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Annette Bos is more than a teacher. She wants students to change how they view themselves and their role in the world.

Sustainable Development Education

"If you really think about the world, with global warming, climate change, it is not a rosy picture. I don't want my students to go out and think 'This is all too big. We can't do anything…'"

Associate Professor Annette Bos is much more than an educator. She's helped to co-design and implement sustainable development projects, being involved with local communities and other stakeholders. It is this approach that has helped to guide Annette's work in education - to make a change for good by building capacity and creating solutions that are sustainable and context appropriate.

"That is what I enjoy the most. I love the one-to-one interactions, I love providing support – seeing people grow."

Annette joined Monash in 2013 and then went on to become the Deputy Director (Education) at MSDI in 2018. Partnering with the faculties of Monash University, Annette has led the establishment of our Sustainable Development Education program, transforming our education portfolio to include undergraduate, post-graduate, professional and continuing education offerings.

"What we are doing is making a change on the ground. And one way of doing that is through education."

Annette has focused her work on one word – impact. She wants to ensure that everyone she meets – colleagues, students, peers – all walk away feeling as though they can make a change in the world. This is something her students know well. Thomas Kennett, a post-graduate student from Monash, said Annette taught him more than his course work. She taught him how to see himself as a leader in the field of sustainable development and how he can use his influence to make a difference.

"Annette showed me this. She made me understand… what it means to be a sustainability leader. And that is how I want to transfer my skills onto the planet and society…"

Annette doesn't shy away from teaching in new, challenging and complex ways, because, as she sees it, pathways to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals are challenging and complex. She encourages students to think for themselves, to experiment with the classroom as a "sandpit" to build ideas, and knock them down if necessary, in order to understand and respond to the uncertainties and complexities involved with sustainable development.

Watch the interview with Associate Professor Annette Bos in the video below.


Annette Bos

Deputy Director - Education,  Monash Sustainable Development Institute
T: +61 3 9905 0353

Annette has conducted research, capacity development and consultancy in water services management across Europe and Africa and has worked extensively with industry, government agencies and aid organisations. Prior to joining MSDI, she was a lead researcher with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.