Permie Students Present Solutions at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Eyes were opened and options were broadened on the weekend when two PCA Students presented at the Brisbane Australian Youth Climate Coalition.
Along with their inspirational co-panellist Alison McDonald, Green Architect and Lecturer and Sustainable Design Co-ordinator at QUT, Permaculture Diploma Students Sofi Krige and Toni Robinson showed examples of permaculture in action and presented some hands-on solutions for an eager audience of ‘youth’, ages ranging from 12 to 30 years old.
What is AYCC?
The AYCC is ‘working to build a generation-wide movement to solve the climate crisis before it’s too late, by educating, inspiring and mobilising young people across the country’ www.aycc.org.au
‘Power Shift’ youth climate summit, part conference, part festival, has been organised for 3 major Australian cities this year, Perth and Sydney and Brisbane, with the aim to bring together young people to initiate the transformation we need to become a nation powered by renewable energy. The desired outcome is to educate and address the climate issues as one united voice of our young generation, of whom will be most affected by decisions made today.
What a line up!
The thousand plus enthusiastic, young attendees were informed and inspired by a myriad and diverse range of thought provoking, entrepreneurial speakers. Some of these included Dick Smith who spoke on Prosperity without Growth; Skye Laris, Communications and Campaigns Director for GetUp; Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International; Jessica Watson, youngest person to sail unassisted around the world, 2011 Young Person of the Year and youth representative of the World Food Program, and many, many and then many more. Workshops and Panels ran consistently throughout the 3 day weekend, teaching everything from ‘Advocacy:How to lobby your politician’ to ‘Campaign strategy’, ‘Despair and empowerment’ to ‘Getting paid to change the world’.
Toni and Sofi’s panel, entitled ‘Visioning a Sustainable Queensland’ uncovered new and creative opportunities available through the embarrassingly simple techniques of Permaculture and eco-design. Speakers presented their concepts, Alison giving a brief overall description of the current situation and showing examples of passive eco-community designs she has been involved with. Sofi then explained a few techniques of Permacultre on an individual level, through personal experience, and a beautiful, effective visualisation. This emotively described walking through your abundant garden, munching on sweet passionfruit, watching your chickens peck happily at your garden pests and watching your home-grown sundried tomato and roasted capsicum quiche bake in your thermal mass rocket stove while it heats your shower water! Toni then concluded with how to build communities based on PC ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share with some simple, grounding examples of successful urban and rural communities. This was then followed by a question and answer session. The audience actively participated to discover information on how to get started, where to source information and assistance and steps to take back to their communities to begin the process of re-building for a sustainable future.
The day was a great success and the 2 days to follow would see more workshops, panels and speakers as well as ‘Regional Breakouts’ where attendees could break into regional groups, to network and meet like minded people in their region. This gives opportunity to build on projects together and create change.
Australia has been crying out for an event like this. It is most important to educate, bring together and empower young people in this time of climate change and Permaculture plays a immense role. AYCC put it best:
‘Climate change is the challenge and opportunity of our generation… It is young Australians who will face the consequences of decisions made today. That’s why we have the vision that will deliver the short-term political impact and long-term cultural change needed for a safe climate future. Together, we’ll engage with solutions, make our voice heard , and launch a campaign to transform the country.’
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