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!

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