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Planetary Health at VU - Future Ready

[Music plays in background, over images related to Planetary Health]

[Related images to Planetary Health in a hexagonal shape that play as the speakers talk about particular points of interest]

Corinne Reid

Planetary Health is a commitment to the wellbeing of people, of place and of our planet.

Recognising that the health of one affects the health of all.

Strong communities can make strong choices to be committed custodians for our environment and for our shared home, Planet Earth.

In 2020 Victoria University made a commitment to make Planetary Health core to everything we do. We're building a community that is making a difference to local and global Planetary Health challenges.

Through research with impact, through learning that creates future leaders, through the sustainable choices we make, the way we work on our campuses and through engaging with our communities to find innovative solutions to complex Planetary Health challenges.

Place is important in finding solutions that will stick. We take a place-based approach, emphasising the importance of context and focusing on co-designing socially equitable local solutions.

There are three foundational places for VU.

Our role as the university for the west of Melbourne, our place on Aboriginal country, and our responsibility as global citizen.

As a university community we must walk the talk, so that we're creating a sustainable university.

We're shifting to one hundred percent renewable power by 2021 and aim to be one hundred percent carbon neutral by 2025. We are creating a rooftop living, research and teaching lab at Footscray Park.

We're working with retailers to phase out single use plastics. Student-led initiatives are focused on making all campus spaces welcoming, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Students are also actively engaged in sustainable projects, including this initiative transforming recyclable materials into construction materials.

This year, Planetary Health became a strategic project for VU. We started big, with a research investment of one million dollars.

VU Researcher 1

We want to work with Aboriginal women in the west of Melbourne. Many Aboriginal women have a connection to their traditional owner language groups. Don't have connection to country, and could also be apart of the stolen generation.

VU Researcher 2

So let me tell you a bit more about eDNA, that we might find in soil samples like this.

Corinne Reid

Twenty-five projects like this were funded, involving eighty-eight VU researchers, and forty-two external partner organisations.

Our researchers are supporting resilience in bushfire affected communities, and working with youth to respond to mental health needs, in light of COVID.

We followed up with a brand new, Australian-first, Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health.

Student

When I saw the advertising for Planetary Health, for me it resonated straight away, as something that could a give us new vocabulary.

Corinne Reid

We can respond quickly and produce and deliver the courses people need, in uncertain times, thanks to our Block Model and the VU Way.

We will work with our students, professional and industry bodies, and our community and global partners, to have the courses and opportunities for tomorrow's world today.

We have a shared passion for creating a strong future for the communities of the west of Melbourne and beyond.

This year, with the support of VU Innovations, and sponsorship from the SID and Fiona Myer foundation the BETA pre-accelerator program was launched and was dedicated to supporting the next generation of start-up businesses, committed to tackling Planetary Health challenges.

In 2021, VU will prioritise making Planetary Health core to everything we do on our campuses, in our research, in our courses and in our community engagement.

With Planetary Health, VU is future ready. We hope that you will join us.

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[Photos of people with “I’m In” signs for Planetary Health]

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