On Tuesday, February 14, the student council held their induction workshop at MREC, Classroom W10. The event started with a quote from Dr. Jane Goodall, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” The workshop was focused on creating a difference, and it included a climate justice workshop facilitated by Jemima Williamson-Wong from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC).

During the workshop, students organised student council communication and community service recording processes and outlined the goals of the student leadership year and the extra-curricular activities. The students also learnt that the Year Coordinators would meet with them fortnightly to plan and organise whole-school events.

After lunch, the students discussed the basics of climate change and its impact on the environment and society. They also learned about climate justice and how it differs from climate action. Jemima Williamson-Wong shared the story of self and how students can write a personal story about their connection to climate justice. Students also had the opportunity to share their stories with the group. Below is an example of a Year 8 student councillor:

“I suppose my first moment of realisation was when I was a little kid of about seven years. I was watching TV and a show about climate change action and plastic bags and straws. This show inspired me to do more for the environment. I insisted our family buys metal straws, and I supported a small business called ‘Straw No More’. I bought a T-shirt and wore it almost every day. But I wanted to do more. I started a group of like-minded individuals. We wrote a letter to our Primary School canteen and our principal about disposable cutlery. We managed to change it from plastic to wooden. I also asked my mother if I could use her computer to write an email to the Prime Minister, suggesting more education to young people about pollution and plastics in the oceans. He responded with a thank you letter. He agreed with me, and I felt it was a success. I still use metal straws, recycle and want to continue reducing my environmental footprint.”

The workshop ended with a wrap-up and conclusion. Year 11 student councillors Emma Heyink and Will Dallimore spoke about the outcomes of their workshop learning in Brisbane and Melbourne. They have created the Margaret River Climate Collective (MRCC) and want to raise awareness of climate change issues in the southwest communities. 

The student council induction workshop was a great success, and it is hoped that the students who attended will use the knowledge gained to make a positive impact on their community and beyond.

Patrick Marzohl

Student Leadership Coordinator