The event was well attended by students and staff including speakers, professors Jo Dames and Hugo Nel.
The event’s keynote address was given by Rhodes Safety, Health and Environmental Officer, Nikki Kohly.
“The 2018 Environmental Awards panel adjudicated some incredible nominations, and is encouraged by so much evidence of activities that are helping to transform society,” said Kohly. “It is helping to promote socio-ecological sustainability – in line with the University’s Environmental Sustainability Policy.”
The individual winner, McGarry, has made environmentalism a priority in his own learning and community engagement since moving to Grahamstown (Makhanda) in 2001.
His award citation read by Natasha Engelbrecht stated, “His organisation, the Arkwork Collective, was responsible for the ‘Greening the Green’ initiative, bringing recycling to the National Arts Festival from 2009 onwards. He started the first Student Environmental Organisation at Rhodes, and was involved in the international EMSU Conference in 2002 – that is Environmental Management for Sustainable Universities. Furthermore, our winner has initiated innovative research, teaching and community engagement activities for sustainability.”
McGarry could not be present at the event due to his attendance at the World Social Science Forum in Japan.
In the residence/student society category, Common Ground gardening society were the winners.
The citation read by Tatenda Chakabuda stated, “They adopted an innovative approach to learning about the benefits of local food systems by creating a social gardening space where students can engage in a relaxed social setting, engaging in dialogue and hands-on learning, reflecting on and modifying their own practices to align with pragmatic sustainability goals.”
Students and community members can visit Common Ground’s garden on the university campus, across from Robert Sobukwe residence by the Grounds and Gardens Department.
Grocott’s Mail congratulates the winners and encourages community members and students to continue their positive work with the environment.