University of Sydney, Australia


Nguragaingun, Ngara, Pemulian – our Curriculum Garden and Biodiversity Management Plan

The Curriculum Garden is a collaborative Living Lab project with Open Spaces, Botany (School of Life Sciences), IndigiGrow (First Nations’ social enterprise) and the Sustainability Strategy working in partnership to establish an on-campus native garden.

This cultural and environmental project frames our Strategy’s Caring for Country foundation and aligns with the principles of the University’s Indigenous One Sydney, Many People Strategy. Offering an opportunity for our community to learn about local plants and Australian natives, our garden has become a living classroom. The revitalised area features plant signage in English and Sydney Indigenous languages, offers spaces for yarning, work and rest with recycled furniture and laptop power, and students can collect samples for botany labs which would otherwise need to be sourced from across NSW.

The garden extends our wildlife corridor, aids in reviving local endangered plants, and showcases sustainability on campus with our rain tanks and new biodigester.

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Learnings developed from the first education-based Living Lab on campus – including development of a working framework for future Living Labs and partnerships.
  2. By co-designing with academics, professional staff, operations and external partners, one initiative can have many uses and multiple impacts across social and environmental sustainability and academic excellence.
  3. Inter-university partnerships were critical to the success of the project. With minimal budget as strategy funding was impacted by COVID-19, the project was met with dedication and creativity to bring it over the line, utilising grants and in-kind support from across the University.
3 - Good Health and Well-Being 4 - Quality Education 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
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