On Friday 30th of November, thousands of high school students in cities across Australia banded together to protest political inaction over climate change ahead of a nearing federal election.
Inspired by Swedish 15 year old Greta Thunberg, who vowed to protest her own government in Stockholm, two 14 year old Castlemaine Steiner School students organised a protest of their own.
Travelling to Bendigo from Melbourne, Harriet O’Shea Carre and Milou Albrecht protested outside the offices of Bridget McKenzie, a senator for the Nationals.
These small scale protests snowballed into the Australian school walkouts, which took place across most major cities in Australia and a few other places like Bendigo and Coffs Harbour.
Harriet and Milou decide to stage the protests as they were out of options in having their voice heard on the issue. They’d tried writing letters and joining petitions but were repeatedly ignored by their government representatives.
The protest from Hugo Duffy’s point of view.
Hugo Duffy is one of the 5000 students who staged their protest at Martin Place in Sydney. “It felt good and enriching to be a part of,” says 14 year old Hugo.
“We’re hoping for the government to listen and take action towards stopping climate change and fixing problems like reef pollution and stopping Adani.”
But it looks like the government isn’t listening as of yet. “We don’t support our schools being turned into parliaments,” said Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”
While Scott Morrison’s reaction to this incredible display of political action and moral integrity has been decidedly lacklustre, students still feel they’ve gained from the day’s events.
“I’ll now feel more confident to speak out more and do more in future,” says Hugo.
Author: Eliza Brockwell
Eliza is the Digital Producer for Careers with STEM. Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.