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And the Premier's Award goes to… RMIT!
Jul '11
The environmental innovation and dedication of staff in RMIT University's Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) has been recognised, with the program winning a 2011 Premier's Sustainability Award.

The program won the Premier's Sustainability Award for Tertiary Education at a gala event celebrating Victorian businesses and organisations that have shown exceptional leadership, creativity and innovation in sustainability.

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the award highlighted the sustained effort to place sustainability deep within the heart of textile design studies at RMIT.

"The Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) is undoubtedly a leader in this field and this award is fitting recognition for the hard work of program staff over recent years," Professor Gardner said.

"As a global university of technology and design, RMIT is committed to contributing to urban sustainability not just through our research but also by modelling sustainable solutions and behaviour.

"I congratulate all staff in the Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) on this wonderful achievement."

Keith Cowlishaw, Head of the School of Fashion and Textiles, said academics in the program had creatively explored and re-examined textile design practice through the Curriculum Change to Embed Sustainability project.

"With sustainability now established as a core principle of the discipline, our graduates will be armed with the knowledge and skills they need to be the future sustainability leaders of the textile industry," Mr Cowlishaw said.

"The Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) has set a benchmark for the textile industry more broadly, by showing that sustainability can be applied as a standard in all aspects of design.

"The award also offers a valuable opportunity for the School to showcase this successful model to a wider educational audience, enabling others to use or adapt it to enhance sustainability learning in their own disciplines."

Textile Design lecturer Dr Jenny Underwood said working more sustainably required creative thinking and a willingness to explore new ideas and approaches.

"There is no definitive answer or one grand solution, but rather lots of multi-dimensional possibilities," she said.

"For textile design this means focusing on the life cycle of textile products and its impacts, in order to develop solutions, strategies and or systems to ameliorate these impacts.

"There is something exciting about this generation of students and their receptiveness to this learning/teaching approach - which encourages them to critique and question.

"Our students are beginning to make links between their own world and their concerns, that the textile industry can have the solutions, and that they can be part of the solution."

RMIT University

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