Global STEM Innovator Program Collaboration News 
 
We are thrilled to be working with the Value Learning team alongside our Millennium Kids Youth Leaders at their upcoming AFS Global STEM Innovators program online and at UWA, thanks to an introduction from MK Alumni Thea Kurniawan. Thea has been involved in Millennium Kids since she was in Year 6 at St Hilda’s Junior School where she pitched an idea to change her world. With mentoring from Millennium Kids and support from her school’s sustainability team Thea recommended the school transition to an online newsletter to reduce paper consumption and the waste generated by the creation of a weekly paper newsletter. With some good facts and data Thea’s recommendation was successful. Thea has gone on be a change maker in her own right.  In 2021 Thea took part in an Australia – Indonesia Youth Exchange in 2021 with the Value Learning team and found their training and cultural insights invaluable.
By connecting Value Learning and Millennium Kids Thea saw the opportunity for the two organisations to collaborate on programs with a sustainability and SDG focus. Now doesn’t that sound like the perfect collaboration!
On Day 2 of the AFS Global STEM Innovators program our young leaders will step up and share their change making stories. Thea, Hoang and Isabelle will share their projects, the skills they learnt and the mentoring that supported them from ideation to creation. 
For more information about the program email info@valuelearning.com.au 

The City of Canning Changing Your World Challenge was an opportunity for young people far and wide to pitch ideas for change and get support and mentoring to make their projects real.
Siddharth, a member of the City of Canning Youth Strategic Planning codesign team had an idea.

Siddharth was concerned about climate change and how people from diverse backgrounds could access information in the City of Canning. Siddharth had an idea to make climate information accessible.

“ Even though most of the people in our community speak English, many speak it as a second language, or may not speak it at all. Having climate information in someone’s first language means they are more likely to fully understand the information, and it may help them read it when they otherwise would not. “

Siddharth was also keen to ensure kids could understand climate information.

“Kids don’t always understand the information about climate change as it’s presented by adults, even though kids are the ones that will have to do something about it. Younger generations need understand the issue so they fix it.”

Siddharth thinks we could present news and climate change information in other languages so that everyone can understand the issue. This could be through TV adverts, in newspapers, on the radio, or on pamphlets.

Siddharth pitched for funding to make his idea real and met with mentors and stakeholders at the recent Millennium Kids Agents for Climate Change launch.

If you want to mentor young people like Siddharth please email info@millenniumkids.com.au

The kids have launched their climate action project – The Agents of Climate Change Project.

Follow their simple steps to inspire your students to take action locally.

Simply:

  • Watch the film Regenerating Australia
  • Do the Cool Australia curriculum activities with your class
  • Book an Agents of Climate Change Deliberation Day
  • Randomly select 5 students from your region to join us in April 2023 for a leadership camp
  • Present the Agents for Climate Change Report to stakeholders
  • MK and partners to fund projects
  • Evaluate using our Agents of Change Tool and report to funders and stakeholders

Download the Toolkit Agents of Climate Change Toolkit Final and email to let us know you are on board.

Funded and support by the US Government.

Our young people have been running climate education programs for the past 2 years to ensure young people are educated about climate change and are included in discussions around future proofing our region, so our team are super excited to read the recently released  Making Hope Practical Education and Health Standing Committee Report 2, Report of the inquiry into the response of Western Australian schools to climate change. The report was presented to WA Parliament by Mr C.J. Tallentire, MLA, June 2022.

Our team not only presented a submission to the Inquiry but Youth Board leaders, Bella P and Amelia, and our CEO, Cat, presented to the Inquiry as part of the submission process, outlining their experiences in the classroom and their recommendations for future climate education.

Please read the submission and email your thoughts to info@millenniumkids.com.au

PROJECT CO2 is a business, run by Kids, that is still rising up. Our cause to to shut every factory for one day a month because CO2 goes up into the atmosphere and it slowly creating a problem for our planet.

We are currently exploring this issue and are designing stickers to get our community thinking about this big issue. We are pitching for $500 or $1000 to get our stickers printed.

SAS Kids, Spearwood Alternative School

MK Mentors, Cat and Wayne, are thrilled these kids are working so hard on their CO2 project and will send them a copy of Earth Matters, Loving our Planet, by Carole Wilkinson and Hilary Cresp,  to help them understand the complexity of climate change and the impact of CO2. 

Grey skies and windy conditions didn’t deter our team of dedicated MK Youth Board members and their parents as they planted 1000 seedling shrubs, ground covers and sedges along a stretch of river foreshore sandwiched between the Kwinana Freeway and the Swan River.

 Paul Reed from City of South Perth prepared the site and had all of the necessary tools so we could get on with the job of transforming this area that is battered by wind and salt water for much of the year and scorched in the summer into potential habitat for migratory birds from the northern hemisphere.

Milyu is a really important feeding area for migrating shore birds. It is also where the first MK project started. This morning we were joined by Brett Jackson who was there at the very beginning. He shared the story of 25 years ago when Cat and students from South Perth Primary school started the project and pointed out the successful plantings from that time.

It is hard to imagine that the dense vegetation adjacent to where we were planting today was once as sparse as where we were.

Thanks to Bella, Claire, Hannah, Isabelle, Matt, Niamh, David, Nicole, Annie, Aelwen and Heather for your efforts. Thanks also to Jamie from Perth Intrepid Landcare who came along to find out what MK is all about and stayed to help with the planting. We hope that this is the beginning of networking between our two organisations. Check out their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PerthIntrepidLandcare

Jacob, Emily and Shane joined us for morning tea when the clouds cleared and the sun came out for a short time. We chatted over a cuppa and Heather’s delicious chocolate cup cakes.

A summary of our thoughts

  • planting very worthwhile to help reduce erosion.
  • the location was different from what we usually go. Good to actually get into the strip that we usually go whizzing past on the freeway .
  • it’s disappointing to see the rubbish
  • the information sign about the significance of birds and their species

We had a great discussion about how important these third Sundays are for people to get together and keep in touch.

Thanks to Aelwen and Heather for coordinating this event.

Cathy Levett our Green Lab Project Leader has been networking and up-skilling because increased understanding of all aspects of the environment helps to ensure that we can support young people with up to date information for their projects.
2021 -31 is the UN Decade of Restoration so I have been learning more about how the bush regenerates itself and what we can do to help. I attended a Landcare volunteer seminar where Dr Adam Cross, Restoration Ecology researcher at Curtin University, shared his research about the health benefits for people who walk in biodiverse bushland v parkland. The results show that our physical and mental health are much better if we are outdoors and in biodiverse areas. From Kimberley Aboriginal Clifton Bieundurry, who works with DFES implementing cultural knowledge in fire management, I gained much insight into caring for country regularly, spending time in your green lab space and recording what is happening particularly with the plants. Now to get my daily nature journal activated. 
I also managed to get to the new Damon Gameau film, Regenerating Australia , reinforcing my passion for working with young people to care for our country and the belief that we can regenerate it.

Interning at Millennium Kids and working on the Green Lab project has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Through my time at Green Lab, Millennium Kids has opened my eyes to the real and severe environmental problems prevalent in our community today. When tackling the issue of loss of tree canopy and bushland , we must understand that our fight against the effects of climate change begins with listening to the voices and ideas of young people.

Working alongside the Millennium Kids Youth Board members has exposed me to this organisations devotion to educating and inspiring the next generation of leaders.

My main role was contributing to Green Lab film production, by assisting with research, planning and idea generating. For the film, I worked alongside the team from Media on Mars, conducting interviews with local teachers and Millennium Kids members to reflect on how Green Lab has supported their ideas and passions.

During my time on the  Green Lab project, I was also involved in community engagement events, where we successfully hosted two educational learning days with children and teachers. After conducting a full day of interactive activities,  children were encouraged to understand the importance of caring for the environment and also form a personal connection with nature. I had the privilege of witnessing the passion and drive that young people have towards protecting nature as well as their innovative ideas and visions for their future.

Furthermore, a teacher’s professional learning day was conducted to provide a platform for teachers to voice environmental concerns within their school and work collectively to develop solutions.

Working with Green Lab team has been an invaluable experience that has taught me various transferable skills such as: project planning, lateral thinking and effective time management that will surely aid me in my life moving on from Millennium Kids.

Millennium Kids will use the Green Lab film to promote their work as part of a #GenerationRestoration Youth Challenge,  an Uplink World Economic Forum, Top14 Innovators program in the UN Decade of Ecosystems Restoration.

Alison Stokes, McCusker Centre for Citizenship Intern 2022

My name is Isabella Poll.

I am the Millennium Kids Youth Board Co-President and recently I had the opportunity to present to the South West Group of local government leaders about young people, climate change and the youth-led deliberative engagement process we have been working on.

At the forum I got Local Government leaders to do a futures thinking activity, close their eyes and imagine what they want their homes to look like in 2050. They imagined the nature around their house, what will be on the news, and, the industries their children will be working in. They then moved onto how they want their local government to be operating. They imagined their areas’ climate resilience, energy sources and urban canopy.

It was great having attendees think about their personal lives first. This is what they are close to, have ownership over and are passionate about. By relating personal life to work life I encouraged the group to feel a sense of responsibility to take climate action in their workplace.

I am fortunate to have grown up in Perth, in a community with incredible natural beauty, opportunities and friendships, but I know this is not what it is like for everyone. And for our special places to stay this beautiful we need to care for them and treat them with the love they need.

When I was 10 travelled to Surabaya, Indonesia to run an environmental education program with Millennium Kids. Here, I was shocked at the level of pollution. It lined the streets. It was in the waterways. People were bathing in the river’s of filthy water. This showed me how lucky I was to live in the beautiful environment I do.

In Indonesia I also saw something special in the chaos. I met kids who were so passionate about improving their community. They were working with organisations and coming up with innovative and creative ways to educate their communities about waste management and the importance of caring for our beautiful environment. We have passionate and committed individuals like this in our communities, too. Just look at the school strike for climate protests, initiatives in schools and small businesses taking action. We just need to talk to each other, share our ideas and work together to preserve our environment and achieve our climate goals.

So, since 2019, I have been working with a group of young leaders and expert advisors to develop a method for young people to share their ideas, come up with solutions and action them. We have been running one-day deliberations, or forums, across WA, which involve activities to get random samples with young people to look at critical issues, deliberate, discuss issues, reflect on their actions and design projects and pathways to better their local environment – all whilst having fun of course AND eating chocolate!

We have reviewed our processes, and, after trialling them it in Karratha, Mandurah, Bunbury and Mundaring in 2021 we are ready to roll.

In 2022, we are seeking funding to run youth-led deliberations across the state with our team of facilitators.

  • We have rights to Damon Gameau’s new film, Regenerating Australia, to inspire Year 9 – 10 students to get thinking about positive climate actions.
  • Schools will be encouraged to check out the Year 9 – 10  curriculum with Cool Australia.These resources are comprehensive, engaging, positive, hopeful and uplifting.
  • You can get involved! Book into a Millennium Kids Climate Change Deliberation with 30 students and create your local action plan.
  • Help us create a State Action Plan in October 2022 to present to decision-makers.

We believe:

  • Through youth and community engagement, individuals can voice their ideas in a non-polarising way, unlike protests.
  • Communities are educated about climate change and the environment around them
  • Young people and community members are empowered because they are listened to and involved in a way, which motivates them to make their ideas real, and take action.

To make this happen we are sharing our ideas globally.

Check out my Ted talk  and get inspired.

 

We are super keen for Councils to get on board and help us with this process. Email at bellap@milleniumkids.com.au and together let’s create the change we all want to see!

I attended two Green Labs during the April school holidays with indigenous artist, Marli.

Green Lab Kids Explore

Monday, 11/4/2022 at Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre Education Centre. This Green Lab program was funded by the City of Melville and supported by Propel Youth Arts WA for the KickstART Festival Youth Week WA. We started the event with a nature walk. We found trees that needed one, two or three people to stretch around the trunk in a hug. We all received eco journals to draw pictures or write in. When we returned from the walk, we each decided what we’d like to paint to represent our vision for 2050. We sketched our designs on canvases and began painting our vision canvases. Marli will take all our ideas and create one vision 2050 painting. We cant wait to see it.

Vic Park’s Green Future Workshop – Green Lab For Kids

This was on 12/4/2022 at the Community Centre on Etwell Street funded by the Town of Victoria Park. At this event a group of young people met and started with a nature walk with eco journals in Jirdarup Bushland (also known as Kensington Bushland), then we formed a circle and closed our eyes, envisioning what we’d like to see in 2050. We explored the bushland and wrote poetry then we painted canvases to represent our visions. Marli will take these ideas and create a vision 2050 painting for the Town of Victoria Park.

We look forward to bringing all the young people back together to see the finished paintings and celebrate our future visions., sharing our ideas with Council members.

Report written by Niamh, MK Youth Board Member

To find out more about Green Lab check out our website here.

Green Lab, a Millennium Kids Citizen Science program, is funded by the Western Australian Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program. Millennium Kids works in collaboration with Sustainable Schools WA to support schools sustainability goals.