10 Australians have been short listed to become environmental ambassadors and attend the 2009 Bayer-UNEP Eco-Minds Forum in Auckland, New Zealand.
The students were inspired by the cross-cultural camaraderie from previous Eco-Minds programmes, all geared towards generating a positive impact on Australia and other countries in the APAC region. Christopher Mason of the University of Western Sydney says:
“The opportunity to share my ideas on sustainable energy solutions with some of the best minds in the field is really exciting…I think it’s important we all come together to use the best knowledge and skills in this fight to protect the planet.”
Thie Eco-Minds programme aims to foster awareness, thirst and passion for the environment amongst students from across the Asia Pacific region. The call for entries began last October, with university students throughout Australia offering their green ideas to improve the world’s sustainable energy systems. Among the supporters for Bayer-UNEP Eco-Minds during the five-month programme has been environmentalist and PlanetArk co-founder Jon Dee.
“The Eco-Minds programme and upcoming forum allow tomorrow’s Australian leaders to exchange ideas with other cultures and make a very real difference in the future of our environment,” said Dee.
The Australians who have been shortlisted for the trip to Auckland include:
Sacha (Alexander) Krjatian, North Parramatta – University of Western Sydney
Christopher Mason, Box Hill – University of Western Sydney
Matthew Coggan, Cronulla – University of NSW
Reuben Finighan, Flemington – University of Melbourne
Catherine Mah, Southern River – University of Western Australia
Jane Maxwell, Albert Park – Melbourne University
Chris McLean, Wollongong – University of Wollongong
Alexander Readford, Turner – Australian National University
James Tilbury, Upper Kedron – Queensland University of Technology
Jennifer Zhu, Hackett – Australian National University
A total of 27 finalist students from nine countries in the Asia-Pacific region will share their ideas and sustainable solutions with peers at the Bayer-UNEP Eco-Minds forum. This will include solution-orientated group work, cross-cultural activities and knowledge sharing in a bid to tackle real-life sustainable development issues. Bayer-UNEP Eco-Minds was open to all university students aged 18-24 years with delegates from Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, India, Indonesia and China attending.
The 2009 Eco-Minds Youth Forum will focus on a topic that is of growing importance to the world – Sustainable Energy Systems: Challenges and Opportunities. As part of the week-long event, participants will look at some of the challenges around energy supply, including climate change, and the practical solutions that can overcome such challenges with a visit to New Zealand’s hydro and geothermal supply systems.
“This calibre of shortlisted Australian university students proves that in the midst of our difficult economic and environmental times, great minds can still come together and help solve these sustainable issues on a global scale,” said Bayer spokesperson Kirsten Impey, Corporate Communications Manager Australia and New Zealand.
“It’s very inspiring to see this kind of participation for global sustainable causes, while balancing their ongoing university studies,” says Dee. “I’m looking forward to the 2009 Eco-Minds forum, where all students will bring these fantastic ideas to life.”
More information about the Eco-Minds programme and forum can be found at www.eco-minds.bayer.com.
For additional details, or to arrange an interview with Jon Dee, 2009 finalists or a Bayer spokesperson, please contact:
Kevin Burke, Hill & Knowlton, 02 9286 1242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sonia Morris, Hill & Knowlton, 02 9286 1234, email@example.com