits and established the United Nations’ endorsed Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development – Greater Western Sydney (RCE-GWS) which now has over 25 regional partners.

WSU was ranked No.1 in Australia in the Times Higher Impact ranking based on the UN SDGs last year.

Jessica Weir

Dr Jessica Weir is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Fenner School, ANU. She investigates human-environment relations, justice, societal norms and public sector governance. Her research practice is fundamentally informed by her collaborations with Indigenous peoples in southern and western Australia. Dr Weir currently leads and co-leads two projects funded by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC). She has held positions as Research Fellow at the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS 2007-2012), and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Canberra (2012-13), and in 2011 founded the AIATSIS Centre for Land and Water Research.

J Nyland 2018 Image_Transform Article_Resize

Chair of the Session
Professor Jim Nyland, Chair of Engagement Australia and Associate Vice Chancellor, Australian Catholic University