26 Sept 2016


Australian business, community, civil society, academia and inter-governmental agencies will converge on Sydney in November for SDGA16 – a conference to discuss how Australia will deliver on the agenda of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Exactly twelve months ago (26 September 2015), UN member countries adopted a new set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. They key question to be discussed at SDGA16 is: “What is Australia doing about it?”

The conference will be held on 29 and 30 November at the University of Sydney Business School and confirmed speakers include:


  • Shayne Elliot, CEO, ANZ
  • Roberto Mercade, President, South Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Maria Atkinson, Greater Sydney Commission

Civil Society:

  • Tim Costello AO, CEO World Vision Australia
  • Dermot O’Gorman, CEO WWF-Australia
  • Dr Helen Szoke, CEO Oxfam Australia
  • Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO Australian Council of Social Service
  • Maha Krayen Abdo OAM, United Muslim Women’s Association
  • Sam Mostyn, Australian Council for International Development President
  • Vince Perez, WWF International Board member

Public sector:

  • Susan Ryan AO, Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner


  • Professor John Thwaites, Monash University 

SDGA16 aims to raise awareness, foster opportunities for partnerships and catalyse local Australian action around the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals – which, in a development from the preceding Millennium Development Goals, have a clear focus on domestic action in developed countries, as well as developing countries.

The 2030 SDG agenda can provide Australia with a platform to advocate for a strong focus on economic prosperity in Australia and the region, while decoupling greenhouse emissions and unsustainable resource consumption.

It can also promote priorities including gender equality, and strengthening governance and tax systems to reduce inequalities. The agenda is also an opportunity to develop new and innovative models of partnership between the private sector and civil society to achieve implementation and identify priorities for greater collaboration going forward.

SDGA16 will culminate with the Banksia Sustainability Awards 2016 on 30 November at the University of Sydney.

Andrew Petersen, CEO of Sustainable Business Australia, said:

“The SDGs can provide Australia with a robust framework and an historic opportunity for companies to harness their capital and creativity to help solve local, and global, challenges."

“As an engine of economic growth and employment and a source of technology and innovation, business has both a critical role to play and a vested interest in contributing to this agenda.”

Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of WWF-Australia, said:

“In 2030, we want to look back and see this time as a key moment in history."

“One year on from when Australia signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals, it’s great to see Australian business, government and civil society leading the way to develop practical and innovative solutions to these global challenges.”

Media contacts:

Sustainable Business Australia: Deirdre Campbell, 0414 587 348, dworks@dodo.com.au

WWF-Australia: Daniel Rockett, 0432 206 592, drockett@wwf.org.au