LIMESTONE Coast youths joined tens of thousands of their peers around Australia to protest for environmental justice on Friday.
Around 100 people gathered at the Cave Gardens to join in the Global Strike 4 Climate protest, demanding more action against climate change from national and world leaders.
Mount Gambier High School student Jordan Hutchins and former student Sahra Rowhani-Farid, who helped organise the Limestone Coast event, both agreed the “last minute” rally was a success for the district.
Currently completing Year 12, Jordan said while school was busy at this stage of his life, the fight for the environment was much more important.
“In recent years, I have become very politically active,” he said.
“High school is the time in which you come to terms with your own political views and I found it very important to do a fair amount of reading to base my attitudes on fact rather than opinions and emotions.
“As a young person, I think it is so important to have that platform to let your voice be heard. We may not be voters yet but we know who we want representing us and if there is 330,000 plus people across the nation
unhappy with the government’s stance on climate change then it surely has to make a difference.”
Although she finished school last year, Sahra said taking part in Friday’s event was something she needed to do.
“It is so important to make our voices heard – we did not just have school kids attend the event, there were adults and families and so many people passionate about the environment,” she said.
“I wanted to be part of it and I want to keep being part of it.
“The girl who started the entire movement went on strike every Friday for a year, now I know that is obviously not possible for everyone, but maybe I will be out there with signs each week doing it for those who can not.
“We need to see change and I am not going to stop fighting until we do.”
The passionate community members have also gone on to create the Limestone Coast Youth for the Environment Facebook group, which aims to further educate and advocate for climate change.
Since its creation on Saturday afternoon, the group now has more than 100 members from across the region.
Looking to the future, Jordan hoped the community would rally behind the cause, calling on the region’s politicians to get the ball rolling.
“I would like for it to be presented to the politicians in a manner they can appreciate,” he said.
“Whether that is a rally or a report or a letter, or anything of the sort – I just want them to realise that we have a voice.
“We have a desire for Australia to be a more green and environmentally friendly country and we do not think we are doing our part.
“I think it is important for them to know that and hopefully pass that information on so real change can occur.”