Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity and core to this crisis is the loss of country, cultures and livelihoods of Indigenous peoples in Australia and across the world. Right now climate change is disproportionately affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and furthermore, our communities are facing the destruction of country and culture from the extractive, polluting and wasteful industries fuelling the climate crisis. But it’s also our communities on the frontlines who can be at the forefront of change; leading the solutions and building a society that is healthier, cleaner and more just.
As the destruction of our sacred country continues and the oceans and temperatures rise, it’s time for people to rise up to the challenge that the causes and impacts of climate change presents.
At Seed, we are doing exactly that.
Seed is Australia’s first Indigenous Youth Climate Network. We are building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for climate justice. We do this by running campaigns to protect country while also building the capacity of our young people to be a part of creating positive change.
It is critical that we work with and engage young people, particularly when more than half the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia is under 35 years of age. We know that building the agency and power of young people at an early age can have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of communities. If young people are empowered to act they can play a considerable role in influencing social, economic, political, and environmental forces that create change for a more just society.
Amelia Telford, a young Aboriginal and South Sea Islander woman from Bundjalung country, is the National Co-Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Amelia was awarded National NAIDOC Youth of Year in 2014, Bob Brown's Young Environmentalist for the Year 2015 and Australian Geographic Young Conservationist of the Year 2015.