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Melbourne Polytechnic Promotes Role of TAFE at Climate Emergency Conference

A man giving a speech at a podium with a screen behind him.
Melbourne Polytechnic's Director of Precincts and Sustainability, Trent McCarthy, emcees at the Climate Emergency Conference 2024.

On Friday 19 April, Melbourne Polytechnic Chief Executive, Frances Coppolillo, was guest speaker at the Climate Emergency Conference 2024 held at Victoria University.

More than 200 leading climate policy and implementation experts attended the conference from across Australia, including councillors, CEOs, mayors and local community representatives.

A diverse group of people standing in front of a large screen at a conference

Frances Coppolillo and Trent McCarthy attend the Climate Emergency Conference 2024 at Victorian University. Image by Robyn Mae Daly.

The event was emceed by Melbourne Polytechnic’s Director of Precincts and Sustainability, Trent McCarthy.

Trent has a long-standing interest and experience in climate policy and advocacy and is a member of the Darebin City Council, Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action Executive and Climate Emergency Australia Executive. He is one of the founders of the worldwide climate emergency movement, advocating for urgent action.

Frances Coppolillo spoke at the Final Plenary alongside distinguished speakers:

  • Ian Dunlop, Safe Climate Australia
  • Brett Woods, Research Fellow, Sustainable Communities and Liveable Cities, Victoria University
  • Liam O’Brien, ACTU, Assistant Secretary

Frances focused on the role of TAFE in supporting the clean economy transition and Victoria’s Net Zero 2045 commitments. She highlighted the change and impact we make on industry through the sustainability principles we teach students, who then bring these learnings into industry.

Frances also discussed our work in the TAFE sustainability network, and the Victorian TAFE Network Clean Economy Prospectus 2024. The prospectus is a resource for business and industry, highlighting how the Victorian TAFE Network is contributing to the clean economy and how it can partner with industry to develop solutions for emerging needs.

Frances’ presentation prompted further discussion around the role of TAFEs in the clean economy transition. The audience was impressed by our sustainability journey, the depth and breadth of our training and the progress we are making in creating positive industry change.

Melbourne Polytechnic plays an important role in supporting both government, industry and community in addressing the climate emergency – arguably the biggest challenge of our times. We’re the first Victorian TAFE to set a target of Net Zero by 2040 and we’ve already built sustainability principles into 26 courses.

A large digital screen showcasing the conference banner at the entrance of the venue

Events like the Climate Emergency Conference 2024 are vital for encouraging collaboration, knowledge sharing and focusing efforts towards action. We look forward to continuing to progress on our sustainability goals at Melbourne Polytechnic and extending our advocacy and impact on to industry and community.