Emilie Wells Emilie Wells
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Slow life movement feeds international collaboration

UOW partners with South Korean city on sustainable food initiative. 

A shared interest in local and sustainable food initiatives has led to a partnership between the University of Wollongong (UOW) and Namyangju City in South Korea.

Led by UOW’s Faculty of Social Sciences, the partnership focuses on the slow life movement and how local governments can promote healthy and sustainable food initiatives.

A delegation from Namyangju City, comprising the mayor and nine other members of the city’s sustainability divisions, recently visited UOW to formalise the partnership and explore opportunities for further collaboration.

On Friday 23 March a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Mayor of Namyangju, Lee Suk Woo, and UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, signifying the official commencement of the relationship between the University and Namyangju City.

The international delegation also attended meetings with the Faculty of Social Sciences and toured the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at UOW’s Innovation Campus, before exploring Wollongong’s foragers market and meeting Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury.

The proposed collaboration involves staff and student visits and workplace opportunities, exchange of information, research opportunities, seminars, workshops, academic meetings and other activities as agreed by both parties.

Professor Heather Yeatman from UOW’s School of Health and Society said the collaboration is an exciting opportunity for an academic institution to partner with a local government to advance local food initiatives.

“Food is so central to people’s lives that it is often taken for granted. But our future depends on healthy, sustainably produced, affordable food,” she said.

“Supporting local initiatives is key to healthy urban futures, be it food literacy and preparation skills for individuals and families, local food enterprises and start-ups, eco-tourism opportunities, or greater recognition of the importance of sustainable food systems for everyone.

“This collaboration is an exciting opportunity to build the evidence base to support these initiatives.”

UOW students undertaking the food and society major as part of the public health program will also be given the opportunity to undertake food study tours in South Korea, or to visit Namyangju to develop or trial new food education and food eco-tourism initiatives.

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