Thousands of Sydney school students took a stand and demanded urgent climate change action from the Australian government, today (30 November) in Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD. Students also took to the streets in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth as part of the global Strike 4 Climate Action movement started by 15-year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg.
Fort Street High Year 9 student, Jean Hinchliffe, led the Sydney CBD protest encouraging young people to engage with this issue and call out politicians to take climate change policy seriously.
“Because it is our future that is going to be impacted. We are going to bear the weight of all decisions made by parliament now about climate change.
“So for us we can’t wait until we are in power, to vote or anything like that because it’s going to be too late. So it’s important that we come out as soon as we can to do everything in our ability,” said Ms Hinchliffe.
One of the issues on the agenda for the Australian Strike 4 Action is to stop the Adani coal mine in Queensland, which is set to begin construction before Christmas.
Between calls of #StopAdani, real action on climate change, an end to burning coal and a shift to renewables, there was another loud call from the young people of Australia today. #ClimateStrike #Auspol pic.twitter.com/AuZOg0e4hn
— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) November 30, 2018
This is the first environmental activism protest that Ms Hinchliffe has led and at 14 years old, she shows that you are never too young to use your voice for social change.
“You may think that we are young apathetic teens, who don’t know about the world but we know science. We learnt it in school. We have opinions and we care and we will not be silent until something is done,” said Ms Hinchliffe.
In an address to parliament earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged students to not take part in these climate change protests.
“What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools,” said Mr Morrison.
Turramurra High School Year 10 student, Olivia Hannell, also attended the Sydney protest.
“Besides, what use is an education if we have no future to apply it in?” said Ms Hannell when asked why she was there.
Another Turramurra High School Year 10 student, Evie Gawlas, said she was at the protest because it was her future and quality at life that was at stake.
“The protest means my whole future to me, the action of Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, could change our lives for the better, if he stops the construction of Adani and prevents climate change and global warming from worsening,” said Ms Gawlas.
Strike 4 Climate Action has planned Stop Adani rallies on Saturday. Rallies will be held across the country.
Melissa Stewart and Susannah Cornford