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!

We love it when we can help out university students, so when Ruby rang from Curtin University we were happy to help her out for her interview assignment. Here is how she shared our story in her ‘radio’ interview.

A Perth environmental youth organisation says the WA Tree Festival will increase awareness about neighbourhood trees. The Festival runs through April and offers a variety of events in the community for all ages. The event aims to increase awareness about urban trees and future consequences of tree canopy reduction. Catrina Aniere is from Green Lab by Millennium Kids Inc – which will be running activities at the event.

Catrina says the Festival will be a conversation starter for Perth’s environmental issues. “And really what the WA Free Festival is doing is shining a light on trees and caring about them, but also understanding that there have been major impacts with recent hot weather – we’ve lost trees due to drought and to different planning rules, road rules and this (WA Tree Festival) is a great conversation starter”

 

Thanks Ruby! Your rock.

Our Youth Board member, Hannah, has been busy researching the status of Little Penguins on Penguin Island, Western Australia, since her family visit there in 2021. Concerned about what she heard around the impacts of climate change on the penguins Hannah decided to do some research of her own. She met with scientists and stakeholders to find out the story of the Little Penguins. Her research was recently published in the WA Coastal and Marine Network newsletter. Here is Hannah’s story. 

 

The MK collaboration with the Sumbawa not for profit Yayasan WeSAVE has gone from strength to strength over the last year, despite the constraints of COVID – 19. Although we have not been able to visit, or bring any of their member to Perth for training, much has been achieved.

Our fund raising for the collaboration has now raised thirty thousand dollars, thanks to a ten thousand dollar donation from the Owen Francis Foundation, and two very generous private donations. These donations have enabled us to pay a deposit on some land, and begin the construction of our first school. The land and school are now in use, and are a hive of activity.

We had done the ground work for this project over the last few years, when we looked at several pieces of land and worked through the pros and cons of each with the WeSAVE team.

This land use assessment training set the parameters for what constituted a suitable site, through consideration of cost, access, utilities, and a range of environmental factors.

Because of these extensive on ground discussions, we were very confident when they told us they had found a site.

The joy of modern communications has allowed us to share in the process with regular video updates of progress. WeSAVE submitted detailed costings for all work and materials, and then in their usual fashion achieved a bigger and better building with the money we sent through. The MK training in project planning, management and accountability are evident in the detailed records and receipts we receive covering our contributions, facilitating acquittal of the donations.

The WeSAVE video updates showing legions of volunteer young people carrying materials to the site, and hand batching and carting concrete for pouring the floor are heart-warming. We are about to send up the next building payment which will see doors and windows added and the walls plastered. More than just a school, the site is evolving incredibly quickly into the sort of education precinct we have so often visualised. A quick video tour sent through recently showed extensive vegetable gardens established, fruit trees being planted, animal husbandry of goats and small livestock. We saw an upgrade of the grey water system under construction. Within the new building several classes were underway, with young women not only learning, but leading and teaching.

A well has been sunk and a pump installed, and discussions are now turning to the design and installation of a renewable power system for the site. The building has been constructed with a reinforced concrete roof in preparation for the addition of a second story when time and resources permit

In short, we now have our first Millennium Kids School. It is abuzz, and waiting for the opportunity to host exchange classes when we can get there. We will continue to fund raise for this group, as they are so inspirational, doing so much for so many with so little.

Wayne O’Sullivan

Yayasan We SAVE Partnerships Lead

We are super excited to announce Cat is a WA Nominee in Local Hero 2022 Australian of the Year Awards

For more than 25 years, Catrina (Cat) Aniere has empowered young people to use their voice to tackle the big issues the world is facing – including climate change, education, racism, sustainability or plastic waste.

As CEO of Millennium Kids, a youth-led empowerment organisation based in Western Australia, Cat recognises that young people have the creative ideas, innovative thinking and problem-solving skills needed to face the challenges of the 21st century. However, they sometimes need a little support to be the innovators they are born to be.

From a foundation group of only a few school students and teachers in 1999, Millennium Kids has grown to involve several dozen schools and thousands of students around Australia. It now also has two branches overseas.

Adopting an approach of teaching ‘skills for life’, Cat has inspired young people to become leaders; to activate change and use their voices within their communities to create a fairer, better future for us all.

We are super excited to announce that our Green Lab program has been selected as a winner of theUpLink – Economic Forum
#GenerationRestoration Youth Challenge along with 13 other youth initiatives from around the world!
Our youth led Green Lab program aims to protect, monitor and increase canopy across the Greater Perth metropolitan area. Check out our story along with the other winners here.
Thanks to major partners: 1t.org Salesforce

to restoring nature!

 

India Aniere, Millennium Kids member and facilitator, met up with Elizabeth PO and Adrian Glamorgan from Understory this week to talk about our work to engage with young people about climate change through a deliberative democracy process. India and a team of young people have been working alongside Prof Janette Hartz-Karp to learn about the citizen assembly and deliberative democracy process in 2020 – 2021. The team of Millennium Kids have engaged with young people in:

  • Mundaring
  • Karratha
  • Bunbury

to learn about climate change and plan a positive pathway to change.  India speaks hear with the team from Understory to share the story of the process. The team will present their findings at the Australian Association for Environmental Education Inc National Conference in Mandurah and hope to run a Citizen Assembly process across WA in 2022.

PS: You will also hear from ecologist dad Steve McCabe, and his eleven year old son, talk about ways to engage young people and nature.

Check out the interview here. 

The United Nations Food Systems Summit was an excellent opportunity to share the Millennium Kids Citizens Assembly journey where we were able to report on the outcomes of our deliberative discussion process with young people across WA.

The purpose of the food summit was to generate ideas and solutions surrounding the food security issues challenging WA. Attendees came from an extensive range of backgrounds. There were university professors, tech-startups and councillors. My group was tasked to discuss ideas for how to improve the utilisation of food. The group was very impressed with the work Millennium Kids was doing and collectively agreed that having discussions with community members about their thoughts and ideas would be the most appropriate solution. The results from the discussions are being presented at a United Nations Conference. It is great to see people being inspired by the deliberative discussion process because it allows all members of the community, especially young people, to have a say in discussions which have historically happened behind closed doors without consultation.

 

Written by Bella P

Thirty nine students registered for the two day 1000 Actions for the Planet Lab at Bob Hawke College in Term 3 with the aim of identifying local issues and developing a changemaking project  to create a solution.

  • Biophylic roof tops to cool the planet
  • Solar energy
  • Light pollution education

and

  • Converting food waste to energy

were just some of the ideas pitched to Prof Lyn Beazley and Tim Keely from Curtin University during the pitch session on the second day.

Students will work on their projects over the next few months and showcase their ideas in  an expo in Term 4.