Industry-university partnerships for SDG focused internships in Australia and India

Join NGOs, academics, industry practitioners, advocates, and researchers as they traverse challenges to adopt best practices to fulfill the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

Dates: Wednesday 2 March
Time: 9:30am-12:30pm (IST), 2-5pm (AEST) 3-6pm (AEDT)
Where: Teams webinar

Under the auspices of the Australia-India Council, Australian Catholic University and Deakin University have partnered to host an event focussing on the benefits and challenges that students in India and Australia face in securing internships underpinned by the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). This workshop is part of a broader project funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Commonwealth Government of Australia. The project aims to map out strategies for developing SDG based internships including the clear identification of potential roadblocks.

This event has unique win-win value propositions for multiple stakeholders including non-profit organisations, students, academics, advocates and practitioners.

  • Employers and practitioners benefit from access to a large pool of fresh and novel ideas, pro bono work, recruitment pathways, to hone their staff skills in mentoring and management, and fulfill their corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligations.
  • Students benefit by connecting with industry and holistically enhancing their knowledge, skills, and ability in developing their professional and personal identity.
  • Academics benefit from access to interesting and challenging real-life projects to embed in their units.
  • Advocates benefit by improved engagement by stakeholders and authentically fulfilling the UNSDG agenda.

Hear from Keynote Speakers

Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Austrade, Australia

Dr Monica Kennedy joined Austrade in early 2021 after a long career building international education partnerships in both the public and private sectors, working across pathways, ELICOS, vocational education and higher education and in a range of modalities in India, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Immediately prior to joining Austrade Monica held the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor International where she was responsible for expanding global capability in an Australian university, extending from her experience both as an academic and having led the Australasian University Partnerships Division for a leading multinational private education group.

With a PhD and a master’s qualification in education, an undergraduate qualification in organisational communication and experience as an academic in these disciplines, Monica’s academic background informs her approach to international education and partnership development and growth. Monica is published in international journals and books on international education and practice-based learning in higher education.

Academic Dean, School of Sustainability, XIM University, India

Professor Sutapa Pati is an accomplished industrial designer and academic who is currently Academic Dean, School of Sustainability, XIM University, Bhubaneswar. She completed her PhD in Sustainable Design from IIT Delhi. Prof. Pati is also a certified Griha professional and takes courses in Green Buildings and Sustainable Urban Development and Designing Organizations for Sustainability for students of Sustainability Management. She also teaches business model design and designing organisations for sustainability. Her specialisation is in ergonomics and design for safety. She has worked in the automotive industry as a Manager in the Research & Design Centre of Tata Motors, ERC, Pune and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Gurgaon with specialization in Interiors Design and Ergonomics.

National Manager Sustainability ACU, Australia

Mark Doggett is the National Sustainability Manager for ACU where he’s responsible for minimising the university’s environmental impact. Mark’s work has helped ACU to become Australia’s most energy efficient university and he is now leading ACU on a path to carbon neutrality.

Mark is a journalism graduate of RMIT, a graduate of Royal Military College, Duntroon, and has a Master of Environment from the University of Melbourne.

Followed by an interactive panel

Associate Professor School of Sustainability - XIM University, India

Dr Elizabeth Abba is Associate Professor in the School of Sustainability and Associate Dean of International Relations at XIM University, Odisha, India. She holds a PhD in Environmental Management from National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai. She was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Doctoral and Professional Research Scholarship during 2008-09 and spent 9-months at the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University (SDSU). Dr Abba has ten years of research experience at National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Mumbai Zonal Laboratory, 9 years of teaching and 2 years of consultancy experience in Environmental Science. Prior to joining XIM University, she taught courses in Environmental Science and Management to postgraduate students at K.J. Somaiya College of Science and Commerce, Mumbai. Since 2013, she has hosted SDSU undergraduate students on study abroad programs in India every year.

Honorary Chairman of CHINAR, India

Dr Pradeep Mehta holds a doctorate degree in Forestry from Kumaun University, Nainital and has done a short-term management course from Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands. He has over two decades of experience in the development sector and has worked on a range of environmental issues as part of his professional stints with INGOs and Bilateral agencies including GIZ (German Development Cooperation), Earthwatch Institute, Clean Air Asia, Appropriate Technology Asia, to name a few. He has worked extensively with the communities in the Indian Himalayan Region over the years undertaking collaborative research on biodiversity & ecosystem services and development projects on livelihoods, conservation, energy, sustainability education & health at the community level. He specialises in participatory research, capacity development, and employee engagement.

He has received NUFFIC Fellowship from Netherlands and FAO Fellowships. He is a member of various IUCN Commission's and is also South Asia Representative of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) mountain specialist group committee. Dr Pradeep is Honorary Chairman CHINAR (Central Himalayan Institute for Nature & Applied Research) and recently joined as State Head United Nation Development Program. He is also the Strategic Academic Advisory Board (SAAB) member of School of Sustainability, XIM University

Community Engagement Program Manager, ACU, Australia

Dr Azordegan manages ACU’s national community engagement program, which provides students across disciplines with curriculum-based, community-embedded learning opportunities in conjunction with partners in the community and non-profit sectors.

She joined ACU in 2019 with over a decade of experience in teaching, research and project roles in Australian higher education, particularly in the area of teacher education. She was previously an education policy researcher in the US and trained as a primary school teacher. Her PhD research was a community-engaged, sociological exploration of the connections between an Australian primary school and parents from an refugee background.

Jen is passionate about the role of educational institutions in building social cohesion and fostering greater inclusion of children, youth, and families from diverse and marginalised communities in the educational process.

CEO and Co-Founder Communiteer, Australia

Victor began his career as a management consultant specialising in HR, Change Management and Corporate Volunteering.

In 2009, he became Chief Operating Officer of Australia’s first online mental health community at Reachout, before making his mark as the General Manager of Australia’s largest Community Legal Centre.

Since 2018, Victor has been the CEO and Co-Founder of Communiteer; a social enterprise with a mission to facilitate social impact through cross-sector collaboration. The social GOOD network, bringing corporates, charities & purpose driven people together to do more social good. Communiteer leverages the technology behind social media platforms to create deeper engage with change-makers. Through the power of crowd-sourcing, Communiteer mobilises purpose-driven individuals to contribute towards the SDGs in their own way.

Partnerships @HnryAus, Australia

Hayley Bolding OAM has an extensive background in international development, education and volunteering in Australia and Asia. At the age of 23, Hayley founded a non-profit organisation in India called Atma (

Under Hayley’s leadership, Atma has moved from a start-up to a well-respected non-profit organisation engaging multiple partner organisations which impact over 1.2M beneficiaries.

Continuing her passion for promoting people-to-people exchange Hayley has led international youth programs for the Australia India Institute and Foundation for Youth Australians and edtech Practera. She currently works at Hnry a financial technology company supporting self-employed Australians with tax and finance automation.

Hayley was awarded Young Australian of the Year (Victoria) in 2013. She is a Board member of the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD), and is a Alumni of the Asialink Leaders Program. Hayley was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019.

Great Place to Work Leader at CISCO, Australia

Kylie is a Leader in People and Culture space at Cisco. Kylie is a thought leader in the company’s focus on culture which has been globally delivered via a program called Our People Deal, a two way “deal” that sets out what Cisco offers its employees and what is expected in return. She is now leading the Global Great Place to Work Program in over 38 countries and has steered Cisco to two World’s Best wins in 2019 and 2020. Twice awarded IT Manager of the Year for nurturing talent and a trusted advisor to the C-Level executives using highly collaborative approach to deliver lasting results. Prior to HR Kylie was a Senior Leader in the tech industry - multiple leadership positions in IT, C-Suite and global employee Kylie is a passionate believer in driving an intentional culture to build a successful, sustainable business. Previously, Kylie has worked extensively in corporate IT having lead people initiatives from the Office of the CIO.


Welcome by Professor Terri Joiner, Executive Dean – Faculty of Law and Business, ACU, Australia

Introduction by Dr Ameeta Jain, Senior Lecturer – Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University, Australia

Session 1: Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speech by Dr Monica Kennedy, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Austrade, Australia
“Bilateral relationship between Australia and India”

Keynote Speech by Prof. Sutapa Pati, Academic Dean, School of Sustainability, XIM University, India
“Sustainable Design - Learnings from Nature and Culture”

Keynote Speech by Mr Mark Doggett, National Manager Sustainability ACU, Australia
“SDGs as a framework: a case study”

Session 2: Panel Discussion

Interactive Panel Discussion: Industry-university partnerships for SDG focused internships in Australia and India

Chair: Associate Professor Bhavani Sridharan, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Law and Business, ACU, Australia
Co-Chair: Professor Meg Stuart, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), ACU, Australia

Dr Prof. Elizabeth Abba - Associate Professor School of Sustainability - XIM University, India
Dr Pradeep Mehta - Technical Advisor GIZ and Honorary Chairman of CHINAR, India
Dr Jen Azordegan - Community Engagement Program Manager, ACU, Australia
Ms. Hayley Bolding OAM - Partnerships @HnryAus, Australia
Mr. Victor Lee - CEO and Co-Founder Communiteer, Australia
Ms. Kylie Owen - Great Place to Work Leader at CISCO, Australia

Panel Q&A

Participants will have an opportunity to post their questions, comments, and insights in the Chatbox to be raised with the respective panel expert.

Register now

If you have any queries, please contact Heather


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