'Make the Change' Sector Guides

The Make the Change Framework is a practical resource for all sectors engaged in sustainability education across the state. To help kick-start your use of the Framework, we picked the brains of key practitioners from the below sectors to get their take on how Make the Change can best be applied in your sector. A big thank you to them all! Scroll to your sector of interest (listed alphabetically below) to get some great tips and examples.


                  Aboriginal Communities

                  • Respect Aboriginal knowledge, culture, and heritage of Country and address the needs and issues of Aboriginal communities. For example, contact, collaborate with and learn from local Aboriginal Stakeholders (i.e.: Aboriginal Traditional Owners, Local Government Aboriginal representatives, Local Aboriginal Education Groups and Local Aboriginal Land Councils) before developing, and when reviewing your education programs; in order to use their direction, knowledge, guidance and education programs to improve your own programs and outcomes. To do this, consult and engage Aboriginal stakeholders holistically in a way that is culturally appropriate.
                  • Use MtC’s vision, guiding principles and goals to advocate an Aboriginal perspective within mainstream environmental education programs. For example, collaborate with, and get commitment from, Aboriginal groups (see above), governments, businesses, and communities to respect and reflect local Aboriginal culture and heritage and include place-based learning into sustainability education programs.
                  • Work with NSW Aboriginal communities and other relevant stakeholders to deliver educational projects which will improve and increase the environmental knowledge and sustainable living practices of the broader community. For example, make linkages to localised and state wide Caring for Country projects and create opportunities for Aboriginal communities.

                  Agriculture and Primary Industries

                  • Find ideas, direction and guidance when developing education and engagement projects. For example, use the terminology and goals outlined in MtC when designing education and engagement programs.
                  • Be inspired by MtC's guding principles and share them with others in the industry and broader supply chain. For example, champion MtC with others in the industry and broader supply chain.
                  • Use MtC as a reference document when applying for grants. For example, show how your farming practices, agricultural initiative or food and fibre education program contributes to the state framework.
                  • Use MtC to help validate your sustainability initiatives and foster an understanding about the role of education and engagement for sustainability as a tool in our collective efforts to achieve more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development. For example, show the bigger picture your farming activities or food and fibre education programs are contributing to, to secure support and buy-in.


                  • Business sustainability programs will benefit from utilising a recognised and robust planning and evaluation structure. For example, by utilising the MtC framework when designing and developing projects, programs and strategies that target the business community, you are likely to enhance the success of your project.
                  • By referring to, and applying the MtC framework to your project, you will make it easier for Environmental Education professionals with whom you may collaborate or share learnings, to understand the logic, the rationale and your approach in engaging with and educating businesses. For example, the evaluation methods selected in order to gauge the success of the project in delivering its intended outcomes will be clarified.
                  • Applications for grant funding to engage with businesses and educate them can be strengthened by utilising the MtC framework. For example, using MtC demonstrates to those assessing your application that you have sought out, and applied an industry recognised outcome hierarchy and considered how the project will be evaluated up-front as part of the development of plan for the proposed project.

                  Community and Environment Groups

                  • Network, learn from and collaborate with others using MtC in your local or regional area. For example, become an active member of your regional Sustainability Educators Network.
                  • Access best practice research about education for sustainability programs. For example, communicate with other professionals to learn from their experiences.
                  • Use MtC as a reference document when applying for funding. For example, identify how your program contributes to the state framework and to other programs. Benchmark your proposal against the MtC Goals and Indicators of Success.
                  • Use MtC to help validate your sustainability initiatives. For example, secure support and buy-in by referencing your local project against MtC.

                  Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities

                  • Use MtC as a reference document when applying for funding and when framing projects. For example, use the terminology and goals outlined in MtC to align your projects with state-wide best practice for sustainability initiatives.
                  • Collaborate with, and learn from others using MtC to improve your programs and their outcomes. For example, become connected to a network of like-minded CALD community practitioners and find opportunities to collaborate.
                  • Strengthen collaborative project outcomes by adopting MtC components. For example, improve the monitoring and evaluation functions of your projects to help you build on success.
                  • Use MtC to help validate your sustainability initiatives. For example, show that in the bigger picture your programs are contributing to a greater sense of place and connection among CALD communities.

                  Early Childhood

                  • The MtC framework provides an excellent resource for understanding and guiding the big picture; supporting an understanding of why it is important to change, and identifying opportunities for partnership formation, and nurturing relationships for change. For example, early childhood practitioners might use MtC as a vehicle for developing partnerships with other sectors about sustainability. Possible partnerships of value to those in early childhood include schools, local government and community organisations. By referring to MtC we can ensure we are all talking the same sustainability language.
                  • The Early Childhood sector is required by law to develop quality improvement plans within the National Quality Standards. Practitioners can reference the ‘Eco Smart a Guide to Sustainable Quality Improvement Plans’ for specific examples of strategies for change (available from the ECEEN web site). It might assist those in early childhood to also reference MtC for information about goals and outcomes that are of relevance. For example, considering MtC alongside the Eco Smart Guide provides practitioners with two interlinked and strategic sources of effective public policy of relevance to their work.
                  • Use MtC coupled with the Eco Smart Guide to deliver sustained and sustainable change for young children and their families. For example, when viewed from the perspective of children in their care, achieving more sustainable world is essential for their future. It is likely that most of these children will live into the next century hence it is vital that the vision and goals of MtC become realities.
                  • MtC contains guidance about evaluating sustainability programs. This would be of value to early childhood practitioners. For example, in developing and implementing their Quality Improvement Plans MtC is used as a source document to determine possible outcomes and how these might be measured and evaluated.

                  Local Government

                  • Get clear direction and guidance when developing and reviewing your strategies, policies, plans and projects. For example, use the terminology and goals outlined in MtC to align your projects, plans and strategies with state-wide best practice.
                  • Collaborate with and learn from others using MtC to improve your programs and their outcomes. For example, build closer working relationships with other facilitators in local government, community groups, business and state agencies and region via MtC regional networks.
                  • Use MtC as a reference document when applying for funding. For example, show how your program contributes to the state framework.
                  • Use MtC to help validate your sustainability initiatives. For example, show the bigger picture your programs are contributing to, to secure support and buy-in.

                  Natural Resource Management

                  • Collaborate across natural resource managers including local/state/Australian Government, regional NRM organisations, Aboriginal communities, not for profit organisations, volunteers, local groups. For example, utilising the strategic approach in MtC to create better governance of NRM projects, especially for not-for-profits and community groups in the NRM sector - high capacity community groups drive good collaboration.
                  • Utilise as a platform for sharing information and strengthening networks across NRM land managers (regionally and locally). For example, using existing NRM networks or consider establishing targeted new networks to share successes and lessons learnt, especially successful cross-tenure projects.
                  • Coordinate training opportunities and materials. For example, using the "place-based" approach in MtC for NRM targeted projects, especially projects targeting the general community, and for on-going professional development of NRM facilitators.
                  • Share and translate research and technical information to a format appropriate to the user. For example, grow the capacity of NRM practitioners and facilitators to communicate the importance of the natural world to stakeholders and our role in caring for it, in a way that generates real change in the community's attitudes and behaviour by collaborating across sectors through MtC networks.

                  Network Groups

                  • Use MtC’s vision, guiding principles and goals to develop consistent and complimentary objectives for your network. For example, design locally applicable vision / goals that can be mapped to MtC.
                  • Enhance the professional status of your group by highlighting its affiliation with MtC and promoting an MtC Community of Practice. For example, promote your network as being part of the bigger picture, and as a local delivery mechanism for the state-wide MtC initiative.
                  • Align projects and programs to MtC when applying for funding or in-kind support. For example, funding applications should reference the high level in-kind support that comes from being part of the MtC ‘family’.
                  • Expand your local network by promoting it as part of MtC and extolling the virtues of cross-sectoral participation. For example, invite other sectors to your group and encourage them to join you under the MtC banner.
                  • Make use of the full resources of the MtC Framework. For example, ensure the MtC Framework is used in your network’s program monitoring and evaluation.

                  School Education

                  • Collaborate and learn from others using Make the Change to improve teaching programs through local networking opportunities. For example, working with local environmental education networks and program providers to build greater understanding of local environmental and sustainability issues and to access resources.
                  • Use MtC as a reference document to align school sustainability education projects with local priority actions. For example, when schools seek grants or participate in local projects, MtC can guide the priority action or focus of projects and partnerships in community and empower active citizenship.
                  • Share learning with other schools by embedding more sustainable practices in resource and grounds management. For example, schools can use MtC as a reference document when creating and sharing a School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP).
                  • Reflect on, evaluate and share sustainability learning and management achievements in the school community. For example, schools can measure and communicate their achievements to the school community and link these to the broader community sustainability goals in MtC to secure support and buy in.

                  State Government

                  • Get clear direction and guidance when developing and reviewing your strategies, policies, plans and projects. For example, support community groups with an environmental focus by referring them to the MtC framework as a resource.
                  • Collaborate with business, communities and local government concerning education and engagement for a sustainable environment. For example, foster collaborations between community groups, business and local and state government agencies for sustainability and environmental initiatives.
                  • Use MtC as a reference document when reviewing sustainability policy and budget reviews. For example, seek opportunities to co-brand MtC and State Government brands (OEH Action Matters brand) and collaborate on environmental initiatives with community, business and government including the MtC frameworks and groups.
                  • Use MtC to develop best practice in sustainability initiatives. For example, through joint promotions and case studies, MtC and NSW State Government agencies can support outstanding sustainability initiatives.


                  • Use MtC as a broad overarching framework. TAFE NSW and the TAFE NSW Education for Sustainability Community of Practice share many key points with the aims and responsibilities of the MtC goals and principles. For example, TAFE officers will find the goals and principles in MtC valuable when identifying a broader context within which their teaching and their programs are established.
                  • Use MtC to support and extend the focus on sustainability internally within TAFE. TAFE NSW is committed to delivering courses that meet the needs of industry and sustainability; environmentally, economically, socially and culturally. As such it has been actively involved in Education for Sustainability in a number of ways; including improving workforce capability about EFS (with teachers and staff undertaking the Vocation Graduate Certificate in EFS); conferencing and presenting seminars about EFS; and winning awards for our sustainable delivery. MtC can give a new dimension to this work, into the future. For example, into the future TAFE would benefit from a closer link with AAEE NSW about the nature and extent of MtC and how it links to, drives and extends its own efforts. Partnership, which is embedded within the MtC framework, is important within the vocational education sector.
                  • Use MtC to enhance capacity and skills of TAFE staff. The TAFE NSW Education for Sustainability Community of Practice is established to provide strategic advice on teacher capability and understanding related to environmental sustainability. This is consistent with the MtC goal to “enhance skills and capacity for those developing and delivering education and engagement for sustainability.” TAFE is committed to networking with industry and the community in line with MtC goal of “collaboration between and commitment from governments, businesses, communities and Aboriginal groups concerning education and engagement for a sustainable environment.” For example, the TAFE Community of Practice members will benefit from linking their efforts to the goals within MtC and reflecting these goals in their own programs and initiatives. By doing this they will be supporting programs that drive capacity and skill building among TAFE staff.

                  Waste Education (Local Government)

                  • Advocate for the introduction of education and engagement projects that are based on the MtC Principles and address the Goals laid out in the Framework. For example, design education and engagement programs that align with the MtC guiding principles and goals.
                  • Use the Indicators of Success in Make the Change to assist in building outcomes and evaluation & monitoring mechanisms for individual projects. For example, consistent use of the indicators and/or elements of the Monitoring and Evaluation framework will help build a narrative of connected change and assist with the development of monitoring & evaluation frameworks for local programs/projects.
                  • Build closer working relationships with other facilitators in the waste and resource recovery sector and in local government via MtC regional networks. For example, take every opportunity to share waste education approaches and success stories in local networks. Learn from others and help others learn and share resources and avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’.
                  • Align the relationship between MtC and NSW Government Waste and Resource Recovery strategies. For example, use these documents to identify and align vision, goals, principles at local, regional and state levels - as and when documents and programs are reviewed and updated.
                  • Use the MtC principles along with adult learning and learning for sustainability principles in the delivery of professional development capabilities for waste educators through the EPA package and Education Strategy. For example, design of professional development opportunities for educators enabling deeper understanding, skills and knowledge to integrate learning for sustainability principles into educational activities and workshops developed for local communities. Ensure the programs are learner-centred, participatory and enable learners to engage in positive environmental behaviour change.
                  • Use the MtC principles to assist with delivery of waste education and services for Aboriginal communities in regional NSW through WLRM and particularly through Waste Aid programs. For example, work with indigenous communities to review, modify and strengthen community owned approaches to education, engagement and behaviour in relation to waste.
                  • MtC principles are able to be used to underpin or inform design and delivery of trials of new infrastructure or services within community or industry including changes to kerbside services, or how organics are collected from businesses. For example, when designing/trialing a new service, use the MtC principles as a checklist for assessing whether the program design is appropriate and use the indicators of success to guide the development of a monitoring & evaluation framework for the program.

                  Waste Industry

                  • Introduce the MtC framework into strategic advocacy organisations for the waste industry such as the Waste Management Association of Australia NSW Waste Educators Working Group to ensure cross sustainability functions are considered when delivering information across the waste sector. For example, AAEE NSW to provide briefing information about MtC to the Waste Educators Working Group.
                  • Use the MtC framework in collaborative education and engagement activities for the provision of waste and recycling education for the business community to link local actions to bigger picture sustainability outcomes. For example, in existing and future business programs the waste industry links program actions and outcomes to a larger strategic sustainability framework as identified in MtC.
                  • Deliver projects making use of the MtC framework to ensure that consideration is made to multilayered quadruple bottom line sustainability outcomes. For example, at the project planning level, consider and identify social and operational sustainability outputs as well as those related to financial and environmental sustainability benefits.
                  • Acknowledge MtC Framework when up-skilling staff concerning engagement and educational endeavours in order to ensure holistic sustainability perspectives are delivered within the context of one aspect of sustainable environmental management (waste and recycling). For example, because it is important that staff working in the waste industry, see their efforts within a broad holistic sustainability context, training provided within the waste industry for those involved in education and engagement will include this context within its key intended outcomes
                  • Proactively support MtC Framework in the industry to support long and short term goals of the project including assisting in development of necessary resources for the wider community. For example, within the waste industry inform key organisations and individuals about MtC and how it can be used to assist in work towards longer term goals for engagement and education.

                  Youth Engagement

                  • The MtC framework fosters a spirit of active citizenship in caring for the environment. MtC provides a framework to nurture a love of the environment and opportunity to advocate for its conservation. For example, MtC can be used with young people to further their understanding of, and connection to active citizenship for environmental sustainability
                  • The MtC guide provides a framework for improved collaboration and sharing among education for sustainability providers. For example, as young people are engaging with sustainability providers in other sectors, MtC can be used to identify common ground and language, as well as to assist in working towards shared outcomes.
                  • It is important for young people to be able to have an empowering experience when they first engage with sustainability. For example, use the MtC to connect young people to a range of relevant initiatives that interest them and support them to realise meaningful change.
                  • Use the MtC alliance approach for education for sustainability providers, to build off one another in realising shared aims. For example, extend the involvement of young people within the alliance of sustainability education providers, by using MtC to enhance communication outcomes on common ground.
                  • Young people need to grapple with the holistic challenges that sustainability presents. The MtC provides a meaningful alliance that values equally the human and environmental dimensions of sustainability, in working towards shared objectives for a more sustainable future. For example, MtC can be used to further the understanding about quadruple bottom line sustainability, of people in all sectors, including young people.