Students rally for Earth

Flinders blog wed
Flinders medical sciences student Karlien van Rooyen joins Kaurna and visiting Aboriginal community leaders at the NAIDOC Week smoking ceremony to launch the SoS conference at Warriparinga, Marion last night.

The Students of Sustainability (‘SoS’) conference at Flinders this week will focus on the environment, Aboriginal culture and social equity.

More than 300 students are expected at the annual five-day SoS national student summit, which starts today with a traditional Kaurna country smoking ceremony on Sturt Oval, coinciding with NAIDOC Week celebrations.

“SoS is a great chance for people to develop skills to positively change their lives and communities for a more sustainable future,” says Flinders student organiser Isabella Partington.

The annual environmental and social justice conference, organised by the Australian Student Environment Network since 1991, is described as the longest-running annual student-organised conference of its kind in Australia.

This year’s SoS ‘Nourishing our Roots’ event (follow on Facebook) draws speakers, educators, activists, entrepreneurs and artists from around Australia for a week of celebration, education, culture, delicious food, networking and camping.

Flinders academics Professor Diane Bell, Dr Michael Bell and Associate Professor Mary Heath will present at the conference.

Associated activities on campus will include the What’s Up Doco series and live entertainment in marquees near the Sturt Gym.

The conference is run at a different university campus each year with Flinders last hosting it in 2010.

Flinders Sustainability Officer Mathew Jeffrey says the conference is a chance to showcase some of the sustainability initiatives at Flinders – and to highlight the University’s commitment to social justice and cultural understanding and respect.

For example, the new Flinders Hub and Plaza under construction will incorporate the green principles steering building developments at the Bedford Park and Tonsley precincts.

 “The solar installation planned for the new Flinders student hub at Bedford Park will be one of the largest installations in SA’s education sector,” he says.

The proposed 100kW array follows the installation last year on the Law and Commerce building of a 65kW Tindo solar system, made by SA manufacturer Tindo.

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