Introducing the James Cook University, a new WUC academia partner!

Introducing the James Cook University, a new WUC academia partner!

James Cook University (JCU) is a multi-campus institution with main campuses in the tropical cities of Cairns, Townsville, and Singapore, and smaller study centres in Mount Isa, Thursday Island, Mackay and Brisbane. JCU is one of the world’s leading institutions focusing on the tropics. The University is surrounded by the spectacular ecosystems of the rainforests of the wet tropics, the dry savannahs, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef.

JCU conducts nationally significant and internationally recognised research in many areas, including urban design and planning, development studies, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments, global warming, tropical medicine and public health in under-served populations.

The College of Science and Engineering at JCU offers a Bachelor of Planning and a Bachelor of Environmental Practice with a Major in Urban Environments and Landscape Design, both degrees focus on addressing pressing global sustainability challenges. The College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Science offers a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A new Global Health stream will be offered through the program from 2018.

In 2016, JCU became the first university to sign the University Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and our commitment to support and promote the principles of the SDGs has been endorsed as a university-wide agenda. JCU is building its internal capacity and ownership of the SDGs and has embedded the SDGs within the University’s planning architecture. For example, the SDGs are a key Focus Area and Central Theme within JCU’s University Plan 2018 – 2022 and Academic Plan 2018 – 2022. In addition, JCU contributed two case studies to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Australia/Pacific’s report Getting Started With the SDGs in Universities, and has undertaken mapping exercises on current activities that contribute to its SDG focus.

OUR Commitment

  • Support and promote the principles of the SDGs
  • Undertake research that provides solutions to sustainable development challenges
  • Provide the educational opportunity for our students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development
  • Contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by ensuring our campuses and major programs are environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive

Key coming up actions            


  • Friday 8th (Cairns Campus) and 15th (Townsville Campus): World Urban Campaign Urban Thinkers Campus
  • Urban Livability in Tropical Australia through Urban Diaries and Community Engagement

JCU Contact: Dr Silvia Tavares (

  • Friday 29th: International Day of the Tropics

JCU Contact: Ann Penny (


  • 17 – 20th: WHO Health Conference ‘Universal Health Care: SDGs are everyone’s business’, hosted by JCU

Location: Cairns Convention Centre

JCU Contact: AProf Caryn West (


  • 12th: UN International Youth Day  - ‘JCU Youth SDG Forum' - Townsville & Cairns (proposed) 

JCU Contact: Kerryn O'Conor (