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Student leaders tackle sustainability issues on the international stage

Lifestyle | Newsroom

Three exceptional student delegates from the University of Tasmania have been selected to travel to Thailand to participate in the Green Summit, an international conference for the next generation of sustainability leaders.

From 13-16 December, students Giarn Carroll, Faith Tekavei and Jeketi Kachigunda will attend the Green Summit, hosted by Humanitarian Affairs Asia, to learn from world-leading experts and participate in workshops tackling key sustainability issues.

The passion and initiative of students is a key part of the University of Tasmania’s commitment to sustainability for the benefit of Tasmania, Australia and the world.

“Events like this unify people. Issues that affect the planet cannot be solved by one person alone. It takes a collaborative effort, which is why events like this are extremely necessary for sustainable progression,” Bachelor of Business student Faith Tekavei said.

The event aims to empower the next generation of sustainability champions by equipping them with the tools and knowledge to make positive change and encourage them to take charge of their future.

"As an international student from Fiji, I have personally witnessed climate change’s devastating impacts on the South Pacific. Although this may seem like a faraway problem to some, it is a harsh reality for us, and many that are suffering are not often given a voice or platform.

“I am looking forward to learning from world-leading environmental experts. I am passionate about contributing to change, but at times, you sort of wonder how you can go about it on a larger scale,” Faith said.

For Jeketi Kachigunda, a Bachelor of Engineering in Marine and Offshore Systems student majoring in Renewable Energy Systems, this is an opportunity to learn and teach others to change the world.

“I want to learn how to implement the green project I have planned for my term as a UTAS Green Ambassador, and I also want to learn how to develop a sustainable recycling business aimed at remote, rural, and regional Australia."

"I want to design educational programs in conjunction with other ongoing green projects. By doing so I want to change the world, one idea at a time."

The three University of Tasmania delegates were selected through a highly competitive process that received applications from a wide range of degrees and areas of study. They will join delegates from around the world to share their stories and experiences and form vital networks with like-minded individuals looking to create a more sustainable planet.

“I hope to learn about the specific needs of each country attending - maybe there are international issues that Australians can support or initiatives that could be implemented here."

“As a Disabled, Queer person, I am also keen to talk to others about the way intersectionality can affect those seeking Climate Justice,” Bachelor of Marine and Antarctic Science student Giarn Carroll said.

“We are proud to be a University that enables students and staff to tackle complex challenges, including climate change. This leadership is at the heart of what it means to us to be sustainable,” Corey Peterson, Chief Sustainability Officer, said.

“While we are aware of the impact of air travel emissions and our commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, it is important to balance this with the benefits that come from supporting opportunities, like the Green Summit, that allow students to collaborate internationally ensuring our holistic sustainability targets and efforts are meaningful and inclusive of diverse voices.

"We are incredibly proud of the initiative and passion of students at this University for tackling sustainability challenges."

Times Higher Education has ranked the University of Tasmania as the number one university in the world for climate action in 2022.