Young people of North West Tasmania agree that anything is possible. Attendees of the Lower Emissions Schools Summit held at Ulverstone High, and students of Devonport's Don Campus say a clean, safe and sustainable planet is a reality with the right leadership; and leadership is firmly on the agenda at Latrobe High.
Senator Christine Milne talked with students at these schools and says she is delighted to see so many young Tasmanians taking real and positive steps towards developing leadership skills and addressing the climate crisis.
"These young people form the next generation of responsible citizens and climate activists. Where would we be without their youthful enthusiasm and will to make a change? Their teachers should be congratulated. They are the generation who will develop and implement the climate solutions in a net zero carbon economy. Remember the average age of those working on the moon mission in the 1960s was only 26."
"The students in these schools see perfectly well the realities of climate change, peak oil and resource depletion, but they also see it as an opportunity for leading better and healthier lifestyles instead of an impending nightmare that we can do nothing to stop. It's heartening to know that here in Tasmania there exists a community of young people who believe that anything is possible."
The Lower Emissions Schools Summit brought together students from 13 North West schools to discuss ways of living and learning in a sustainable way. About 130 students heard from a number of political and community leaders as well as an inspiring conservationist involved in protecting orang-utans.
Senator Milne later attended Devonport's Don Campus where a meeting with their Climate Change Club proved equally as inspiring.
"These students are not simply sitting in a classroom and learning about climate change, they're out there making a difference, right now. They're out there working with schools from Miandetta to Japan, they're talking with our top scientific institutions about greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, sea ice and coastal erosion. These students are our now and future, and there is much we can learn from them."
The Climate Change Club is a network of more than 150 students and teachers from seven North West campuses, as well as schools from Thailand and Japan. The club is nearly two years old.
At Latrobe High School, Senator Milne talked with students about responsible leadership in our community.