Gloucester students Strike 4 Climate

Around 60 people gathered at Billabong Park to send a message to the government about the need for climate action. Gloucester students and community members took part in the national School Strike 4 Climate on Friday, May 21.

Organised by 16-year-old Elyssa Keen, the event was designed to bring together climate community groups and youth.

"The purpose of this meeting is to discuss achievable goals and create a plan to make Gloucester more sustainable," Elyssa said. "Some goals in mind include bringing it to the school - a major project that will use solar panels to power the school, introducing soft plastics recycling and composting bins, creating a cycle system between the soft plastics recycled and the products made from it like pens that can be used in the school, and switching to biodegradable packaging in the canteen."

A range of guest speakers spoke about everything from borrowing before purchasing to the importance of taking action.

Josh Gilbert, a Worimi man, spoke about Gloucester's Indigenous history and the benefits of combining agricultural practices. He spoke about attending 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and being among the first to call for agricultural action for climate.

Environmental scientist, Naomi Kilby spoke about using her education to teach her children about climate impacts. She suggested that when looking to purchase something new that people think about if it's needed, or if it can be borrowed or repurposed from something else.

"Pretty much everything can be recycled these days, you just have to look on the internet to learn how," Naomi said.

Pat Burrows spoke about Energise Gloucester's solar projects around town. Mike Coleman spoke about how the Gloucester Community Garden group plans to use the space to help educate people about growing food.

And Julie Lyford OAM spoke about the importance of strike action.

"How did women get the right to vote? How did we get the five day work week?" Julie said.

Elyssa concluded the event by encouraging people to sign up to be a part of her plan for action.