Taking Out the Trash

Waste to Wealth initiative Workshops at ISI Denpasar and Udayana University

Following the launch of the Australian Consulate-General’s (ACG) Waste to Wealth initiative on Saturday, June 2, 2018, with a beach clean-up, the ACG continued its program with two workshops held at the Indonesia Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar, and Udayana University.

Waste to Wealth is a weeklong initiative organized by the ACG that aims to promote environmentally sustainable tourism practices in Bali and West Nusa Tenggara.

Internationally renowned Australian environmental artist Dr John Dahlsen held a full-day collaborative workshop entitled ‘Waste as Art’ with 30 students from ISI Denpasar’s Faculty of Arts and Design.  Dr Dahlsen and the students collaborated to create art installations with waste found on the beaches of Bali.

Dr Dahlsen told students that his work as an environmental artist began by accident, when he started collecting plastic from beaches in Australia in the mid-90s.  “While my art has changed and evolved over time, my underlying commitment to increasing awareness of environmental concerns has never wavered,” he said.  

At Udayana University’s #AussieBanget Corner, Australian environmental science educator Louise Hardman, and academic chair of Murdoch University’s environmental engineering program, Dr Martin Anda, presented a workshop entitled Being Aware of Our Environmentattended by some 40 students and academics.  Hardman’s key message was plastic waste is polluting our oceans, which we all share, so we need to find solutions to change it into something that has value and when something has value, it no longer become rubbish. She also outlined her education program, which focused on transforming waste into valuable items with her purpose-built mobile plastic-recycling machine. 

In his presentation, Dr Martin Anda talked about engineering solutions to environmental problems and the importance of education in managing environmental challenges.  Dr Anda also visited Undiknas University Bali, and provided an open lecture to around 100 students from the faculties of business and economics.  Dr Anda encouraged future education cooperation and collaboration between Australia and Indonesia, including in the engineering and environmental science sectors.

Australian Consul-General Dr Helena Studdert expressed her appreciation for the supportive collaboration with local education institutions in running the workshops as part of the Waste to Wealth initiative. “Environmental issues are very much interconnected with education and we hope by bringing these educators to the universities, we can help increase students awareness and skills to make informed decisions and actions regarding to our environment”, said Dr Studdert.

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