Here Comes the Future Youth Summits

"Don't be afraid to speak up. If you want to have a voice, you have a voice."

Student participant at Baw Baw Youth Summit

Students discussing and gathering their ideas around climate and environment at Nakunbalook Education Centre, Sale

Our Youth Summits open with learning and discussion around climate adaptation and environmental stewardship. Students then hear stories from “Olders” – members of the local community with experience and expertise – and get to ask them questions. After lunch students are mentored through the prototyping of ideas to spark ongoing community projects.

The first ever Here Comes the Future Youth Summit was held on Thursday June 2nd 2022 at Federation University’s Churchill Campus and was captured expertly in Liam Durkin’s article for the Latrobe Valley Express below (click on the image to read the article).

It was a moving and inspiring day, with five members of Prom Area Climate Action sharing 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 themes, stories and ideas that surfaced over the course of the summit were translated into engaging visuals by talented graphic recorder Sarah Firth:

The 2nd Here Comes the Future Youth Summit was held at the Nakunbalook Environmental & Cultural Education Centre in Sale on 10th November 2022. The beautiful natural setting made for wonderful day of learning and connection for the local students and “Olders”.

Wellington Councillor Carolyn Crossley took a passionate interest in the summit, providing a great welcome on behalf of the Shire and staying to listen and participate in conversations. Themes presented to the youth participants by the “Olders” included community gardening, repurposing waste, reducing plastic, renewable energy and regenerative agriculture. The action plans developed by students had a strong focus on raising awareness and engagement, both within schools and out in the wider community.

On 7th June 2023 the 3rd Here Comes the Future Youth Summit took place at The Goods Shed in Warragul. Local Kurnai Elder Cheryl Drayton opened the day with a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, and joined the “Olders” in a full day of learning with the students. 

As with prior summits, our young participants brought great energy to the day, with some fun music choices and fabulous dancing in the breaks! Circular economy and community action were the major themes presented on the day. The students then showed a passionate interest in development, urban sprawl, and the subsequent loss of natural environment and farming land. Two groups spoke with passion and eloquence about the importance of building “up” instead of “out” in their action plan presentations.

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

In the meantime enjoy Sarah Firth’s graphic recordings from the inaugural Here Comes the Future Summit in their full glory…

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