Leaders and decision makers from over 200 government, business, civil society, academic and youth organisations from across Australia gathered in Melbourne on 13 March 2018 for the second Australian SDG Summit.
This second National Summit was held at a pivotal time ahead of Australia's first Voluntary National Review on the SDGs which will be delivered to the United Nations this July, and a Senate inquiry on the SDGs which will report in November 2018.
Recognising the importance of cross-sector collaboration and coordination and the need to engage with others outside of industry silos, the Summit aimed to provide a platform for participants to identify the tools and resources needed for Australian organisations to work collaboratively on achieving the SDGs.
A joint initiative of SDSN Australia/Pacific (which is hosted by the Monash Sustainable Development Institute - MSDI), the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and the Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA), the Summit aimed to lift the level of debate on Australia's SDG performance and identify collective priorities where we can go beyond 'business as usual'.
Co-chaired by MSDI Chair Professor John Thwaites, and Ms Sam Mostyn, the Summit included a Ministerial address from Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, on the Australian Government's commitment to supporting the implementation of the SDGs. There was also an address by Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for National Security The Hon Mark Dreyfuss QC MP who spoke about the importance of the SDGs, and particularly SDG16 - peace, justice and strong institutions.
As part of the Summit's high level panel discussion, Jason McDonald, Chief Adviser at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, also provided perspectives on the Australian Government's implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including preparations for the Voluntary National Review (VNR).
Other speakers included Cr Cathy Oke (City of Melbourne), Susan Pascoe AM (President ACFID), Major General Michael Smith AO (President, UNAA) and Dr Gillian Sparkes (Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Victoria).
During the Summit, organisations such as Australia Post, the World Wildlife Fund Australia and SDSN Youth shared case study presentations on how their organisations and sectors are raising awareness of the Goals and using the SDG framework as a catalyst for change.
Attendees of the Summit also participated in workshops about how to promote the SDGs, how we advance the SDGs commitment to "leave no one behind" and priorities for implementation of the SDGs within an Australian context.
The Summit provided an opportunity to share innovative practice from across Australia and build partnerships needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
For further information on the 2018 Australian SDG Summit please visit the event webpage.