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Students address climate change for a cleaner future

SCHOOLS in the Hobart area have started working on projects to lead local action on addressing climate change as part of the annual Tasmania Youth Climate Leaders Program.

In its third year, the Tasmanian Youth Climate Leaders Program inspires student leaders to address sustainable development goals by providing the skills, empowerment and networks for students to lead their own projects within their school.

Dominic College, the Hutchins School, Sacred Heart College and Taroona High School are part of the schools participating in the program.

Dominic College students have started working on relevant and worthwhile projects after attending a climate conference via Zoom.

Year seven students Priyannika Kumrai and Sophia McLoughlin, and year six students Georgia McPherson and Aria Nossiter discussed the effects of climate change and what needed to be done to stop adverse effects by considering changes that could be made in school.

The Dominic College students came up with ideas around composting, rewards, recycling and competitions to encourage and engage other students to get involved.

Priyannika said the students were determined to achieve their goals.

“The conference was a huge success and we can’t wait to get started,” she said.

“Hopefully we can make a difference and stop the climate crisis before it is too late.”

The key drivers of the program were three Youth Climate Planning Conferences held online late March where students workshopped their planned projects.

More than 280 students from 36 secondary schools across Tasmania heard from keynote speakers including Costa Georgiadis from ABC’s Gardening Australia, Doctor Anna Seth from the Climate Resilience Network, and Tasmanian local youth climate leader Amelie Hudspeth.

“As young people facing this climate crisis, the weight of the world is on their shoulders and our students are preparing for a future that we don’t know what it will be like, so this program is teaching students how to be leaders and to address these problems,” convenor of the Tasmanian Youth Climate Leaders Program Toby Thorpe said.

“Throughout the year, we will continue that network, connect students with mentors, provide online training, and at the end of the year we will gather again to allow students to troubleshoot their problems, celebrate what they achieved, recognise what they didn’t achieve and launch their climate leadership to the next stage.”

Caption: From left, year six and seven Dominic College students Georgia McPherson, Sophia McLoughlin, Priyannika Kumrai and Aria Nossiter working towards a cleaner future.