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    Strengths, wellbeing and action: Supporting students to tap into their climate superpowers

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    Event description

    Are you interested in how we can support student wellbeing, learning and growth in relation to climate change, within and outside university classrooms?

    We warmly invite those who teach and support university students, as well as students and others interested in navigating climate change in various education settings, to join us for a reflective, interactive discussion.

    This event will explore approaches that focus on students’ strengths and capacities to take action across a wide range of scales and areas of their lives.

    It will begin with a showcase of three current initiatives at the University of Melbourne, before we discuss experiences so far, remaining challenges, and visions for advancing sustainability education.

    Climate Superpowers in the Classroom:Β The Climate Superpowers website was created with and for young people in 2022. It invites young people to take a quiz to find out about their β€˜climate superpowers’ – social, natural, built, political, human, cultural and financial – and then to explore ways of using these for learning about climate change, taking action, and self-care.Β 

    Since the website launched, educators, young people and researchers have been working together to apply the climate superpowers approach within classrooms at school and university levels. Β Β 

    You will hear from three teachers who piloted β€˜climate superpowers’ classroom activities across three subjects at the University of Melbourne in 2023: Introduction to Climate Change; Sustainability: Hope for the Earth?; and Landscape Studio: Designed Ecologies.Β 

    Sustainable Self module:Β Launched in March 2024, The Sustainable Self is a set of interactive learning modules that promote wellbeing and adaptive coping for those studying emotionally challenging topics at the University of Melbourne, such as climate change and social inequity. The module includes six sections through which students can work on building their β€˜sustainable self’.Β 

    Wattle Fellowship program:Β The Wattle Fellowship is the University of Melbourne’s co-curricula program for students to foster leadership on global sustainability, focusing on multidisciplinary approaches, transformative leadership and practical skills development. This year-long program supports students in bringing ideas to life, creating positive impact, and developing within a community of change-makers. Β 


    About the speakers:

    Phoebe Quinn:Β Phoebe is a Research Fellow in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, where she conducts research and develops resources with the aim of community wellbeing in the face of climate change and disasters. She co-leads the Climate Superpowers body of work. Phoebe also explores democratic innovations and digital technology in relation to climate change and disasters through her doctoral research. Β 

    Wendy Walls:Β Wendy is a landscape architect researcher, writer and educator. She is a lecturer in the Melbourne School of Design currently teaching into the Bachelor of Design and Landscape Architecture masters program. Her research focuses on landscape design methods and practice under threat of climate change. This includes the role of landscape architecture in designing for the lived experience of heating cities.Β 

    Jasmine Rhodes:Β Jasmine is a lecturer and tutor in the University of Melbourne Faculties of Education and Science, teaching subjects in philosophy of environmental education, interdisciplinary sustainability and climate studies, and environmental social psychology. She recently co-developed the Sustainable Self modules for students studying emotionally challenging subjects at the University.Β 

    Dr Helena Bender:Β Helena is an interdisciplinary education specialist who brings her secondary school teaching experiences to her coordination and teaching of UNIB10024 Subject Sustainability: Hope for the Earth?, the β€˜Fire, people and sustainability investigation’ in SCIE10005 Today’s Science, Tomorrow’s World, and to her contributions to ENST90043 Sustainable Landscapes. She is passionate about facilitating sustainability and seeks to empower students to create a future in which the planet and its inhabitants can all thrive.Β 

    Matt Dunne:Β Matt Dunne is the Program Manager for the Wattle Fellowship, where he galvanises developing leaders and helps them develop into leaders in global sustainability. He has an extensive background in education and co-curricular programming across a diverse range of schools, universities and professional development contexts around Australia and the world. Matt is also an accomplished artist and owns and operates a publishing company.Β Β 

    Dr Rebecca Patrick:Β Dr Rebecca Patrick is a teaching and research academic who is recognised for her expertise in nature, environment, and health research and scholarship. She trained in health promotion, practised in youth and community health for over 10 years and is an accomplished interdisciplinary researcher, leading multi-institution, mixed-methods research in climate-related mental wellbeing and health co-benefit intervention measurement and evaluation.


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