ICS Researchers Feature in Future-Makers

Western Sydney University has been recognised as number one worldwide in the 2022 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings. The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings assess universities against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across four areas: research; stewardship; outreach; and teaching.

This special issue of Future-Makers Special Issue (opens in a new window) on the UN Sustainable Development Goals focuses on the impactful work of WSU researchers across several SDGs. It features six articles on the research taking place at ICS.Image_Future_Makers


Single, older women are one of Australia's fastest-growing groups of homeless people. Raising the Roof on Housing Insecurity looks at the work of Emma Power, who has been gathering first-hand accounts of these women to find out their experiences with housing. Emma has advocated for changes to NSW tenancy laws so that rental housing standards are specific and measurable, as they are in New Zealand.

Heatwaves pose a considerable health risk to the most vulnerable in the community. Promoting Simple Ways to Stay Cool looks at how by drawing on community knowledge, researchers have produced an informative and accessible pamphlet that outlines simple ways to deal with rising temperatures in the home. The pamphlet emerged from a project by Louise Crabtree-Hayes, Katherine Gibson, Helen Armstrong and Abby Mellick Lopes, which investigated Western Sydney residents' responses to heat and their strategies to tackle it.

''Living Lab'' Showcases Sustainable Neighbourhood looks at the Penrith Sustainable Innovation Community (PSIC), a new precinct developed by Stockland and Western. Nicky Morrison, director of the Urban Transformations Research Centre hosted at ICS, commented that PSIC would act as a testbed to trial new solutions to real-world challenges. PSIC will contribute to multiple SDGs, helping maintain Western's number-one position globally for its social, ecological, and economic impact.

Five key cities surrounding Antarctica are officially recognised as gateways to the continent: Christchurch in New Zealand, Puntas Arenas in Chile, Ushuaia in Argentina, Cape Town in South Africa, and Hobart in Australia. Custodians of the Ice explores Juan Francisco Salazar's ARC Linkage Project, Antarctic Cities and Global Commons. The project sought to provide tools to unite gateway cities into a cooperative network, and the cities' youth were recruited to lead the initiative.

From food packaging, to contact lenses and credit cards, plastic is used in almost every aspect of daily life. From Plastic Fantastic to a Waste Quagmire discusses the research by Gay Hawkins, who investigated the history of plastic packaging and how it has transformed food production, markets and waste streams in her 2015 book Plastic Water.

Indigenous people have practised cool burns for tens of thousands of years. Jessica Weir has been documenting the cultural practices and intimate knowledge of Australian Aboriginal people with fire to better understand how to manage bushfires. A Cool Approach to Land Management explains how Jessica's work has local, regional and national benefits as a way to mitigate bushfire risk, create social-ecological spaces, and support Indigenous cultural practices and land management.