Celebrate National Biodiversity Month at the University of Sydney

11 September 2023
How you can get involved
September is National Biodiversity Month in Australia, providing an opportunity to promote the unique diversity of our ecosystem, both on our campuses and nationally, to connect with our natural environment, and to raise awareness of the crucial role we play in protecting it.

Australia is one of the 17 countries in the world that is considered ‘mega diverse’ by the United Nations and is home to approximately 700,000 species, many of which are not found anywhere else on the planet. Conserving our remaining biodiversity is crucial for the health of the planet, the economy, and of future generations. 

Here’s how you can celebrate and protect all the wonderful plants and animals that make up our vibrant ecosystem this National Biodiversity Month. 

A bee pollinating a flower.

Attend free events on campus

Food saving workshop: jam making and pickling

Increase your sustainability skills by turning your less-than-fresh produce into fancy artisanal preserves and reducing your food waste in the process. In this workshop on 12 September you'll learn the skills to keep produce shelf-stable for up to one year and go home with a jar of delicious preserves. 

Exploring biodiversity with Koori Kinnections

Celebrate National Biodiversity Month with an enlightening talk from Koori Kinnections on 12 September. Learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, connection to Country and our role in advocating for the future of biodiversity.

Contested environments: biodiversity conservation or license to destroy?

Hear from a panel of experts on 19 September as they discuss the complex dynamic between Australia’s legal frameworks for biodiversity conservation and environmental protection, and the reforms enabling rapid urban development and infrastructure. This event is part of the Festival of Urbanism in partnership with the Sydney Environment Institute.

Threads of life: unravelling biodiversity's complexity across disciplines

Presented by Sustainability at Sydney and Sydney Environment Institute, this multidisciplinary event on 21 September calls for the repositioning of biodiversity to a critical global issue, explores how we can work together to unravel its complexities, and provides an opportunity to contribute to the conversation about safeguarding our planet's natural heritage.

A sense of wonder in nature webinar with Jeannie Baker

Meet Jeannie Baker, author, artist, filmmaker, and advocate for the natural world, at an online event on 21 September. Jeannie will discuss how her unique process allows her work to communicate with people of all ages through different layers of meaning, and will also share her understanding of the role of the artist as advocate for important issues like biodiversity.

Photograph of Marcel at the Balcony Gardening Workshop, helping a student pot a plant.

Marcel Gemperle, current PhD candidate and past Sustainability Action Student Life Grant recipient. 

Apply for a Sustainability Action Student Life Grant 

Help enable and embed sustainability across campus life and within our community with a Sustainability Action Student Life Grant.

With up to $2500 available in funding per project, you could activate a space on campus with an event focusing on biodiversity, plan a campus conservation tour to educate fellow students and staff about the natural heritage of our ecosystem, or host a workshop to encourage our community to care for our environment and all the species within it.

Applications for Semester 1, 2024 are open now until 2 November 2023. See how previous grant recipient Marcel Gemperle used his funding to facilitate a balcony gardening workshop, attend an information drop-in session on Thursday 21 September to find out what makes a good application, and head to the Student Life Grants page to find out more.

Transform your food waste into compost for campus gardens

Contribute to our beautiful campus gardens and the biodiversity they support by transforming your food scraps into nutrient-rich compost. Food waste collected from the green bins on Eastern Avenue is sent via electric trailer to our onsite HotRot biodigester, also known as Chester the Digester

Chester can break down up to 500 kilograms of waste every day, transforming products such as coffee grounds, teabags, food waste and street sweepings into compost that feeds the native Gadi trees, Wollemi pine and paperbark eucalyptus on campus. Keep your contributions to Chester clean and please only discard your food scraps in the green bins on Eastern Avenue – compostable food packaging is not suitable.

A budding tree on campus.

Join a University of Sydney club or society

Sustainability at Sydney’s Gardening Society meet weekly to develop our collective ability to look after the local ecosystem and to take care of green spaces around the University. It’s never too late to learn how to care for our environment – fill out a form online if you’d like to join to support our diverse flora and fauna and improve our ecosystem on campus. 

The University of Sydney Union (USU) has multiple environmental advocacy clubs you can get involved with, including Food Co-Op and Waste Fighters, and they host a range of events and programs throughout the year that focus on sustainability. USU have also committed to a sustainable future with a through initiatives and partnerships on campus that you can participate in to protect our planet.

There are many more resources you can explore and activities you can engage with to celebrate our country’s magnificent biodiversity, every day of the year.