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Are you currently studying at University? Do you want to make a difference in the world when it comes to living and working more sustainably?

Green Steps is an initiative of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute that equips current Monash University students with the skills and knowledge needed to become leaders and sustainability change agents in their careers and beyond.

Over the past 17 years, the extra-curricular program has transformed lives, launched careers and most importantly, created a network of leaders who are now working in organisations to make the world a more sustainable place to live.

Green Steps was created in 2000 by a group of students who wanted their peers to gain the skills needed to make sustainability-related change in the organisations they will one day work for. Across four and a half days of group-based training sessions, Green Steps gives students practical skills and knowledge which they're then able apply to a multi-disciplinary team based consultancy project.

Our program has been recognised with several prestigious awards, including the Premier's Sustainability Award, the United Nations Association Education Award and the Banksia Environmental Award.

[Green steps] is a fantastic course. I gained a lot of great skills that I look forward to applying, not only in the sustainability context, but also in my life." -  Green Steps participant, 2016

Who should apply?

We’re looking for participants with an interest in sustainability and creating change in an organisational context. We select students with a diversity of skills and career aspirations because we believe that for the world to be sustainable we need change agents working in all types of organisations and industries. The program is especially designed for those who:

  • Have a passion for the environment, social justice and sustainability regardless of whether they have experience or are studying in this field
  • Are committed to furthering their skills in sustainability and leadership
  • Would like to gain hands-on experience by working on a real consultancy project
  • Want to be part of a growing global network of sustainability change agents

Green Steps is open to all current Monash University students however preference is given to students in their final years of study. The program is run once a year at both Monash University (Clayton) and Monash University Malaysia.

What will you learn?

Green Steps combines critical inquiry and pragmatic tools with insights from sustainability experts and entrepreneurial practice. The program and training component is highly interactive and is focused on teamwork and group discussion. The style is informal and engaging. You’ll be learning from our highly experienced trainers, guest speakers and other participants from a range of study areas. The 4.5 day training, spread over several weeks covers:

Sustainability issues and responses Climate change, consumption and waste, poverty and social inequality, and organisational responses to these issues.
Systems thinking and planning interventions Problem mapping, strategic prioritisation and action planning for sustainability in an organisation.
Behavioural change Understanding your role as a change agent and personal and organisational drivers, and behavioural change theory and program design.
Communication for change Effective communication to foster change within organisations, including constructing coherent arguments, presenting recommendations, stakeholder engagement and presentation skills.
Leadership for sustainability Developing interpersonal skills, collaborating across multi-disciplinary teams, building networks and envisioning bold futures.

What is involved?

The program involves:

Online sustainability challenge: Students will first take part in Take One Step, an online platform that challenges participants to demonstrate an action towards sustainability. We'll also ask you to submit an application, with a short video of yourself
Training: Each chosen student will participate in four and a half days of extra-curricular training across two weeks
Consultancy projects: Students will have the opportunity to apply for a consultancy role undertaking a sustainability-related project at Monash University

To apply, you must be available to attend training on all days specified in the listed training dates. It is your responsibility to cancel, swap or take leave from any lectures, tutorials, work and extracurricular commitments during this time. Some preparation is also required between training blocks. Depending on the program your availability and interest, you may also apply for a sustainability consultancy role with the Office of Environment and Sustainability.

Application tips

Here's a few ways to make your application stand out:

  • Be creative. Take a look at the UN Sustainable Development Goals and consider how you might align your action with a target or indicator. Please read the Take One Step User Guide with creating an account and using the platform.
  • We'll also ask you to submit a video of yourself with your application, explaining three actions you would take to implement your ‘step’ or pledge across Monash University. Check out this guide on how to shoot an effective video. In your video, make sure you reference your step on Take One Step and explain how it could be applied as a campaign or set of activities across Monash.

Next dates

Take One Step Challenge: From Thursday 31 May 2018
Application deadline: Midnight, Monday 3 September 2018
Applicants notified: Friday 7 September 2018
Training (4.5 days): DAY 1: Monday 24 September 2018 - 9.00am - 4.00pm
DAY 2: Tues 25 September 2018 - 9.00am - 4.00pm
DAY 3: Thurs 27 Sept - 9.00am - 1.00pm
DAY 4: Friday 28 September 2018 - 9.00am - 4.00pm
DAY 5: Saturday 6 October 2018 - 9.00am - 4.00pm
Consultancy Projects: October - January 2018

* Please note, all training will take place on the Clayton campus


FREE - applicants must first participate in Take One Step, an online platform inviting participants to commit to a sustainability related action before they go through the selection process to gain a place on the program.

The fine print

Repeatedly we hear from alumni that Green Steps is one of the most valuable things they did while they were at university. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that Green Steps is a challenging program. Firstly, training is intensive, with lots of small group activities and group discussions where you’ll be expected to contribute as much as possible, and present to your fellow participants. Secondly, and most importantly, Green Steps is demanding of your outlook, requiring goodwill and openness to the content, trainers and fellow participants.

How to apply

Think you’re ready to apply for our current program at Monash? You can apply via MSDI's Education website.