USQ Toowoomba to host Environment forum

USQ’s Professor John Cole will speak at the forum.

Agriculture and environmental experts from Southern Queensland will share their innovative ideas with the community at the upcoming FACETS (Food, Agriculture, Climate, Energy, Topsoils and Sustainability) forum to be held at the University of Southern Queensland.

The forum, to be held on August 24, 2012, will feature a broad spectrum of guest speakers who will be sharing their ideas, thoughts and solutions on a number of very important topics for the Darling Downs and Toowoomba community.

Manager of USQ’s Government and Community Anna Stephenson is one of the organisers of the Toowoomba event and said the forum won’t just bring up problems, it will also offer solutions.

‘We’re facing some big challenges in agriculture, the environment and sustainability but we’re also making some big developments,’ Ms Stephenson said

‘Each speaker has a different approach to their topic and I think it will really challenge people in the way they think about sustainability and the environment.

‘While USQ does a lot of work with research and evaluation, we also want to position USQ as a place where this kind of community discussion can happen.’

The local speakers will include University of Southern Queensland Professor John Cole, Professor Steven Raine and Dr Ray Malpress, as well as university associate Fiona Waterhouse.

Professor Cole, Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development at USQ, said he would be discussing a concerning growing anti-environmentalism message in Australia.

‘Thanks to things like the discussion on the carbon tax, people have been turned off by environmental issues that are very important,’ Professor Cole said.

‘No one likes to be lectured or told what they can and can’t do but we’re dealing with our future here.

‘We need to be a lot smarter in the way we communicate environmental and sustainability issues.

‘Instead of simply lecturing and criticising, we need to find other ways to convey how important this message is.’

The 2012 FACETS forum will be held simultaneously across eastern Australia, with Toowoomba chosen as the site for the Queensland forum.

The event is free for everyone to attend and will be held Friday August 24 from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

To find out more information about the forum and the guest speakers or to register, visit

Media contact:  Jim Campbell, USQ Media, +617 4631 2977,  

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