Students at Pymble Ladies' College were inspired by a panel of special guests from a diverse range of disciplines on Wednesday 19 August.  The girls’ eyes and minds were certainly opened to the wide range of careers involved from studying geography and the importance of geography for future urban planning projects.

L-R: Andrew Hewson - Penrith City Council, Anna Thompson - McGregor Coxall, Dr Cathy Foley - CSIRO Chief Scientist, Dr Suzanne Pratt - UTS

CSIRO Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley was joined by Dr Suzanne Pratt, Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, UTS; Anna Thompson, Associate – Environment, McGregor Coxall and Andrew Hewson, Acting Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator, Penrith City Council.

The panel members provided an overview of what their jobs involve in terms of urban development projects and future planning of sustainable communities and living spaces.  The students were also given insight into firsthand experience of projects the panel members are currently engaged in.

The panel, organised by Celestino, is part of the Sydney Science Park – CSIRO Urban Living Lab STEM program for students.   As a designated CSIRO Urban Living Lab, Sydney Science Park aims to challenge business-as-usual urban development by improving the resilience, sustainability and liveability of Australian cities and towns.

At Pymble Ladies' College the program sees Year 10 Elective Geography students working on real-life challenges including urban greening, energy and water demand, future mobility considerations and community wellbeing. The students are using Sydney Science Park to gain authentic, real world project-based learning experience.

For Celestino it is a special moment to see the engagement and collaboration across major partners, CSIRO, UTS and Penrith City Council, industry, and education. It is a model that has great potential as we look to scale up across other schools in Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW and, in time, Australia.

L-R: Anna Thompson - McGregor Coxall, Liam Hume - Pymble Ladies' College, Andrew Hewson - Penrith City Council, Duncan Challen - Celestino, Dr Cathy Foley - CSIRO Chief Scientist, Justin Raymond - Pymble Ladies' College Dr Suzanne Pratt - UTS