This is advertiser content for Landcare Australia.
Over 30 years since the late great Bob Hawke championed Landcare to be a national movement, environmental pressures are at an all-time high - with Australia's youth determined to turn the tide.
Aware protests and online petitions can only achieve so much, Landcare gives young people an opportunity to make a real difference to the local environment in their community.
A new generation of youth Landcare leaders are taking action in local communities and want to support other young people to get involved by sharing their ideas and experience at the Landcare Youth Summit.
In a recent survey conducted by Landcare Australia, respondents aged 25 or under delivered the following statistics:
- 97 per cent concerned about the future of Australia's environment
- 73 per cent would join a Landcare group to make a difference to their environment in the local community
- 66 per cent believe climate change to be the biggest threat to Australia's environment
- 58 per cent would start their own Landcare group if they had support
Presenting at the online Landcare Youth Summit on December 1, Bob Hawke's granddaughter Sophie Taylor-Price will introduce the grassroots movement to a new generation.
Young people involved in the event will have the unique chance to learn how to in get involved in Landcare at high school and their local community; how Landcare activities can help develop skills for employment; and why volunteering in the natural environment benefits your mental and physical wellbeing.
Through a series of panel discussions and workshops with experts in climate change, conservation, sustainable agriculture, Indigenous perspectives and community wellbeing, young people will learn about inspiring project ideas, career pathways, how to join an existing Landcare group or create their own Landcare group at high school or in their community.
This event is a pilot program and will involve approximately 30 students aged from 14-18 from 15 high schools, youth groups or Landcare groups across Australia.
Resources will be developed that align with the school curriculum and made available on the Landcare Australia and Junior Landcare websites.
The participating high schools, youth groups and Landcare groups will receive a $1,000 Landcare Youth Grant to help them start a Landcare project in their high school or in their community.
Creating Landcare action are the following key speakers with a passion for sustainable land management and conservation, already making an impact at a local level to respond to a global challenge.
Landcare Ambassador and Bob Hawke's granddaughter, Sophie Taylor-Price, who is facilitating the Landcare Youth Summit, is a climate change and sustainability consultant.
Following Bob Hawke's Statement of the Environmental speech in 1989, Sophie has committed to continue her family legacy in protecting the future of the great Australian landscape.
"We need to work together with the younger generations to develop the future of Landcare,"Sophie said.
"Young people are now more concerned and connected than ever with environmental issues.
"Landcare offers them a resounding voice as conservation leaders for the future.
"But we don't want them to just have a voice for the future.
"We want them to have a voice for today.
"Which is why it gives me great honour to host the Landcare Youth Summit, providing young people an interactive platform to amplify their voice on how Landcare plays, and will continue to play a leading role in changing Australia's approach to sustainable agricultural practices, environmental protection, conservation of land and waterways, coastlines and biodiversity."
20 year-old Ngalan Gilbert, a proud young Wiradjuri volunteer firefighter and Indigenous ranger dedicated to cultural education and traditional land management, has reignited the discussion around cultural burning, insisting the Indigenous technique is crucial to avoiding more bushfires in the future. He looks forward to presenting his views at the upcoming event.
"These techniques work and I'm really excited and motivated to share my experience and knowledge with a young audience eager to learn about and pursue career paths in caring for the land," Ngalan said.
Also presenting the Landcare Youth Summit, Skye Dunn, 16 and Mitchell Livingston, 17 are proof that Australia's youth are switched on and engaged in local community environment protection.
Members of South Australia's YACCA - Youth & Community in Conservation Action - and involved in Landcare activities since ages 12 and 15, respectively, the pair insist young people have the time and energy to make a difference in our local community, whether volunteering at local environmental groups, planting days or beach clean-ups.
And they also believe the Landcare Youth Summit is a crucial platform for younger generations looking for something to get their teeth into real environmental action.
Mitchell said: "The summit is a good opportunity for young people interested in environmental conservation to see what kinds of activities they can get involved with and learn practical ways to make a difference in their community."
While Skye added: "It will hopefully gain insight into how young people can actively make change in their area and hopefully allow the next generation to take a stand for what they believe in and become leaders in their own community."
Discussion and insights from young people involved in the Landcare Youth Summit will assist the development of a National Landcare Youth Program.
The program aims to create a pathway for children to be lifelong landcarers - from Junior Landcare early childhood centres and primary schools, to Landcare Youth Programs in high schools and adult programs like Intrepid Landcare.
Outcomes of the Landcare Youth Summit in December will help create the program for the National Landcare Youth Summit to be held on Wednesday August 4, 2021 an event held during the 2021 National Landcare Conference in Sydney.
Landcare is about caring for your local environment, whether you're from the bush or the city. And with the catastrophic effects of climate change making a global impact, Australia's young people need Landcare now more than ever before.
For further information:landcareaustralia.org.au/youthsummit
This is advertiser content for Landcare Australia.