Environmental Collective: What we do and how to get involved

Environment Officers, Steven Kwon, Marco Avena and Amelie Van Der Stock

Like trees, bees and seas? Interested in meeting other folk who share these interests and want to protect them? AHAH! I see you’ve found the environment collective!

Who are we? We are an SRC collective (no access needed to join!) dedicated to learning about and taking action on issues of social and environmental justice both on and off campus.  We are linked with like-minded mates across the country as part of Australian Student environment network (ASEN) and together work on local and nation-wide campaigns such as ‘fossil free universities’.

We Are:

  • concerned about coal, coal seam gas (CSG), uranium mining, nuclear energy and the destruction of Indigenous autonomy, forests and marine parks as a result.
  • Love renewable energy, forests, reefs, food coops, community gardens… and sunflowers
  • Always strive to campaign in solidarity with local and indigenous communities
  • Have a non-hierarchical approach to decision making that is inclusive and consensus based so everybody has an equal ownership of the group and its actions

What do we do?

  • We run campaigns, have weekly meetings,
  • host discussion groups and info nights,
  • fight fossil fuels directly on campus,
  • join the NSW anti-CSG movement and blockade bulldozers and logging machinery,
  • host forums, screen films,
  • rally for the reef, attend camps,
  • organise ride to work days,
  • discuss societal change,
  • eat awesome food and enjoy good company!

Fossil Free Universities:

As part of a nation-wide ASEN campaign, we are pressuring USYD to ‘divest’ from fossil fuels on campus. That is, stop investing hundreds of millions of dollars in coal companies and their financiers such as ANZ to send the message of a lacking social and academic license as well as prevent such money from influencing the direction of our research and education.

USYD Community Garden:

In 2013 we joined the SRC, Food Coop and Centre for English Teaching (CET) to build a community garden on level 5 of Wentworth (Look up from Hermanns). We’ve found that sustainability education and growing our own food has become a fantastic way to meet new enviroey mates! Join the USYD Community garden to get involved!

Leard State Forest (Maules Creek):

We’ve been joining the 500 day blockade at the leard state forest to stop the construction of the Maules creek mine. This would destroy 1600 hectares of unique bushland and farmland. This region contains sacred indigenous land and 544 hectares of critically endangered habitat. The machine are in but and farmers, activists, community members, students and Gomeroi peoples are uniting against them.

Mining the Truth Roadtrips:

We join ASEN folk from NSW in an annual roadtrip around the state to visit communities directly affected by the impacts of coal and coal seam gas. In 2012 we filmed an award winning documentary ‘Mining the Truth’ which shares the stories of those we met on our travels. Themed ‘Just transitions’, in 2013 we met not just the fighters, but people working in the mining industry to build a dialogue of a just and sustainable future.

Students of sustainability (SOS):

Imagine all the awesome enviroey (mostly) student folk from around Australia in the one place sharing skills, knowledge, ideas, SUCH GOOD FOOD, camping, campfires, performances…. In 2013, we went to SOS Tasmania, and road tripped with other ASEN folk around the state. We visited the Observer tree with Miranda Gibson, stopped saw mills using old growth in Lornevalle and used our collective fire fighting and first aid skills to survive a 400year old myrtle falls when camping in the Tarkine. Watch out for SOS 2014 in Canberra! (A bunch of us are riding our bikes down!!!)

Want to get involved now hey?

Come along to our weekly meetings on Mondays 12pm, Sunken Lawns nr Manning or email us at environment.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.
FB: “Sydney Uni Environment Collective” & “Fossil Free USYD” / Phone: Marco 0410881385, Steven 0416406900 & Amelie 0413679269.

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