The Australian Government will be presenting its first National Voluntary Review (VNR) on national progress towards the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs to the UN High Level Political Forum in July 2018.
The VNR will report, among other things, on how all sectors in Australia are contributing to the implementation of the SDGs, both domestically and internationally, and the Government is currently holding consultations to collect case studies on such actions and initiatives.
The Australian university sector plays a critical role in SDG implementation – through research, education, organisational practices, and community leadership. The VNR is an important opportunity to showcase its contribution and impact, including through submission of individual case studies on sector action through the formal VNR consultation process.
However, the impact of the sector is much greater and broader than what can be demonstrated by individual case studies. The aim of this workshop is to capture the overall impact of the sector towards the implementation of all the SDGs, to showcase how the sector is already using the SDGs to go beyond business as usual, and to identify opportunities and enabling mechanisms for the sector to have an even greater impact going forward.
The discussions will build on SDSN Australia/Pacific’s guide to Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities, which was recently developed in collaboration with the Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) and Australian and New Zealand universities. The outcome of the discussions will be summarised in a short statement, to supplement and support the Government’s formal VNR consultations.
The workshop brought together key stakeholders and leaders in SDG implementation across research, teaching & learning, and university governance from universities and the sector more broadly, as well as relevant government agencies – including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Education and Training, and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science – that are involved in the preparation of the VNR.