Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, but we also know it is an opportunity to create a more just and sustainable world.
In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at the forefront of climate change, and as young people it’s our generation with the most at stake. It’s our communities on the frontline who need to be at the forefront of change; leading the solutions and building a society that is healthier, cleaner, more just and puts people before profits.
That’s why we launched Seed: Australia’s first Indigenous youthled climate network. We are building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for climate justice with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Our vision is for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy.
Seed is growing as a network supporting young people from all corners of the country.
My name is Paul Gorrie and I am a proud Kurnai/Gunai man. I am passionate about seeking happiness for all living and loving beings on country and I will stand with anybody who is willing do the same.
Hey you mob, I'm Nathan Kropinyeri and I am a Ramindjeri Man of the Ngarrindjeri Nation. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Indigenous Cultures and Australian Societies) at the University of South Australia. I am a dedicated and focused young man with a deep sense of social justice and an understanding of the importance of education to empower Aboriginal people to move forward and reach their full potential. I believe in the importance of young Aboriginal people having positive role models. My passion for preserving my culture and pride in my heritage is evident in all aspects of my life. My respect for family, land and in particular Aboriginal Elders is genuine and runs deep. I strongly believe in the value of education and would like to spread this message across the Aboriginal community through leading by example.
My name is Zac Romagnoli-Townsend and I am a 22 year old Koori man who was born in Western Australia and who now resides in Tasmania. I am studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania with a double major in Philosophy and International relations and I hope to learn about and gain political influence to contribute to the climate justice movement. My hobbies include skateboarding, music and visual art.
Murrawah Johnson is a Wirdi woman hailing from the broader Birragubba peoples of Central and North Queensland. She comes from Wangan and Jagalingou country.
Murrawah is a spokesperson, community organiser and campaigner for the Wangan & Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council who are fighting to stop the Adani Carmichael coal mine proposed on their traditional country. The Family Council’s campaign has captured the attention of the United Nations Special Rapporteur, First Nations Indigenous communities all over the world, environmental justice groups and the likes of author, activist and film maker, Naomi Klein. In 2015, Murrawah was Naomi Klein’s choice for the Grist 50 list of the top 50 movers and shakers to look out for.
Murrawah’s passions are advocating for Indigenous rights to self determination, how feminism relates to the struggles of marginalised peoples, and challenging colonial gender roles within modern Aboriginal society and governance. Murrawah is the South East Queensland Coordinator for Seed.
My name is Tallara and I spent my childhood travelling Australia and grew up on Jagera/Yuggera and Bundjalung country in beautiful South-East Queensland. Indigenous people have a connection to land that is crutial to the survival of our culture. The fossil fuel industry has been putting stress on our land, our culture and communities for decades and it stops with this generation of young people like myself who are standing up for climate justice.
I'm Jordan Wimbis, I'm a Wakka Wakka and South Sea Islander man from Bundaberg. I feel very passionate about Seed and the climate justice movement because as a First Nations person I feel we are the first and worst affected. As a Co-Coordinator for NT I'm so excited for what in store for the Northern Territory with Seed.
My name is Wil Reuben and I am a passionate young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man born in Townsville, Queensland with my connections to the Murriamu language group in Northern Territory and Darnley Island (Erub) in the Torres Straits. I am currently in my final year of high school with aspirations of becoming a social worker or politician. Seed has given me an opportunity to speak on behalf of my Torres Strait Islander families and friends on the struggles they are facing due to rising sea levels that are caused by the melting of polar ice caps, and also to learn from my other like minded brothers and sisters on the fight for CLIMATE JUSTICE.
My name is Clayton, I'm a Yuwaalaaraay Gamilaraay man from Walgett in NSW. What makes me passionate about Seed is that we are a grassroots youth organisation led by our young mob. I'm excited to be a Seed Co-coordinator for the Northern Territory!
What makes me passionate about climate justice is that we are fighting for our Mother Earth, to live in a safe climate future that's free from the fossil fuel industry which for decades has been destroying our sacred land and waters.
My name is Corina and I am a proud Yorta Yorta woman. I am passionate about health, the environment and art. I am currently studying nutritional medicine and I hope to heal, educate and empower community through nutrition and wellbeing. I believe the land, our culture and spirit are all interconnected and play a major part in our overall health. This is why I am so passionate about Seed and taking care of our mother earth, who takes care of us.
My name is Vanessa Farrelly and I am an Arrernte woman living in Canberra and studying at ANU. I am dedicated to fighting for climate justice, because I believe that climate change offers humanity an unprecedented opportunity to create a more just and sustainable society. A society that respects country and all cultures; where everybody gets what they need. I am involved in Seed because I strongly believe in giving other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people a voice to speak out against the injustices climate impacts are already having on our communities. It is time these voices were heard.
The growth of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network is supported by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). Alongside the AYCC, we educate, inspire and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to lead climate campaigns and projects across the country. We do this by reducing barriers to involvement through outreach and training, mentoring and leadership opportunities.
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) is an independent nonprofit organisation with 120,000 members and over 1000 active volunteers nationally. Seed is an example of AYCC’s commitment to building a generation wide movement that sees those who are most affected by the issue at the forefront of change.
Through building the youth climate movement together, Seed and the AYCC enact our values of inclusivity, diversity, equity and social justice in all aspects of our work.
Climate change is an issue of environmental and social justice. It is an issue that affects everybody but the impacts are not evenly distributed. Too often it’s the people who have contributed the least to the causes of climate change that are facing the most severe impacts.
Lowincome people, communities of colour, women, youth and in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are on the frontlines of this crisis. It’s our communities that are hit first and worst, not only by the impacts of climate change but the impacts of extractive, polluting and wasteful industries that are devastating our country and fuelling the climate crisis.
Alongside the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, we are committed to just solutions to the climate crisis, addressing systemic inequality and working in solidarity with those who are the most impacted.
As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people we are a part of the oldest continuing culture in the world and have lived in harmony with our land for generations. Right now climate change is disproportionately affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We are experiencing rising sea levels in the Torres Strait, the loss of sacred country, diminishing food and water accessibility.
We are calling for climate justice now – this means moving beyond dirty fossil fuels and transitioning to safe, clean, renewable energy.
We are calling on you to stand with us in solidarity for a just and safe climate
Seeds need to be planted in the earth in order to sprout, grow and produce more seeds representing our strong connection to country as well as a cycle that has been going on for tens of thousands of years. We’re building this movement for our country, for our people and for our culture.
Many Indigenous communities around the world are facing the loss of sacred country, culture and rights to make decisions that affect this land.
We also know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have looked after the land sustainably in the past, which gives us hope that we can do it again. As elders of the future, it is so important that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people stand up for climate justice and have access to mentoring and supported leadership opportunities to do so.
Over half the population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are under 25. Increasingly young people are leading the way in many areas of social change for our communities and as Seed, we are committed to ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are supported to lead the movement for climate justice and ensure our voice is heard on issues that affect our future.