Tell us a bit about yourself – Who are you? What do you do? What organisation are you from?
I joined FHS’s Eco Team when I was in Year 7, I became President when I was in Year 9 and am now in Year 11. Membership of the Eco Team has grown from 8 students when she first started to over twenty now.
I have moved house almost 11 times but always around Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. When I think about Frankston, one of the first words that comes to my mind is “beach”. I do consider Frankston as part of Melbourne but not as busy. One of the things I like about the city is the Frankston Youth Council.
What led you to become involved with the Eco Team?
I have always had a passion for the environment and became inspired to act on climate change because it directly impacts on my future and the world my generation, and our children’s generation, will have to live in. This doesn’t mean I am not concerned with other issues. I have helped refugees and immigrants and support disability and indigenous issues. However, I feel climate change is the over-arching issue. It will impact on every aspect of our lives.
Being in the Eco Team and then becoming its President has been exciting, challenging but rewarding. It is amazing, at my age, to be given so much responsibility, trust and just being listened to (thank you to my parents and teachers for that).
What gets me down is being told “no” for no real reason. Sometimes I am told I am too young, or perhaps not taken as seriously as I would like because I am a girl, and being in the Eco Team still isn’t “cool”, but that doesn’t bother me. We are a great team, we are getting things done, like tackling single-use plastics.
What contribution would you like to make?
I have always felt of myself as a leader and am happy being out in front. I want to continue championing the cause for combatting climate change and inspiring others to join me.
What is your proudest achievement thus far?
(In her own words)
There are two main achievements that are my proudest.
The first is being named Frankston’s Youth Citizen of the year, but not necessarily the award itself and rather the fact that I had made a significant enough difference in my community that somebody wanted to nominate me for the award and thought that I was deserving of it. I try my very best to strive to make a difference in somebody’s life, whether that’s through tutoring Saudi Arabian Refugees and Immigrants so that it is easier for them to immerse themselves in our country and develop better literacy and numeracy skills. or if this is just putting a smile on someone’s face for something silly I did. The fact that people felt I had made a big enough contribution and a positive one that has impacted on my school and wider community so greatly that they thought I was deserving of this award is astounding. and just makes me want to do more!
The second achievement is my position on the eco team. With the help of my supervising teacher Mr Mckinnon who consistently allows me to take full charge and follow any topic or project that I want to do has allowed me the freedom to develop the team to be more greatly recognised and gain more projects and create a bigger impact in the school and wider community. One of these projects being, getting to be a keynote speaker for the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria and getting to talk about climate change from a student’s perspective, amongst some of the smartest and biggest experts in the field. It was the biggest honour to be allowed to speak at this conference and a memory I will never forget. But more importantly through my leadership position in the Eco Team and the constant support from Mr Mckinnon we would not be where we are without him, I have gotten to witness a range of different students, from year 7 to my age gain confidence in their opinions and gain more and more passion to make a difference. It is amazing to watch and to watch some of the most introverted students stepping out of their comfort zones as they feel comfortable in the team.