Earth Hour Summit 2016

On the 17 and 18th of March the usual animal noises of the Taranga Zoo were overtaken by the climate-action-buzz of the Switched on Schools Earth Hour summit! 170 students from across Sydney were joined by 20 young AYCC facilitators for 2-days of learning, networking and action.

The annual two-day excursion was made possible through generous partnerships with Bankstown and Warringah councils, as well as our program partners Earth Hour Australia.  Students deepened their understanding of sustainability, climate justice and transitions.

They worked with young AYCC facilitators to develop skills in group development, telling their personal story, and change making. They took action through planning campaigns to have a big impact in their schools and sending a message to Australia’s leaders to aim higher on climate.

Hayat, a year 8 student from Bankstown Girls High School, shared her school’s campaign plan; “We are going to start a veggie patch and get the whole school involved.  It will reduce carbon pollution from especially food transport.”      

Ella, in year 9 at St Luke’s Grammar School, spoke at the action calling on the Australian Prime Minister to switch off for Earth hour and switch Australia to renewable energy.  She said, “It is really unfair that developing countries are facing the greatest impacts from climate change, when countries like Australia have done so much to contribute to the problem.  We are aiming to run our school by 100% renewable energy… Today we are calling on Malcolm Turnbull to switch off for Earth Hour and switch Australia on to renewable energy.”

Other highlights included Pacific Islander spokesperson Joseph-Zane Sikulu.  He shared with the students the story of the Pacific Warrior campaign.  Despite being confronted with the loss of their culture and way of life through sea level rise, they are standing up and saying “ We are not drowning… We are fighting.”  Australian farmer Joshua Gilbert also shared his experience of global warming first hand and the importance of taking action.

Get involved

Register for a Switched on Schools summit near you :