National workshop: Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in Australia

6–7 May 2015, Melbourne



In September 2015 the United Nations General Assembly is expected to approve a final set of universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 that will promote economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Starting in 2016, these SDGs will apply to all countries, including Australia. Last July a UN working group released a proposal for the SDGs that included 17 goals and almost 170 targets. Governments are currently going through intense negotiations to finalise the form, wording, and method of tracking progress of the proposed goals.

With just a few short months remaining before negotiations conclude and the SDGs become part of our global and national reality, key questions for government, business and the community in Australia to consider now are: What are the opportunities for Australia in implementing the SDGs? How will Australia implement the SDGs and monitor their progress? How will the different sectors in Australia contribute to the implementation and achievement of the SDGs?

This was the third in a series of annual workshops organised by the Monash Sustainability Institute to support Australian leadership in the development and implementation of the SDGs. (Information on the previous workshops can be found here.) It was carried out under the auspices of the Australia/Pacific Regional Network of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and supported by the Harold Mitchell Foundation and the National Australia Bank.

Workshop aims

The workshop brought together leaders and experts from government, business, civil society and academia to develop concrete proposals for how Australia can address priority SDGs implementation issues, namely to:

  1. Identify the opportunities for Australia implementing the SDGs.
  2. Identify the most relevant SDGs and targets for Australia.
  3. Map out how Australia could measure and report on progress in achieving the SDGs, including what data and indicators will be needed.
  4. Identify how different sectors in Australia – including federal, state and local government, business, civil society, and academia – could contribute to the implementation and achievement of the SDGs.


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