Learning and Teaching - Best Practice

Message to our students

When you leave Charles Sturt University, you’ll have the skills, knowledge and experience to make a positive impact and contribution to society and our environment, plus more and more businesses are placing emphasis on sustainability skills when recruiting.

This framework explores education for sustainability (EfS) through the formal curriculum. It helps Charles Sturt University create learning experiences that explore complex sustainability issues relevant to your studies.

Importance of sustainability in curriculum

Charles Sturt University embeds EfS into the curriculum and your entire university experience. Staff are supported to re-focus curriculum to pursue EfS agendas and skills.

When graduating Charles Sturt University, you’ll be a sustainability literate graduate, equipped to meet future societal challenges.


What are the Champions positions and where are they located
Champion Position Campus
Lucy WebsterA/PVC (Student Learning) Division of Student LearningWagga Wagga
Christopher Orchard Sub Dean Academic (Learning & Teaching)  Wagga Wagga
Denise WoodSub Dean AcademicBathurst
Donna Mathewson-MitchellSub Dean AcademicBathurst
Jenny KentAssociate Dean Academic (BJBS)Wagga Wagga
Cate ThomasAssociate Dean Academic (FOS)Wagga Wagga
Will LettsAssociate Dean Academic (A&E)Bathurst
Jonathan HowardAcademic support - Implementation Sustainable Practices GLOsAlbury-Wodonga

Workshop group at Wagga Wagga

Progress toward best practice

This framework was benchmarked on 21 October 2016. The below graph illustrates our progress towards best practice across the eight (8) activity areas.  The green bars reaching four (4) highlight best practice and the lower bars indicate Charles Sturt’s ratings over time.  An absence of a blue bar indicates ‘no progress’ for this activity area.


Chris Orchard and Professor Andy Vann

Vignette: We have built leaders who are critically engaged in sustainability issues.

“Some of the changes that I have observed in my students since integrating sustainability principles into my courses include increased requests to print with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) inks; an increased use of recycled and Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and a new student-driven initiative ‘Swap Meet Trade Day’ for residents leaving campus to pass on equipment including white goods, books, folders, etc. to future students to reuse.

The most significant change has been a change in students’ attitudes and behaviour regarding the consumptive culture we live in. They now consider the whole of life cycle for the products they create. They question where these products finally end up. As a designer, you build a portfolio of works over your career. You don’t want to see products (e.g. packaging) end up as rubbish on the road. We need to consider the options and use plant based bio-plastics or photo degradable materials. We must consider the second life of products and take the long view. Before, not much had changed in this space. We considered making less products using minimal resources with high demands upon them. Previously, people just replicated what was out there, they didn’t take the time to critically evaluate products and consider their final destination.

Students were given a green tool kit to work to analyse products, e.g. CSU Print were encouraged to use low VOC ink thus adopting a sustainable printing methodology. Many inks are made of VOC’s and some coloured inks contain heavy metals, mercury which end up in landfill and our soils. Each group of students have their own set of ideas about how better to use the tool kit to make creative industries better. It has heightened their awareness of the economic impacts too.

Now, we have achieved a critical mass of post-graduates that consider sustainability as a critical research question. Graduates are engaged in the industry and many talk at conferences. In the long term, they have used this tool kit to innovate in the industry. We have built leaders who are critically engaged in sustainability issues. Knowledge has been adapted across creative industries regarding sustainability.”

By Christopher Orchard, 11th August 2016.