Date: 25 -28 July 2017
Venue: Storey Hall, RMIT City campus (Building 16) 336–348 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Cost: $680 / $400 for students
RSVP: Visit the registration page


On 1st January 2016 Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development came into force. Containing 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the breadth of the agenda challenges us all to think beyond narrow disciplinary and professional perspectives: to consider complex challenges in a collaborative and outcome focused way.

How might we begin to link the theory of sustainable development with practical real world examples? What role can industry, government and academia play? What role should education play in transforming our world? What is education for sustainable development?

These questions will guide discussions in July 2017, at the symposium on Sustainable Development Research in Asia Pacific. This multidisciplinary conference aims to provide a forum to foster and facilitate the exchange of information, ideas and experience around best practice sustainability research in the Asia Pacific Region, drawing links between research, practice, education for sustainability and the needs of industry, and address the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The conference will be hosted by RMIT University in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, HAW Hamburg, under the auspices of the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP).

The aim of the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme, established at the World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities 2014 in Manchester is to provide a platform, on which member universities may undertake research on matters related to sustainable development and to assemble interdisciplinary, cross-Faculty teams among its member universities, focusing on sustainable development, with a keen interest to engage on bidding for national and international sustainability research projects.

The Symposium is not limited to a specific discipline, but intentionally seeks to promote sustainable development research across multi disciplines.

1: Education for Sustainability 

2: Sustainable Cities 

3: Sustainable Buildings 

4: Sustainable Infrastructure

A further aim of the event will be to document and disseminate the wealth of experiences on sustainable development research in the Asia-Pacific today. To this purpose, a peer-reviewed book titled “Sustainable Development Research at Universities in the Asia-Pacific” will be published, with all accepted papers. This will be part of the award-winning World Sustainability Series, published by Springer, one of the world´s top five scientific publishers.

The UN Global Compact – Cities Programme is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of this conference.


Registration for the symposium is now live. Secure your attendance through early-bird registration and save.

All dietary requirements, VISA information and tour options are part of the registration process.

A VISA letter will be provided to those who require one upon payment of registration.

Key Note Speakers

Jeff Oatman, Senior Manager – Market Engagement, Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)

Joining the GBCA in 2010, Jeff started work in Green Star certification where he oversaw the certification of more than 700 Green Star projects – from hospitals to hotels, schools to shopping centres, office towers to large-scale community developments the size of new cities. Jeff spearheaded the GBCA’s continuous improvement strategy that has reduced Green Star assessment times, increased cost-effectiveness of certification and boosted customer satisfaction. He currently works with the GBCA Market Development team where his role focusses on working with industry to help align the GBCA’s products and services to their organisational sustainability strategies. Originally from Canada, Jeff has come to Sydney via South Korea, where he worked in commercial leasing transaction management for a global real estate consulting firm.

Professor Kerry Shepherd

Kerry is Professor of Higher Education Development at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He has a background in the biological sciences and extensive experience as university teacher and researcher before developing particular interests in learning and teaching. Kerry’s interests span policy and practice in higher education, educational development and student learning. In particular, Kerry has broad interests in ‘learning in the affective domain’, and is not only interested in what students know or in what skills they have to put their knowledge to effect, but also in what they choose to do with the knowledge and skills they learn. Kerry’s recent research focuses on community-engaged learning and teaching, academic integrity, ‘the public understanding of science’ and ‘education for sustainability’. Kerry has written two books (Presenting at conferences, seminars and meetings, 2005; and Higher Education for Sustainable Development, 2015) and contributed to more than 100 research articles and conference presentations, many of which are in the broad area of ‘higher education for sustainable development’ and focus on challenging and supporting higher education to adequately evaluate the impact of its educational efforts.

Professor Walter Leal

Professor Walter Leal teaches at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, and holds the Chair of Environment and Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK). Walter is the founding director of the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP) and founding editor of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Sujeeva Setunge, Deputy Dean Research and Innovation for Engineering at RMIT University and a professor of Civil Engineering

Prior to joining RMIT University Sujeeva Setunge has been a lecturer and senior lecturer at Monash University where she completed her PhD in Structural Engineering. Her current research interests focus on disaster resilience and sustainability of buildings and infrastructure and innovative and sustainable construction materials. She is currently leading seven industry funded projects in these areas. Sujeeva is the chair of the research committee of the Centre for Pavement Excellence, Asia-Pacific, and a committee member of The Unitied Nations for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) working group on construction policy and practice for disaster resilience. She is a fellow of Engineers Australia and a Chartered Professional Engineer.


Quest is offering Symposium members a great deal on accommodation.

Quest on Bourke is a boutique apartment complex conveniently located in the very heart of bustling Melbourne. The property features 62 one and two bedroom apartments, all fully self-contained with full kitchens, private laundry facilities, private bedrooms and separate living areas. Located close to the business district, Chinatown, shopping, theatre and restaurants Quest on Bourke also has a tram stop at our front entrance, which offers access to the whole city utilising the free CBD Tram network. Special rates go from $155 per room/night for single or double occupancy.

If you want more information please contact Vanessa Warnock at

Become a Symposium Sponsor

Become a sponsor of the inaugural Australian Symposium on Sustainable Development Research in the Asia- Pacific.

Through sponsorship, you will have multiple opportunities to showcase your organisation at the symposium, be associated with the most innovative developments in the fields of sustainability and the built environment and engage and connect with the attendees of this event.

Find out further details about becoming a symposium sponsor.

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