Over the last five nights Millennium Kids have stepped up and spoken about their concern for climate change at Kwongkan Sand – a performance by Ochre Contemporary Dance Company at the Fremantle Art Centre.

Cloe spoke last night. She met with Phil, Ochre Contemporary Dance Company to discuss her role before the show.

This was Cloe’s  first ever public speaking event.

She felt it was important to have a say.

Kaya wanju wanju

I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands, the Noongar people, where Perth now stands, pay respect to their Elders – past, present and emerging

I would like to begin with an aboriginal proverb : We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.

This quote shows how wise Aboriginal people’s approach to life was and how much reverence they had and still have for the earth.

This ancestral wisdom that all Aboriginal populations had, allowed them to thrive for millennial.

But as our current civilization is growing, this sort wisdom is slowly being forgotten.

Many of us think that progress and scientific consensus are the only things we need in order to live prosperous lives.

But in less than a 100 years, our current post-industrial civilization has had more impact on the earth and the climate than the 200 thousands years before then.

It is an acknowledgment of the fact that the threat of climate change is assuming critical proportions.

Each and everyday, new events related to the uncontrollable effects of climate change and habitat destruction are taking place all over the world.

Now we find ourselves barreling down the highway towards mass extinction, increasingly erratic weather patterns and extreme temperature fluctuations.

In the news last week we learned, that the last for 4 years have been the hottest in record.

Climate change is not a matter of perspective or political standpoint.

It has been acknowledged as the biggest threat to the survival of our planet and human kind. This is why it should concern every single one of us.

But especially young people.

And as a young person, I am concerned.

I am scared to live in a world where the variety of plastic in the ocean will be as diverse as the remaining species of coral in the great barrier reef.

Where the landscapes of my childhood will become the new expansion plan of a coal mine.

Where my future as a human being will be compromised by the mistakes of the generations before me.

To all the adults here, did you have to worry about those issues when you were my age ? Is it fair for me and all the children in the world, to bear the mistakes of our predecessors or suffer the consequences of bad political idleness?

Its effects will not result in the loss of some points on the stock market or some votes in a political campaign but in the downfall of our humanity.

But it does not have to be that way:

We all have been told that the problem of climate change is too big to handle and that we are too small to do anything. But what I have a learned in my short life, is that we are never too small to make a difference.

Our everyday choices, to the food we consume to the clothes we wear, can make such a big impact on nature, the climate and people’s lives.

In the past few years, an environmental revolution has started to take place in all over the world.

People driven off by the envy of changing this future into something so positive and so powerful are leading this environmental revolution.

In Sri Lanka: Seacology, a nonprofit environmental conservation organization, is helping Sri Lanka become the first nation in history to preserve and replant all of its mangrove forests.

In Australia:Monash University,Australia’s largest university, has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2030 for all of its Australian campuses.

But you don’t have to be a genius or to come up with the schemes an amazing machine to change the world.

Most of all, we need to reshape our way of thinking.

We have to be capable of transcending our indifference and apathy for our planet and our climate.

Every great revolution starts from within.

Just broadening our horizons and opening our minds to new possibilities in terms of positive change and green innovations can make such a big impact on us and those around us.

And as we know our thoughts become our words and words become our actions.

And it is our common actions that are going to dictate who we are and who we will be as a single Humanity.

So let our actions to be filled with respect and ancestral prescience for the Earth and the climate as it will shape our future and the future of generations to come.

After all:

We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love

Kaya, I am Cloe, I am 16 and I am a millenium kid. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey MK Crew

Maybe you can help?
Today I am outraged! I bottled peaches this morning and now have these stickers gracing the fruit boxes, floor and kitchen sink. 11 peaches = 11 stickers for these two jars of preserved peaches. To add insult to injury these came directly from an orchard as seconds and some didn’t have stickers. I am bitterly disappointed – why do we need to label each piece of fruit? I am so over eating an apple and finding a portion of a label in my mouth. Surely the grower details on the fruit boxes at point of sale is adequate Quality Assurance and traceability?

Maybe we should label individual carrots,potatoes and onions with grower number and variety?????? But wait we could go nuts, pardon the pun, and label all walnuts, Brazil nuts and whatever nuts are on sale!

Can MK save our planet from fruit stickers? What solutions do you have for this wicked problem?

Anna B – MK Alumni

#1000actionsfortheplanet #responsibleproductionandconsumption

Hi I am Issy and I have always been a person who loves nature and animals and I always want to help them. We went to Bali for a holiday and I know for a fact their beaches and streets are full of rubbish. Immediately I wanted to do something about it so I asked my Aunty Emma if we could do a beach clean up. We searched on line for a charity called Trash Heroes, they clean up the beach every week on Monday. When we went to help out we and found a huge amount of rubbish. My heart instantly sank and I thought we would never be able to clean up the area. There were only about 20 people there but we did an absolutely amazing job.

I also try to help the BAWA Bali which helps Bali dogs. They have lots of dogs they help feed and home.

I also join Clean Up Australia Day every year. We try to get as many people as possible to help out at our local beach. I absolutely love all animals and will do anything I can to help them. If you see something that isn’t right, then make sure you help out in some way.

Join the Movement! 

What are you doing? What can you do? What will you do? Do you need our help? Tell us about your action or project. Send us an email info@millenniumkids.com.au

#1000actionsfortheplanet #lifeonland #lifebelowwater

I rather like the secret grove of paperbarks on the river. It is a great place for imagining – imagining what the river was like before colonisation, asking the big questions:

How has it changed over time?

What will it look like in the future?

I take students to this little secret place of mine because their imaginations go wild, too. You can see it in their faces as I set the scene. Walk quietly, listen to the sounds. Close your eyes, imagine the past, the birds, the families who hunted here, the Chinese who managed the market gardens. I share stories of swimming in the river, the birds, the people I have met who have shared their stories, too.  Of Tom Hungerford as he opened the gate in the cold of the morning to look for cows, of Uncle Noel Nannup teaching me Nyoongar names, of the spirits that sit above the trees watching over us as we talk about the role of custodians, carers for our river, now and in the future.

Today was no different.

The students talk non stop on the way back to the classroom:

  • Does dog poo make the river sick?
  • Did you see the chitty chitty?
  • Will those trees be affected by climate change?
  • Why did people take the trees out?
  • What poison is in the cigarette butts?

These questions will form the basis of the next 9 weeks of Green Lab, where students from Wesley College will explore the river alongside scientists, artists and elders to learn about the area and make a plan to care for country. They’ll even get to meet Prof Lyn Beazley AO, Chief Scientist for WA 2006 – 2013.

Cat CEO Millennium Kids

For more information about how your school can get involved in this program email info@millenniumkids.com.au

#1000actionsfortheplanet #responsibleconsumptionandproduction

How nice is it to be out and about with the warm summer weather!! There are so many places you can go at the moment to have a meal from a food van- they are at our local Saturday farmers markets, twilight markets and food truck nights in the local park. You can go along, eat, listen to music and have a look around, but have you thought about the waste they generate?

All vans use disposable plates – mostly cardboard and plastic cutlery, so even though some of them biodegrade imagine how much waste each event makes?

We have decided to take our camping plates and forks as well as a sealable container to do our bit for the Waste Free Movement. We also ride our bikes which saves us time in the traffic, finding parking and the ride home in the dark is always an adventure!

What can you do for the MK Waste Free Movement?

MK Reporters in Action – Pheonix and Ebonie

#1000actionsfortheplanet #partnershipsforthegoals

Every year Millennium Kids brings our friends together to share ideas, learn new ‘skills for life’ and set the agenda for the following year. 2017 was no different. We celebrated our 21st birthday with teams from Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie and Malaysia joining our members in Perth for a three day UNconference. Kids got together with scientists, poets, elders and mentors to report on their projects and pitch ideas for new ones.

Sites visits focused on wetland and river care, waste management and how to care for our precious bushland. Our friend and citizen science mentor Gill, came from Tasmania to share her science knowledge. It was great for her to meet up with the Kids on Country crew in the City of Cockburn to chat about bird monitoring and bushcare and hear how Ngadju kids were caring for the Great Western Woodland.

Kids visited the Roe 8 site and made plans to a long-term tree care project.

They asked:

Why isn’t Bush Forever, forever?

Why aren’t we projecting precious areas of bushland?

The kids met with Environmental Defender’s office staff to talk about protecting precious areas of bush and discussed the difference between policy and legislation.

Kids reported to the local Mayor and stakeholders at the end of the program. Lisa O’Malley, the Member for Bicton, was there to receive the kid’s ideas and present the findings to Rehabilitating Roe 8 Advisory Committee.

Oh, and we had a big bush tucker chocolate cake made by our buddy, Marissa Verma, from Bindi Bindi Dreaming.

Have fun, eat chocolate and care for the environment!

Thanks to the City of Cockburn for the Community Sustainability Grant and ERM Foundation for funding the opportunity for the team from Kids on Country to join the program.

#1000actionsfortheplanet #lifeonland #lifebelowwater

MK members are interested in (or love) turtles and tortoises and are curious about the ones that they see in Perth. Often they want to know more about them. We have two native freshwater turtles. The Western Long Necked Turtle and the Western Swamp Tortoise.

Long Necks are common but Western Swamp Tortoises are endangered. MK member and mentor Cathy Levett is a member of the ‘Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise’, a group that is dedicated to educating the community about our local turtles. She wrote a book which educates children about the critically endangered Western Swamp Tortoise.

Westy the Western Swamp Tortoise was launched by the Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Environment and Jessica Shaw MLA, Member for Swan Hills on 7 March 2018 at Ellenbrook Library. (if Jess is in the photo too). The photos in the book show Westy’s life from hatching at Perth Zoo to living in the swamp and children to understand why he is endangered.

Cathy has been working with (or has been a member of) MK for over 20 years and she loves helping kids connect with and learn about nature. She says “I love listening to young people talk about their concerns for the natural environment and their ideas for solutions. Working with MK gives me the opportunity to support and encourage them to turn their ideas into action.”

#1000actionsfortheplanet #lifeonland #peaceandjustice 

A whole lot of excitement in the MK Office this week. Dean from The Law Society Western Australia, rang to say The Lore Law Project been recognised by the State Government with a $200,000 grant, the maximum grant amount, from the Criminal Property Confiscation Grants Program. I had the pleasure of relaying the message to Jaz, our MK Indigenous Co Facilitator in Kalgoorlie. The excitement was palpable.

“This is a dream come true,” she screamed over the phone. “It’s fantastic…at last we can to listen to the kids and use their ideas to make their community better.”

When Jaz was a kid she went to Sevenoaks College in Cannington. She joined The Public Transport Authority’s Right Track program, designed and facilitated in collaboration with Millennium Kids, and helped create a new way of thinking when working with young indigenous people on the local Perth train line. Kids were getting up to mischief, displaying anti social behaviour, not paying their train fares and getting into trouble.

The Sevenoaks kids went on camp with Millennium Kids for a Ningaloo Explore experience in the Cape Range National Park. With five days of leadership training, kayaking, native animal monitoring and meeting with local elders, kids were immersed in the local environment. They came out with a Certificate1 in Leadership, and were prepared to lead their community. They tackled the anti social behaviour on the trains in a youth led, culturally sensitive way.

The Right Track continues  to be an award winning  youth program.

In 2016 Jaz joined the Millennium Kids team again. This time as a leader and co facilitator of the Lore Law Project, a program to address the high rates of indigenous youth incarceration in the state. Along with other Sevenoaks graduates, Jaz helped design the Lore Law Project alongside elders, Millennium Kids, The Law Society, and Kammi from Media on Mars, with input from a range of stakeholders.

How do we tackle the big issues with indigenous kids? How do we skill them up, empower them and keep them out of gaol?

Law Society President Greg McIntyre SC said, “The Law Society is delighted to receive this grant for its Lore Law Project. From its inception, the Project has engaged with Aboriginal communities, young people and Elders, who have been central to its planning, development and implementation.

The Lore Law Project provides an important conduit through which young Aboriginal people can voice matters of interest or concern to them. Stakeholders from the police, judiciary, legal profession and support services also have an opportunity to engage with Aboriginal communities in a two-way process.

The Lore Law Project offers a ‘skills for life’ approach to create self-worth in young people, enabling them to make positive contributions to society, as they grow into adulthood and embark on pathways to employment.”

For more information contact info@millenniumkids.com.au

#1000actionsfortheplanet #partnershipsforthegoals

October 2018 it was wonderful to host our friends from Ejau, Malaysia at our MK22 UNconference for three days in Perth, Western Australia. Sharifah, a retired teacher and facilitator at Ejau joined us with two student participants. The UNconference participants spent three days focusing on WASTE, WATER AND PLANTS.
On day three of the UNconference the participants met the Mayor of South Perth, Sue Doherty, at the South Perth foreshore and talked about Council efforts to increase and protect canopy.
Participants checked out Milyu Nature Reserve and heard of the beginnings of the Green Teams Programs. The team also visited our Green Lab collaborators, Trillion Trees, and did a site visit to their nursery in Hazelmere to find out about seed collection and propagation.
“Kids are keen to solve deforestation problems, they are worried about loss of tree canopy in cities so a visit to Trillion Trees was inspiring. It was wonderful to meet the Millennium Kids and All Saints team, to share ideas and develop plans for future collaborations,” said Sharifah.
Millennium Kids holds an annual three-day UNconference to share ideas about environmental challenges and develop change making projects.
For more information about the MK23 UNconference email info@milleniumkids.com.au for an information pack.

It was great to catch up with so many MK friends at the last meeting in December 2018. Alumni came from far and wide to enjoy a picnic at King Park and many brought their children with them. It was great for everyone to get together to share their MK experiences and inspire the next generation of Millennium Kids.
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