Maddii Maguire completed COMM1000: Creating Social Change – From Innovation to Impact, as a general elective while completing the first year of a Bachelor of Media in Public Relations and Advertising at UNSW.
“COMM1000 provided me with a different way to look at the kinds of issues we face in our community and as I'm quite interested in the business side of things I was able to discover other ways we can support our people and planet.”
As part of the course Maddii completed a group assignment based around a social impact project, and while this was an integral part to the course it ultimately inspired Maddii to move forward with a community project to benefit her local baseball club and the environment.
“I was able to use my learnings and the pitch template from our group assignment to flesh out the project I was establishing for the club,” explains Maddii.
“I then ended up putting forward my idea to the baseball committee and it was approved - thanks to everything I had learned.”
Maddii’s idea was to install water refill stations around the fields of her 300-member club to help reduce the use of plastic drink bottles.
“One of my favourite things about being on campus at UNSW is the water refill stations. I can fill my bottle up whenever I need to in a way that is good for the environment,” says Maddii.
“I also knew how many plastic bottles we were selling in the club canteen so I had already started a recycling program to try and reduce the waste.
“People were still throwing out the bottles though, so I thought maybe I'll just get rid of them altogether so that people are encouraged to bring their own drink bottles. That’s when the water refill station idea came to me.”
At up to $4,000 a water station, Maddi is seeking funding through various avenues but also has her sights set on a future fundraising event to ensure the stations are up and running in 2020.
“I want to install two water stations at either end of one field, one next to the canteen and then another one on our training field.
“The idea is that the water will be chilled and filtered so that people are more inclined to use the stations and reduce their use of plastic bottles.”
Maddii’s mission to fund the waterfill stations has also inspired the club's baseballers to become environmentally conscious in other ways:
“We still recycle plastic bottles and cans, and we also provide free instant coffee and tea if people bring in their reusable cups or mugs. We’ve also changed to paper straws and just done everything we can with the limitations we have,” says Maddii.
“Helping the environment has now become part of our club identity but the best thing is that everything we are doing at a club level is encouraging our members to get on track and start making their own positive difference in their lives.”
Find out more about creating social change in the COMM1000 course at UNSW Sydney.