A new primary and secondary school program offered by Action4Agriculture (A4A) in 2023 will support young Australians to be agents of change to embed sustainability thinking and actions in our way of life. The Empowering Young Environmental Champions Challenge will be delivered in Greater Sydney and the Hunter in Term One and in Riverina Murray and South East/ Tablelands in Term Two – and now is the time for teachers and students to get on board.
The 10-week, curriculum-aligned program is open to young people in NSW primary schools in Stage 3 and secondary schools in Stage 4& 5 who strive to be advocates for environmental and social issues important to them, their schools and their communities. See regions where program has been funded in 2023 here
Participants in the program will:
- Attend a design-thinking workshop to brainstorm project ideas and action plans
- Learn skills to improve their wellbeing, resilience and mental health
- Be trained and mentored on the value of diversity, proactive listening/hearing skills and applied empathy
- Network with experts and mentors
- Visit relevant local community projects
- Share their own community project
A broad range of regionally based experts, including young role models from the agricultural sector, known as Young Farming Champions (YFC), will ensure the program is youth led, co-designed and actively incorporates the voices of young people from design to delivery. Professional learning opportunities will be provided for teachers.
The program will culminate with a day of celebration where students will have the chance to pitch their projects, workshop their next steps as capacity builders and develop leadership pathways.
Thousands of young people and their schools have benefitted from Action4Agriculture programs, as was evidenced in the recent NSW Sustainability Awards. St Brigid’s Primary School, Raymond Terrace (Kreative Koalas participant) was the Young Climate Champion Winner with the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education (Kreative Koalas, The Archibull Prize) a finalist. YFC alumni Anika Molesworth and Josh Gilbert were joint winners of the Youth as Our Changemakers Award, and Action4 Agriculture, itself, was a finalist in the Communications for Impact Award.
Action4Agriculture director Lynne Strong believes the new program has the capacity to have a similar impact.
“All of the NSW Sustainability Awards for people under 35 were taken out by young people associated with our programs and we are very excited to support as many young people as we can through the Young Environmental Champions program. This is an opportunity to find the next Josh and Anika or for schools to be the next St Brigid’s.
“If you want to challenge the status quo and drive positive social and environmental change, then this is the program for you.” Lynne says
The Empowering Young Environmental Champions program is supported by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation who is Backing Young People with innovative opportunities that advance independence, social purpose and future security, and the NSW Government Office for Regional Youth.
Expressions of interest can be found here, or email Lynne on email@example.com for further information.