The development of visions and strategies for Australia’s sustainable future

Crawford School of Public Policy

Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 26 March 2020


Online Seminar


Ian Chambers


Keith Barney

This is an online event. Please see below for zoom link

Australia is currently facing key challenges in sustainability that impact, not only the nation’s unique ecological environment, but also its long-term economic and social sustainability. Over the past 24 months alone, the country has experienced the devastating impact of the bushfires, the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, millions of fish deaths in the Darling River Basin, and unprecedented heat waves, drought and flooding. Australia also faces significant challenges in the economic pillars of sustainability imposed by only 50-day oil supply reserves and social and infrastructure challenges in immigration, health and population policies. At the same time opportunities are emerging as the global economy moves towards a greater focus on sustainability driven by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Despite this, Australia is often described as a laggard in both tackling these challenges and leveraging the opportunities that arise from them. Although sustainable prosperity has been identified as the desired future for majority of Australians, they also believe Australia is heading in the opposite direction. Sustainable outcomes will therefore only be achieved by making ‘tough choices’ and policy decisions (Hatfield-Dobbs et al. 2015).

This thesis focuses on addressing four key questions required to achieve a sustainable future in Australia: what is the preferred future for the majority of Australians; is this desired future a feasible option; can a community engagement intervention facilitate sustainable outcomes; and can core competencies be identified and developed into a model for transition to achieve sustainable prosperity. In answering these questions, this thesis identifies and reviews (i) the key elements of Australians preferred future (ii) the threats and opportunities to be addressed in achieving this preferred future; (iii) key leverage points for systems’ change and core competencies required to facilitate this (UN SDGs, Scenario Planning, Strategic Planning, Community Engagement, Sustainable Future Mindset); (vi) the application of these core competencies to the development of a model for transition to sustainable prosperity (v) key policy implications of this model for sustainable prosperity of Australia. The thesis presents evidence that developing these core competencies and establishing a model for transition can not only enable Australia to achieve sustainable prosperity, it provides the opportunity to demonstrate a leadership role internationally. We will open the link by 12:15 pm for interested people to test their systems.

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