2016 Planning Sustainable Infrastructure showcase
Malo wali ariat areet areet.
Malo plants here and there, where there is sufficient soil
Reflection on and celebration of the Mer Island culture and the development of learning and engineering outcomes were the themes of this year’s Planning Sustainable Infrastructure showcase. The Mer Project was approached by final-year students in technical and consultative ways that recognised the importance of culturally responsive and integrated solutions. ‘Malo plants here and there’ is referenced by the winning Group 11 team from the Meriam lore of Malo. Malo was a spiritual entity who came to the island in its past to define the tenets of the island’s laws. These laws continue to be embodied in the island’s contemporary perspectives and practices in agriculture, land management, governance, work and many other aspects of daily life, and helped inform this year’s development of the Mer Project.
The holistic consideration of the context of Mer Island was central to the posters on display in the Planning Sustainable Infrastructure showcase. Integrated solutions in water, waste, energy and transport were developed by each project team, with guidance from separate case studies by course guest lecturers Josh Byrne (JBA Consulting), Safiah Moore (ARUP), Prof Martin Nakata (Nura Gili) and Doug Passi (Mer Island) who, with Donald Macleod, also evaluated posters and consulted with students during the showcase evening. The event hosted in Nura Gili had some 150 industry and community guests who, with VC Prof Ian Jacobs, conversed with the teams around their posters.
Josh Byrne was this year’s Showcase Speaker, delivering his insights from his experiences and implementation of sustainable design in his presentation ‘Learnings from the Operation and Monitoring of a 10 Star High Performance House’. Byrne highlighted the success of existing technologies and initiatives in sustainability, demonstrating that such applications can be optimal solutions in environmental best-practice, economic performance and operational utility.
The Caro String Quartet and Mezzo Soprano Jessica Hitchcock, from the Torres Strait, gave a stirring performance of Peter Sculthorpe’s String Quartet No. 13, ‘Island Dreaming’. The composition drew from the traditional melodies and seascape sounds of the island environment and was accompanied by imagery of artist Segar Passi’s paintings.
Doug and Nellie Passi explained the painting by Segar Passi that they presented to the University and the School. These expressions of island culture at the event affirm the course’s recognition of the unique and valuable island tradition that generate and inspire dialogue and understanding in the Mer Project.