On Thursday June 5th 2022 students in Grade 5 to Year 10 from a number of schools across Gippsland gathered for the first ever Here Comes the Future Youth Summit at Federation University’s Churchill Campus. The aim of the day was to introduce students to the concept of Climate Adaptation – and connect them with people who are involved in it across the region – before sending them off with inspiration and confidence to share their ideas with the wider community.

The Summit opened with an overview of how the changing climate is affecting Gippsland followed by group discussions. Five members of Prom Area Climate Action then shared their stories and experiences around the effects of Climate Change along with the Climate Adaptation projects and possibilities that inspired them. These included regenerative farming, a reforestation project and the re-wilding of key areas of the region through wildlife corridors.

The morning session concluded with two videos made by students, and a discussion of what makes a successful Climate Adaptation project, including how to get people on board. After lunch students and “Olders” split into 4 groups to work on Climate Adaptation project ideas that had emerged, before presenting them to the whole group in the closing session of the Summit. The themes, stories and ideas that surfaced over the course of the summit were translated into engaging visuals by talented graphic recorder Sarah Firth.

It was a moving and inspiring day, with “Olders” and students alike expressing how much they valued being connected across the generations, and united in common sense of possibility through coming together in action. This was captured expertly in Liam Durkin’s article for the Latrobe Valley Express below (click on the image to read the article) 

The Here Comes the Future team are now looking at how this project can evolve to give more young people across Gippsland the opportunity to learn about, talk about and engage Climate Adaptation and connect with “Olders” who have passion, experience and expertise to share. If you want to be part of this adventure, get in touch!

"Sustainability is really about how you look after the place, and that goes from your bedroom right up to the planet!"