2020 Climate Conference
On 17 September, some of Nossal's amazing NEST members had the opportunity to be involved in the 2020 MGC Climate Conference, facilitated by Melbourne Girls' College. In addition to our Nossal students, there were over 200 students involved from 31 different schools. The day involved of discussions and presentations from a panel of well acknowledged experts along with fun and interactive activities. We attended the conference through a Youtube livestream and collaborated with others on Zoom, Padlet and Google Docs.
The first session led by the students gave us an opportunity to be informed on what climate change is and what is being done to help/ what more can be done to help. We were given an insight on how drastically changing our climate really is, with particular regions being under water and even being in an Ice Age (this proves to show just how extreme this crisis really is). We learnt that, as the future generation, the results of this damage will fall on us and so it’s up to us to make change NOW by being involved in conferences like this, as well as protests, strikes and other programs. It is especially remarkable that even in these unprecedented times, people have not given up hope and are taking part in these movements. We finished up this discussion with a fun Kahoot (unfortunately it did not work properly due to delays) to test our knowledge on what we had learnt.
The second session was a panel discussion in which some very special guests shared their input on this crisis. These guests included: Damon Gameau (director of 2040 documentary), Giles Parkinson (founder and editor of Renew Economy), Anjali Sharma (part of Youth Climate Class Action), Samantha Green (member of the Yarra Council - Home and Garden), Tamara DiMattina (Founder of The New Joneses company) and Jazz Jones (a member of AYCC). It was interesting to hear different viewpoints on the crisis as they agreed to one main point - Saving the Planet. But what really stood out was Anjali Sharma’s work - she is sixteen years old and part of a group of 8 members between 13-18 years old called Class Action 4 Climate. This group was able to take the environment minister to court over the imminent approval of a coal mine in regional New South Wales that would have detrimentally impacted Australia’s environment - and this was so amazing to hear as people so young could make a positive impact to such great extent. To show your support for these inspirational teenagers, follow this link with details provided. https://equitygenerationlawyers.com/cases/sharma-v-minister-for-environment/#register
We ended the conference, with our third session being a zoom call focusing on taking action. We were grouped up with people from different schools and shared some ideas on what we were doing in the past to help and what we are planning to do next now that we are further informed. Then later, we discussed in groups of those from our own schools so we can really put this into action. We hope to input some of these ideas in the future in our NEST group. There are many small things we can all do as individuals to help - this includes: taking public transport, switching to green energy, writing a letter to the MP or using social media to spread awareness.
Overall, the experience of attending MGC’s 2020 climate conference was insightful and inspiring. The panelists and their personal stories about getting involved in climate action, from directing movies, to fighting a case against the environment minister, to small things you can do around the house, motivated us to think about our own. The very fact that the MGC students were able to unite over 200 students empowered us to continue our efforts to create change through our NEST team. Our conversations with other students from other schools were certainly eye - opening, and the benefits of collaboration are clear. The participants from the NHS had an enjoyable time, and we wish to attend more conferences like this in the future.
You can get involved by:
Joining SVN www.svn-au.com
SVN (The student voice network) is a free virtual platform, which facilitates discussion and collaboration with students throughout Victoria. You can get involved by just subscribing to their website to get monthly brief via email, or actively get involved by contributing at weekly meetings.
Subscribe to www.reneweconomy.com.au
This website helps you keep up to date with current news about clean energy. Being aware about environmental issues and current developments can be beneficial; you can contribute to discussions and help create change.
Join AYCC at https://www.aycc.org.au/
The AYCC (Australian Youth Climate Coalition) is an initiative which empowers and educates young people, runs campaigns, and builds a movement to fight for climate action and turn down environmentally damaging projects proposed by the government.
Joining the NEST Club
Although it is nearing the end of the year, it is not too late to join the NEST club! There are still many projects running during lockdown, so do not hesitate to message the NEST leaders via teams and ask about joining the group.
Akshaya Kajendra, Fahima Safa, Nandita Chandran, Rasna Preman, Rithika Anilkumar