University of Newcastle: From commitment to action: The journey to a low emissions future

The University of Wollongong (UOW) and the University of Newcastle, in partnership with Business Illawarra and Business Hunter, hosted a special event on Wednesday, 1 June 2022, to discuss the role the universities are playing in making Australia a leader in clean energy.

‘A Tale of Two Cities Clean Energy Showcase: Journey to Low Emissions’ focused on how UOW and the University of Newcastle are working with their partners to create clean energy solutions to transition their local regions towards low carbon economies supported by an appropriately skilled workforce.

NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport, The Hon Rob Stokes, MP, delivered the keynote address. UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M. Davidson and University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO gave the opening remarks.

The event focused on both regions’ ability to create clean energy solutions to transition their cities and communities towards low-carbon economies supported by a skilled workforce and embracing new technologies.

Featuring leading energy researchers from both universities along with government and industry leaders, the event included a clean energy showcase, panel discussion and Q&A to share insights into unlocking Australia’s clean energy potential, supporting the manufacturing sector to achieve reduced emissions, and expanding employment.

Professor Davidson said the universities can play a key role as sustainable energy leaders and the strengths of both regions in becoming Australia’s gateway cities to clean energy.

“UOW is pleased to be working closely with our partners to address a challenge that needs immediate action,” Professor Davidson said.

“Our universities actively work with our partners, including Business Illawarra and Business Hunter, to create clean energy solutions that grow our economies and expand employment opportunities.

“It requires a team effort to create significant positive change, and this is why we are delighted to be joined today by some of the brightest minds in industry, community and government.

“At the university and community level, UOW has also been working closely with its student climate advisors and industry partners to decarbonise its operations through educational, engineering and purchasing improvements for over a decade – a commitment that UOW has made to become carbon neutral by 2030.”

UOW also works closely with the NSW Government, the Future Fuels CRC, industries and energy suppliers to develop a cleaner, fairer and more affordable energy future that supports 10,000 jobs in the Illawarra.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said, “We are very proud to partner with the University of Wollongong and help our respective regions transition to low carbon economies, develop greener technology and produce the skilled workforce of the future.

“Wollongong and Newcastle share a strikingly similar history as industrial regional centres, and similarly both universities are absolutely committed to working with partners to grow new industries for their regions,” added Professor Zelinsky.