Events play a vital role at Macquarie University, delivering value and supporting strategic outcomes by rewarding student achievements, enhancing the student experience and attracting new students and partners. The Events and Protocol team develop, manage and produce conferences, public lectures, seminars and other events that showcase the University and its research.

Hosting an event at Macquarie

We offer a unique park-like environment, perfect for a variety of large and small events, while our theatre and classroom spaces offer a more intimate alternative. Macquarie regularly hosts events for the community, as well as for staff and students.

The Events and Protocol Team can assist with your event. Our event planning expertise will provide you with invaluable planning, execution and vendor partnership opportunities to make your event engaging.

Should you require assistance with protocol, expert participation from a subject matter expert or industry sponsorships, contact us directly.

What is protocol and why is it important?

Special customs and behaviours are utilised as a mark of respect when dealing with people in positions of influence and importance. This is what we identify as protocol, and it ensures that activities such as events and functions are planned and conducted in an appropriate and professional manner (Protocol Handbook [PDF]A Guide for Queensland Government Officers).

Protocol retains its importance because of the part it plays in facilitating positive outcomes and relationships. This is particularly necessary at Macquarie as we seek to enhance the University's identity, strategy and reputation. Macquarie University is committed to enriching and developing its relationships with key external stakeholders, therefore protocol considerations should not be underestimated – particularly for events, visits, meetings, ceremonies and other functions.

Protocol includes:

  • forms of address
  • tables of precedence
  • advice on scoping and organising functions
  • order of proceedings
  • consideration of cultural issues
  • etiquette
  • seating arrangements
  • gift choices
  • speeches
  • briefs and communications with speakers, host and key event stakeholders
  • ceremonial matters (including flags and emblems)
  • VIP requirements (including security and parking).

There are different protocol considerations for domestic versus international events and/or guests. Macquarie University has two protocol teams to meet this need.

Domestic Protocol Team (sits within the Events and Protocol team): 

T: (02) 9850 4112 or (02) 9850 6585 

International Protocol Team (sits within Macquarie International): 

T: (02) 9850 1866 

Further information about protocol is found on the following pages:

When to use protocol at Macquarie University

Practical considerations for using protocol

Sustainable events

Our University: Framing of Futures clearly states that we are committed to the principles of sustainability. We adhere firmly to our commitment to the principles of sustainability in all we do. 

University events can have significant impacts on the environment through the message they send about our culture and society, as well as through environmental impacts such as the generation of waste. As a higher education institute, Macquarie can play a leading role in sustainability by educating the public through its events.

What is a sustainable event?

A sustainable event is one that commits to the principles of sustainability. To this end, the impact of all aspects of the event must be considered, including: aims and messaging, food services, energy consumption, location and transportation, and waste generation.

Why should you make your event sustainable?

By hosting a sustainable event you will be playing an important role in reducing our environmental impact and helping the university to become a world leader in sustainability. Additionally, a sustainable event can add value to the local economy, engage the university and wider community and educate those involved, whilst promoting a positive public image.

Reducing energy consumption

Macquarie is one of the top 200 energy users in NSW, producing around 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year. By employing the following strategies, we can reduce the university’s emissions:

  • Lighting: hold your event during the day in a location that provides adequate natural light. If you must use lights, make sure they are turned off when not in use.
  • Air-conditioning: if you are holding your event indoors, raise or lower the air-conditioner/heater set point to better suit the environment. As a rough guide, set the thermostat no lower than 23C in summer and no more than 18C in winter.
  • Electrical equipment: be sure to turn off overhead projectors, microphones, computers, slide projectors and any other electrical equipment when not in use.

Did you know? Increasing the temperature of the air-conditioner set point in summer by just one degree can reduce energy and emissions by 10 per cent.

Offsetting emissions

For your event to be carbon neutral, it will be necessary to offset any remaining emissions. Carbon offsetting is where the emissions from your event are neutralised by other activities, such as tree planting or energy saving initiatives.

The first step to offsetting emissions is to work out the total emissions your event will produce.


Travel to Macquarie generates approximately 17,029 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This is approximately 0.1 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced from all road transport in NSW.

Ways to reduce the impact of traveling to events

  • Carpooling: Macquarie Park transport mapping and ride sharing tool. Co-Hop makes it simple to arrange safe, friendly carpooling and ride sharing to and from the Macquarie Park area. Free for Macquarie staff and students, it helps you find people local to you who can easily fit into your travel times and the way you want to commute. Register at Co-Hop.
  • Virtual conferencing can eliminate the need for people to travel to Macquarie. It is especially appropriate for participants who live overseas or interstate. There are video conferencing services offered through iLearn in addition to any faculty/department-based facilities you may have.
  • Cycling and walking: encourage participants to cycle or walk to campus by providing maps and directions that highlight the location of bike parking, change rooms and showers. Event participants can find a ‘bike buddy’ at Co-Hop.
  • Public transport: encourage participants to take public transport by providing directions on how to access the campus via bus or train. Urge participants to check their best route to your event at Co-Hop.


The food you serve can make a big difference to the event’s overall sustainability.

Sustainable catering at Macquarie

Crunch Events & Catering provides sustainable menu options, including a variety of locally grown organic and vegetarian alternatives. Otherwise, if you are organising your own food use the principles of sustainable catering found below.

1. Choose locally grown, seasonal produce

The further the food travels to your plate, the more greenhouse gas emissions and pollution it produces. Make your event more sustainable by purchasing locally sourced food. A good way to ensure food is locally grown is to choose food that is in season.

2. Choose organic produce

Choose organic products to help conserve soils, enhance biodiversity, reduce pollution and minimise chemical inputs.

3. Reduce animal products (meat, dairy and eggs)

Livestock production is one of the largest sources of human induced greenhouse gas emissions in the world, producing more than 18 per cent of global emissions. Choose vegetarian and vegan foods to greatly reduce your environmental impact. 

4. Choose sustainable seafood

Modern fishing practices have led to the degradation of marine habitats and overuse of marine resources. Make sure any seafood has been harvested using sustainable methods that do not harm the environment or contribute to overfishing. Look for Marine Stewardship Council certified seafood.

5. Promote fair trade and ethical products

Fair trade aims to secure fair working and trading conditions for people in developing countries. Macquarie University became the first joint fair trade accredited university in Australia and New Zealand in May 2009. You can help support this movement by using fair trade and ethically sourced products, such as tea, coffee, merchandise (eg t-shirts made from fair trade cotton) and chocolate at your events. 

6. Promote health and wellbeing

The global food system is dysfunctional both from a health and sustainability perspective. The good news is that what we eat determines our health, and that also determines the health of our planet. By following the principles above and ensuring that the food served is healthy and nutritious we can make significant gains in public health.

Note for caterers

Macquarie University aims to provide sustainable food choices at all meetings and events. Please help us by following the seven principles of sustainable catering.

  1. We prefer locally grown, seasonal produce to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. The use of organic food will minimise chemical inputs and help reduce our impact on the environment.
  3. We would like vegetarian and vegan options. When animal products are used, we prefer organic varieties which have the highest animal welfare standards.
  4. We prefer the use of sustainable seafood. Please follow Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide.
  5. We prefer the use of tap water instead of bottled water. We also prefer recyclable cutlery, crockery and glass ware. Ensure any disposable items are biodegradable.
  6. Promote fair trade products by using tea and coffee that is Fairtrade certified.
  7. Promote health and well-being by providing healthy food options, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals and legumes and minimal quantities of refined sugar.


Macquarie has a one bin waste management system has resulted in less than 25% of waste ending up as landfill.

All rubbish generated on campus is taken to the Doyle Brothers' Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) which successfully recovers recyclable/reusable materials including plastic, paper and cardboard, organics and metals.

Please ensure Property is aware of your event so extra bins can be arranged if necessary. Contact Property via the online Service Request form.


Consider using your event as an opportunity to educate participants about the initiatives you have used to reduce the event’s environmental impact.

Promoting your sustainable event

Before the event

  • Promote your event as a sustainable event on any promotional materials. For example, send out electronic invitations and note that you have not sent printed invitations to reduce waste.
  • Inform participants that you will be aiming to have a sustainable event and ask participants to help meet your sustainability goals. For example, you might inform participants that it will be a “BYOC” (Bring Your Own Cup) event, to reduce the need for disposable cups.
  • To arrange wi-fi for external users who do not have a OneID or Eduroam access, complete a OneHelp request form, contact or call 9850 4557.

During the event

  • Let participants know you have taken steps to make the event sustainable. Ask participants to comply with any measures put in place to reduce environmental impact.
  • Collect data to determine the success of sustainability strategies. For example, ask participants to complete a survey of how they travelled to the event.

After the event

  • Report on the success of the event by calculating and reporting results of the event on the event’s website or by emailing participants. Consider writing an article on the sustainability aspects of your event for This Week.
  • Provide information, contacts and advice to other university staff, students or departments wishing to organise a more sustainable event.
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