14 October 2020Share
ACU’s first annual Sustainability Week was held on 4-10 October 2020 and provided the opportunity to reflect on how we can contribute to a better world.
The week involved a number of virtual events which explored how we can contribute to caring for our common home and support the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals. These 17 goals represent a comprehensive approach to sustainability which includes caring for the environment, addressing poverty and reducing inequalities, fostering peace and justice and creating sustainable communities. Pope Francis has provided a wonderful vision of these goals in his encyclical on caring for our common home, Laudato si’, which inspires us as a Catholic university.
If you missed out on Sustainability Week events, you can catch up by watching the recordings in Workplace. A summary of the week’s activities is listed below. Join the Sustainability@ACU group to receive ongoing updates on ACU’s sustainability initiatives throughout the year.
Watch a panel discussion exploring the contributions of Noise, Greed, Slavery and Ugliness.
MC Associate Vice-Chancellor (Qld) Professor Jim Nyland highlights Pope Francis’ vision of integral ecology, where everything is connected, as especially relevant in a time of pandemic.
“The strong sentiment felt by pretty much everybody everywhere is ‘we are all in this together’,” Jim says.
“This sentiment provides real hope, not just for a vaccine to solve the COVID crisis, but importantly it also offers hope that the current pandemic is a spotlight that has illuminated how we might respond to the crises of even greater existential threats, such as those outlined by his holiness Pope Francis in Laudato si’ and in Fratelli tutti.”
Hear from Jacqui Remond as she talks with ACU’s Campus Pastoral Associate – Staff, Cristina Lledo Gomez, to explore the interplay between integral ecology and the mission of ACU. Jacqui talks about how a view of ecology that places humans at the centre is detrimental for our planet and how we can shift our thinking.
Jacqui also outlines the key messages of Laudato si’, and how it addresses the crises of today at the ecological, social and spiritual levels.
“Pope Francis begins by asking, ‘What is happening to our common home?’, and he looks to science and tell us all about the issues – climate change, the loss of biodiversity, the growing gap between the rich and the poor, pollution, the throw-away mentality, and culture. He then says these are all symptoms of a much deeper cause,” Jacqui says.
Watch a discussion between ACU's National Manager (Sustainability) Mark Doggett and Campus Pastoral Associate – Staff, Jeremy Ambrose. Be inspired by 10 ways you can change the world.
“There’s been a prominent view, one that has gained momentum over the years, that human development is incompatible with the conservation of our environment,” Jeremy says.
“We are really in a historical period where we are capable of damaging the planet. Human existence for most of our existence has been entirely sustainable,” Mark says.
The late Denis Edwards was a professorial fellow at ACU’s Adelaide campus and a world leader in the areas of the relationship between science and theology, and theology’s response to the ecological crisis.
Denis’ PhD Student Ann-Maree O’Beirne rsm explores Denis’s body of work and his endeavours to embrace the natural world within a trinitarian theology of creation and incarnation.
As an example, she outlines that people often respond to the suffering caused by natural disasters by asking, ‘Why is God doing this?’, and that glib answers about God’s will can be harmful and dangerous. In offering a different perspective, Ann-Maree draws from Denis’s work, which considers how God accompanies all creatures in their times of suffering.
“When I open my heart to this level of thought, I experience a deepening of love towards God and the natural world that otherwise may not have been possible,” Ann-Maree says.