A decade ago, a group of students at Monash University decided they wanted to start putting their university learning's into practice, so they established the Green Steps program to provide a hands-on, practical approach to learning that translated theories into action. Green Steps is now run by the Monash Sustainability Institute in conjunction with host universities such as CSU. Green Steps bridges the gap between knowledge acquired at university and skills required in the 'real world' of work. Green Steps has proven to be a valuable platform for people embarking on an environmental career, with the majority of Green Steppers going on to work in the environment sector and making a positive difference within organisations and the community.
Green Steps has alumni of over 700 people, and has partnered with over 300 different organisations in sustainability projects across Australia. Last year, the program was honoured with a Banksia Award in the education category.
Green Steps is offered to tertiary students through selected host universities around Australia. Typical course intake is around 12-16 people. Green Steps is free to successful applicants. As you would imagine, places are limited and the application process is highly competitive.
The Green Steps program consists of two compulsory phases, plus an additional optional stage:
One week of intense (but fun) training covers five key areas, detailed below. Training is highly interactive and emphasises teamwork. The style is informal, engaging, and hands-on, drawing on the experience of the group to facilitate learning. Specialist guest speakers and former Green Steps participants also share their experiences.
The training tackles the following areas:
- Environmental issues and responses: Issues such as waste, energy and water, and an understanding of organisational responses to environmental issues
- Environmental auditing: An introduction to waste, energy, water auditing, and conducting staff interviews and surveys
- Project planning and management: Action plan design, problem map creation and creative solution development
- Communication for change: Effective communication to foster change within organisations, including professional presentation and report-writing, compiling promotional materials, constructing coherent arguments and negotiation skills
- Behavioural change management: Understanding the role of the change agent, personal and organisational drivers, behavioural change theory and practice
The training will take place at the Albury-Wodonga campus of CSU. Where possible, transport and accommodation will be provided to students not residing in Wagga Wagga. Morning and afternoon tea and lunch will be provided during the training course.
Green Steps participants will complete an on-campus sustainability project at CSU, in conjunction with CSU Green. Projects will be offered on-site across a number of our campuses, and will focus on specific projects of relevance to sustainability at CSU. These projects provide an exciting opportunity for students to be involved in sustainability projects that improve CSU's environmental performance. Students will be given the opportunity to use your campus as a 'living laboratory', to test skills learnt during the Green Steps training and your formal study. Each project is expected to take 15 days.
Students will also have the option (based on availability) of undertaking an internship with an external organisation. These internships can provide students with the opportunity to hone their environmental skills on real issues, whilst gaining invaluable experience and contacts.
Internships can involve completing a small project with a host organisation, such as:
- Establishing environmental baseline or eco-footprint data
- Developing energy efficiency, carbon reduction or waste minimisation action plans
- Implementing staff behaviour change programs
- Or any other suitable project which you (or the host organisation) can dream up!
The host organisations for internships will be negotiated with individual students to try and align with your background and interests. Organisations may be not-for-profit, small business, local, state o federal governments and large corporations.
Applications for the Green Steps Program in 2013 are now open. The closing date for applications is 5 pm on Tuesday 13th August 2013.
Your application needs to include the following information:
- A cover letter explaining why you would like to get involved in Green Steps
- Your curriculum vitae
- A 1 page response to the task (outlined below)
Please save your application, including the three components, in a single document (PDF or Word) with your name and university as the file name (e.g. firstname_lastname_universityname).
Imagine you are an employee of a medium sized business, with half of your time allocated to delivering environmental projects. You have approached your manager about an energy saving program you would like to run in your workplace. They have asked you to develop a 1 page project brief outlining what energy savings activities you would undertake for the project in the first 6 months.This should cover as many aspects of the organisation's energy use and resulting greenhouse gas emissions as possible, rather than focusing on one particular activity.
Please apply online at
To be eligible for Green Steps you must be enrolled at CSU, and typically we require you to have completed at least one year of study. Emphasis is given to selecting students from a range of disciplines, backgrounds and experiences. This ensures a diverse group, which improves learning outcomes and reflects the interdisciplinary and intergenerational nature of effective responses to environmental issues. This rigorous selection process ensures the selection of highly motivated and committed students who will leave Green Steps ready to enter the environment sector.
|Applications close||5 pm, Tuesday 13th August 2013|
|Interviews for applicants||Tuesday 20th August and Wednesday 21st August 2013|
|Applicants notified of outcome||Friday 23rd August 2013|
|Green Steps training||Friday 13th to Sunday 15th September 2013; and Friday 27th to Sunday 29th September 2013|
|CSU sustainability internships(and optional external internships)||September 2013 to March 2014|
FAQs of Green Steps @ CSU
Do I have to be an enrolled CSU student to apply? Yes, applications will only be accepted from students enrolled at CSU in the year when Green Steps training and an internship occur. If you graduate before the internship is complete, that’s okay. The Green Steps @ CSU program is for both undergraduate and postgraduate students from all backgrounds and faculties.
Can I do Green Steps if I’m an international student? Yes, if you’re enrolled at CSU for the full year, you can apply for the Green Steps program. Unfortunately we cannot accept students who are only on short term exchange programs.
Does it cost to do Green Steps? No, Green Steps is free for selected participants.
Does CSU offer assistance for the training component? CSU Green realises that the distance between CSU campuses can act as a barrier for some participants trying to get to the campus where the training is held. CSU Green can offer some assistance for participants trying to get to/from the training campus. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss assistance options.
How many people are selected from applications? Generally between 12-16 people are selected for each program, depending on application numbers. Training groups are kept small due to our engaging, hands-on training style.
How do you select participants? The Green Steps @ Uni team select a short list of applicants from the written applications for an interview, either face to face or via video conference. They are looking for an interest in sustainability and creating change in an organisational context, evidenced in a well put together cover letter, resume and task. However, for each Green Steps program a group is also selected that contains a diversity of participants from as many faculties, academic disciplines and future work areas as possible. We believe that for Australia to be sustainable we need change agents working in all types of Australian organisations and industries.
Can I just do the internship and not the training? No. Our award-winning training program has been crafted over the last 12 years, and is an essential first step in preparing participants to undertake an internship.
Do I have to be available on all the training days? Yes. To apply, you need to be available to attend training on all advertised days, from 9 am - 5 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 9 am - 1 pm on Sundays. Selection is highly competitive and we ask you to be conscious of the fact that if you’re selected, someone else has missed out in your place.
Will I be paid through my internship? Green Steps @ CSU are providing sustainability projects at campuses, however, if you would like to do an internship at an external organisation in addition to the training and the campus sustainability project then Green Steps @ Uni would pay a stipend to you at the completion of your internship report.
Can I become accredited? Yes, Green Steps is accredited under the Vocational Education and Training (VET) scheme. If participants opt to be assessed on the sustainability and workplace skills demonstrated during Green Steps training and their internship report, if successful they can receive a 'Designing and Implementing Environmental Progress Skills Set' certificate, which provides four units within the VET Certificate III Business Services Training Package.
When would I do the internship if I was selected? You would need to complete a 15 day internship after the training component of the Program. Projects are often undertaken 2 - 3 days per week over several weeks, or can be carried out during your holidays. Timing is negotiated between the participant and CSU.
How do I find an organisation to do my internship with? CSU will provide all participants with an internship in an on-campus sustainability project.
I’ve got a lot on my plate this year. Should I apply? Green Steps’ training goes over 6 days in total, with some preparation required between training blocks. Depending on the program you apply for, you may also be required to participate in a short term on-campus sustainability project, which is an additional commitment beyond the 15 day internship. This can be difficult to manage for some people with a full time study load and significant work and extracurricular commitments. Please be aware that we ask you to commit in writing to the program requirements before being selected.