Probably my first exposure to community organising was in year 10 of high school when learning about global waste problems and oceans swirling with garbage inspired a ‘student led, clean up our school and community project’. Perhaps to date the hardest organising context I’ve worked in….’You can lead a teenager to a bin, but you can’t make them put their rubbish in to it!”
One thing led to another from these formative days and I got involved with the AYCC, where I was properly introduced to the ideas of extreme climate change, youth campaigning, and gaining some agency in the struggle for our future. So ensured 3 years of active learning as a coordinator of school projects and then the Canberra team, making friends across Australia, deep frustration at times and ultimately feeling like I’d done my dash and was ready to get fully immersed in the academic world.
Then along came the Bill McKibben whirlwind Do The Maths tour, and once again I felt that sense of exciting and possibility. I got involved in setting up 350 Canberra and 18 months on am still helping coordinate our local campaign to get the ACT Gov to divest from fossil fuels.