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Anna

Anna ROSE

Year of Award: 2010 Award State: New South Wales Education > Specialised Education
Environment > Climate Change
The Peter Mitchell Churchill Fellowship to research youth peer-to-peer climate change education projects - USA, China, UK
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Conclusion

During my fellowship, I gained many insights and lessons that can be applied to the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and other youth-run climate change initiatives in Australia. I also learnt lessons that can apply to the broader climate change movement in Australia.

Rather than providing me with one “spear to the chest” realisation about youth peer-to-peer climate change education and advocacy projects, my fellowship provided an opportunity to reflect on a range of issues within, and related to, my area of exploration.

Perhaps the key lesson I bring away is the importance of strong and deep relationships in organising. Without enormous amounts of money or organisational resources, relational organising – building lasting, deep relationships amongst a network of young people who enjoy spending time with each other – is key.

This includes, but goes beyond, making peer-to-peer climate education and organising “fun”. It makes this work a core part of fulfilling young people’s need for community and solidarity. This need that can be met by local organising but strengthened even more when young people realise they are part of a national, and even global, movement for change.

In examining the attitudes, structures and experiences that support such bonds to be forged, I came across the concepts of “transformative activism” and “engagement organising”. I saw both these concepts at work in the places I visited with strong movements, and saw the consequences of not embracing these attitudes in places where youth-driven climate movements were weaker. 

Of course, the lessons I learnt on my Fellowship are part of a work in progress. I intend to build on them as I continue to work, as part of the Australian climate movement, to solve the climate crisis.

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