Phone: +61 39925 9929
Campus: Melbourne City
Dr Sarah Holdsworth is an Associate Professor in the School of Property, Construction and Project Management at RMIT University. Sarah has a Bachelor of Education (Sec) in Environmental Science, MEnv Sci, MEnv and Urban Planning and a PhD. Sarah teaches in the construction management program at RMIT.
Sarah has proven competitive grants success and more than 70 publications in built environment research.
Sarah collaborates with industry partners, professionals and practitioners to better understand the development of resilient communities. Her recent research projects cover an evaluation of the planning practices for gas safety, regulatory mapping for future fuels, trades training for hydrogen and understanding vulnerable customers in the transition to future fuels as part of the Future Fuels CRC.
Sarah has a strong understanding of the issues facing women in the construction industry, having undertaken research for the Victorian State Government since 2019. Sarah's research has provided evidence and a strong foundation for implementing the actions in Victoria's first Women in Construction Strategy 2019-22 and developing and evaluating the world's first Building Equality Policy. Sarah has partnered with the Victorian Government to develop the Building Equitable Future 2022- 2031 Strategy Women in Construction and Action Plan. The research has been integral to the widespread cultural change we are now seeing. It is also the basis of ongoing conversations with employers, unions, industry associations and the Government about how practical actions can be implemented to address complex barriers.
Sarah's professional roles involve change projects in relation to the improvement of tertiary learning and teaching and the delivery of graduate capabilities to prepare students for the transition from university into the workplace.
Nominated for RMIT L&T award 2003, 2004, 2011
Dr Sarah Holdsworth generates research and applies knowledge with purpose in three complex areas: Sustainability Education, Sustainable Built Environments, and Diversity and Inclusion in the Construction Industry.
Within the area of Sustainability Education, Sarah leads research and adds knowledge in developing and measuring sustainability capabilities and GAs to enable graduates to address the relevant goals of the SDGs in their professional practice. Since 2015, I have led a research team of local and international partners to develop the GAAT and research best practice pedagogies, their application and impact.
Since 2020, Sarah has contributed to developing research for Sustainable Built Environments as a lead researcher within the Future Fuels CRC Program 2: Social Acceptance, Public Safety & Security of Supply. Sarah's research has resulted in the amendment of policies and professional development to enable Australia's transition to a decarbonised energy future.
Sarah's research in gender equality in construction has been funded and informed Victoria's globally leading approach to attracting, recruiting and retaining women in the construction industry. In 2019, Sarah conducted a piece of pivotal research funded by the first Women In Construction Gender Equality Strategy 2019-2022, entitled Women in Construction: Exploring the Barriers and Supportive Enablers of Wellbeing in the Workplace. The report has provided the government with evidence and impetus to lead change in policy and practice within the Victorian construction industry, including developing the Building Equality Policy. Further research has been undertaken to identify the gender bias held by careers councillors, VET/VCAL providers and secondary teachers and awaits release by the government. The report entitled: "Career Pathways of Women in Construction: Boots on the Ground (2022) informs the education priority areas of the Building Equitable Future 2022- 2031 Strategy Women in Construction and Action Plan. Sarah led the consultation with the industry in partnership with Industrial Relations Victoria to develop the Building Equitable Future 2022-2031 Strategy.
Sarah works with the construction management discipline to develop a technology-enhanced curriculum focused on imaginative, critical, reflective experiences connected to the industry, ensuring students understand their ethical responsibilities as global citizens. The development of RMIT's Graduate Attributes and associated SDGs is interwoven throughout Sarah's approach, ensuring graduates are work-ready. Sarah engages RMIT's student community with critical sustainability knowledge through the following courses, BUIL1229 Managing for Sustainability, a common first-year course undertaken by all PCPM students on-shore and off-shore in Hong Kong and Singapore, BUIL1266 Industrial Environment, a fourth-year course undertaken by Construction Management and Engineering students, electives BUIL1319: Global Built Environment Study Tour and BUSM4667: Construction for Shelter. Sarah has also developed and managed RMIT micro-credentials Sustainability 101, Sustainability: Leading the Change accredited by Sustainability Victoria and the Resilience and Adaptability micro-credential accredited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In 2015, Sarah was awarded RMIT's Learning and Teaching Award P9 Development of Graduate Learning Outcomes; and RMIT's Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award.
Sarah's education research focuses on notions of sustainability in relation to curriculum development, graduate attributes, professional education in the built environment, and undergraduate assessment. Sarah's current research includes projects on developing learning activities and materials to foster urgent skills for an environmentally constrained future and devising drivers for the diffusion of sustainability studies in higher education programs.
Research that informs the evolution of sustainable built environments through the following areas:
1 PhD Current Supervisions
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.