Moruya school kids give leaders a lesson on climate action

By Contributor 16 March 2019

Child marches as part of the national Strike for Climate march in Moruya. Photo: Elise Searson

“Stop climate change, stop climate change”, yelled a child protesting on his dad’s shoulders as part of the national Climate Change Strike in Moruya.

Students marched from Moruya High School to the Eurobodalla Shire Council chambers and were met with a round of applause by adults in the community.

Council General Manager, Catherine Dale briefly addressed the protesters acknowledging their efforts.

Strike for Climate protesters, Charlie Brinckley,12, Tuross, Monique Lush,17, Moruya, Jade Padman,12, Mogo and Kye O’Connell, 12, Moruya. Photo: Elise Searson.

Jade Padman,12, of Mogo had no hesitation in skipping two classes to unite in force with her peers.

“This is something that means a lot to me, my family and it should mean a lot to everyone else, the council and to you, because it’s our environment and we need to preserve it,” said Jade.

Charlie Brinckley, 12, of Tuross fears climate change will make the planet unliveable.

“We’re destroying our ozone layer, we need to pollute less to fix it,” said Charlie.

Photo: Elise Searson.

As the convoy of kids and their adult supporters protested through the main street of Moruya they were greeted with toots of support by passing traffic. The strikers were pumped and proud to be heard.

Mallee Smith,17, of Moruya is part of a group of concerned community members who see the Climate Change Strike as an opportunity to speak out and be heard.

Mallee Smith, addressing the Strike for Climate march in Moruya. Photo: Elise Searson

‘It’s the future of our children and our grandchildren at stake here and we haven’t had our voices heard about it up until now”

“We’ve just had a big fish kill down in Meringo Lake and that’s due to the pollution and the heating that’s just messing with the whole ecosystem. People don’t see the mess until something like this happens,” said Mallee.

She commended her peers for attending the strike saying it’s one of the most important things they can do to help.

Mallee Smith, Moruya, organised the Strike for Climate march in Moruya. Photo: Elise Searson

School Strike 4 Climate reports 150,000 students walked out of school yesterday demanding politicians take them seriously.

Fourteen-year-olds Milou Albrecht and Harriet O’Shea Carre who kicked off the school strike movement in Australia with fellow students in Central Victoria, said, “A Federal Election is around the corner but our politicians are not listening to the Australian people. Extreme weather is all around us and we need our politicians to be climate leaders.”

“We may still be in school but we know the mining and burning of coal, oil, and gas is driving dangerous climate impacts, including droughts, bushfires, and heatwaves. We only have a decade to prevent the worst impacts of climate change yet our politicians are wasting time and putting our future in danger,” Albrecht said.

Photo: Elise Searson

Photo: Elise Searson

Words and photos by Elise Searson.

What's Your Opinion?

46 Responses to Moruya school kids give leaders a lesson on climate action

Jesse Rowan 10:33 pm 16 Mar 19

Such a great article and photos, Elise. Well said Mallee, and the Moruya students with your signs. I attended the Canberra student strike since I was unable to be here in the Eurobodalla yesterday.

The world press coverage is heartening,and it was inspiring to march with the students in support of their urgent call to action on climate change. There was amazing support from adults of all ages, including a great contingent of uni students too. The huge crowd was vocal in their support of the student speeches.

It was disappointing to see via The Beagle that our Moruya students had a flatly unsupportive and uninformative response from our local council, apart from Clr Pat McGinlay. This highlights the need for those in power at every level of government to heed their communities or be elected out.

At every level of government - local, state and federal - our area (and many others) is constrained by the inaction and excuses of Liberal/COAL-ition economics. The most educated and respected scientists of the world are ignored and denied in favour of huge corporations with vested interests. No wonder kids are disillusioned and concerned.

I'd like to mention a series by The Conversation for teenagers in search of expert advice called 'I Need to Know' where teenagers can ask questions on any topic.The Climate Change article is here:

Monica McCraw Monica McCraw 8:02 pm 16 Mar 19


Jesse Rowan 7:25 pm 16 Mar 19

These students are so eloquent and succinct in their understanding and summing up of the climate change imperative. So proud of them all, and so proud to join them even though I had to be in Canberra on Friday...

Vivian Harris Vivian Harris 3:23 pm 16 Mar 19

Thanks for the great article About Regional and well done to the students who not only understand climate change and how it is going to affect their lives but realise that the government is not acting fast enough on climate action.

Kate Greenwood Kate Greenwood 2:13 pm 16 Mar 19

And who of us has never been influenced by the opinions of our parents?!

Leanne Williams Leanne Williams 12:04 pm 16 Mar 19

Well done. <3

The Beagle The Beagle 10:29 am 16 Mar 19

Brilliant photos Elise. Stunning

Els Paijmans Els Paijmans 9:47 am 16 Mar 19

Thanks to About Regional for covering this student action. Great to see young people speaking out - nformed by science not merely political agendas.

Kate Howarth Kate Howarth 9:17 am 16 Mar 19

Would love to know the ages of the people making these naiive and badly thought through comments? I turn 50 this year. My kids understand climate change. They are scared for the future of the planet. We are not 'Greenies', we just see the truth. It's pretty damn obvious. This generation of kids are crucial to the future of all of us. Support them and thank them for wanting to clean up the mess we have left them. It is possible to see beyond the politics.

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 2:03 pm 16 Mar 19

    Lol the kids do not have the mental ability to understand climate change or even what they are protesting about or the repercussions of their protest.

    Graham Clune Graham Clune 2:20 pm 16 Mar 19

    Rodney Waldron some "50 yr olds" don't have the mental ability either methinks

    Judith Wilkins Judith Wilkins 2:53 pm 16 Mar 19

    Rodney Waldron you would be surprised.

    Frank Carroll Frank Carroll 7:25 pm 16 Mar 19

    Rodney Waldron your fanciful and immature profile says it all about you.

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 8:43 am 17 Mar 19

    Frank Carroll oh that hurt me. You stalked a profile as your only defence pmsl. You must be so talented at persuading others. Telll me which gas is responsible for climate change. Is it CO2 ?

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 8:43 am 17 Mar 19

    Judith Wilkins no I wouldn’t be surprised. Kids can be in

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 8:45 am 17 Mar 19

    Judith Wilkins no I wouldn’t be. Kids can be intelligent but they can’t have the experience needed to make an informed choice as to protesting is a right thing to do. Kids didn’t protest on their own. Parents and teachers told them to and told them what to say.

Anna Rheinberger Anna Rheinberger 8:49 am 16 Mar 19

They all need to sit down and talk to the old generation learn about climate, in summer teachers need to turn air conditioners no computers. Just to see how we got one with out it when we went to school

    Leonie Johnston Leonie Johnston 9:30 am 16 Mar 19

    Anna Rheinberger well said turn them all off

    Kate Howarth Kate Howarth 9:56 am 16 Mar 19

    Anna Rheinberger haha. My kids are at regional primary and secondary schools. Very, very, very limited computers in classrooms and most schools won't turn on AC. Maybe the "old generation' should sit down with the young and apologise.

    Gail Arnold Gail Arnold 9:59 am 16 Mar 19

    Kate Howarth well said.

    Anna Rheinberger Anna Rheinberger 10:38 am 16 Mar 19

    Why should my mother apologies to them omg, the only way to school for mum and her brothers was on a horse or walk which was 2.5km to and from school no car, bus or train. The school back then had no aircon, computers so why should the older generation apologies for what

    Kate Howarth Kate Howarth 11:12 am 16 Mar 19

    Anna Rheinberger I'm sorry I wasn't sure what you meant by "old generation", I thought you meant the generation preceding the current one. I was referring to those of us, including myself, who waste, who vote for people who don't care, who denied the ways of your mother's generation and turned to consumerism. Much respect to your mother and much respect to today's kids, who if nothing else are being given the opportunity to question, think and make their own informed decisions.

    Kate Greenwood Kate Greenwood 2:09 pm 16 Mar 19

    Some of these comments make my blood boil. I am 56 and attended the wonderful rally in Jindabyne yesterday, along with my 2 sons. My generation has helped to create our modern world of technology and waste. We cannot blame our kids for living in it. As for those who accuse young people of littering etc., who did they learn this habits from?!

    Steve Prothero Steve Prothero 2:57 pm 16 Mar 19

    Anna Rheinberger we can save money by turning off some life support machines.

    Frank Carroll Frank Carroll 7:30 pm 16 Mar 19

    There is rather a lot of resentment here from some posters. It's interesting to note that with practically all of them there was little learnt in school, especially with regard to their literacy and clear thinking skills.

Shelagh Ingram Shelagh Ingram 8:36 am 16 Mar 19

Well done Moruya students.

Natural Chicken Health - Super Mash Natural Chicken Health - Super Mash 8:34 am 16 Mar 19

Good on you Moruya students - Champions!

Sara Smith Sara Smith 8:29 am 16 Mar 19

Maybe they should learn how to pick up after themselves instead of "teaching" the older generations about climate change, can't even pick up their own rubbish at the beach without a special day to tell them too...

    Anneke van Tholen Anneke van Tholen 8:39 am 16 Mar 19

    Like adults Sara, not all kids are the same. Hard to say who was at the protest and who actually dropped their rubbish.

Steve Prothero Steve Prothero 8:11 am 16 Mar 19

Should be far right conservatives have melt down on Facebook.

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 8:44 am 16 Mar 19

    Maybe leftist parents and teachers reveal next student protest will be for the introduction of communism to Australia

    Steve Prothero Steve Prothero 10:15 am 16 Mar 19

    Rodney Waldron glad we don’t exaggerate

Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 7:35 am 16 Mar 19

Bad headline. Should read parents and teachers to be charged for indoctrination of students

    Angela Keith Angela Keith 9:02 am 16 Mar 19

    As some of the children say - you don't have to listen to us, just listen to the scientists!

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 9:32 am 16 Mar 19

    Angela Keith no that’s what the parents and teachers told them to say. Honestly you can’t be that silly to believe that a 10 year old researched all available climate data , researched climate chemistry then performed complex mathematics to determine an answer. You can’t honestly believe that a 10 year old has the ability to decide that if climate change is a natural process that man should intervene and disrupt the natural progress of evolution for all flora and fauna. As for listening to scientists which ones should we listen to. Did the students all choose only the ones that back man made climate change or was this the only option they had been given by parents and teachers. I can show lots of science disproving man made climate change so which science are the students telling me to listen to

    Sue Middlebrook Sue Middlebrook 9:32 am 16 Mar 19

    Angela Keith and that should be ALL scientists and scientific evidence from all sides. They should then be allowed to form their own opinions after weighing up the pros and cons. Not trot out what has been spoon fed to them.

    Steve Prothero Steve Prothero 2:58 pm 16 Mar 19

    Sue Middlebrook it is the scientific consensus they are reacting to.

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 2:59 pm 16 Mar 19

    Steve Prothero what consensus

    Steve Prothero Steve Prothero 3:33 pm 16 Mar 19

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 4:13 pm 16 Mar 19

    Steve Prothero the science I follow says climate change is related to sun activity. As a kid we were going to cook with global warming then we are going to freeze. Where is the consensus

    Fiona Campbell Fiona Campbell 8:03 pm 16 Mar 19

    Rodney Waldron so you researched all the climate data, researched climate chemistry and then performed complex mathematics to determine an answer?

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 8:51 pm 16 Mar 19

    Fiona Campbell no but I been around a fair while and even I am smart enough to know that I am not qualified to protest something that is not settled by scientists. In fact sun spots are linked to our current weather pattern and can be traced to historic weather pattern so anyone claiming climate change is man made is a fool. It is not settled as yet. The consequences for the next generation could be dramatic either way. We can jump to a conclusion that it’s manmade and destroy the economy for nothing leaving behind a third world life for our children

    Fiona Campbell Fiona Campbell 8:15 am 17 Mar 19

    Rodney Waldron if you are concerned about our children having a third world economy, have you considered the economic implications if climate change is correct and we ignore it? A third world scenario will well and truly pale by comparison.

    Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 8:49 am 17 Mar 19

    Fiona Campbell thank you for agreeing that climate change MIGHT be man made. It’s a pity the kids weren’t allowed to consider this fact. If it’s man made it’s not proven as yet. If it’s a natural event then we can’t stop it and must adapt. Kids weren’t protesting to adapt to climate change were they. They were protesting that climate change is man made which is false

    Graham Clune Graham Clune 8:50 am 17 Mar 19

    Angela Keith Haha - most of the scientists are dumber than the 10 yr old kids