Young Akolele woman takes part in national climate summit

Jaime Tulau shows off her Don’t Risk The Reef T-shirt at the youth climate change summit.

Jaime Tulau shows off her Don’t Risk The Reef T-shirt at the youth climate change summit.

YOUTHS across Australia are standing up and speaking out about the problems climate change is bringing. 

Jaime Tulau of Akolele recently attended the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) National Summit 2014. 

On July 6-9, around 200 youths from across Australia passionate about combating climate change converged on Canberra for the summit. 

“The AYCC is trying to build a generation wide movement to try and solve the climate crisis,” Ms Tulau said.

“I went to the summit because I think it is important that the voices of our generation are heard by people who are making the decisions on our behalf.”

Ms Tulau, 21, became involved with the AYCC as she is organising a musical showcase in Brisbane featuring four bands later this year, and will donate the funds raised from the event to the AYCC’s campaigns. 

The AYCC aims to create awareness about the issue of climate change.

“The idea is it is not to preach, but to highlight that we live in a beautiful world and hopefully people we talk to will walk away thinking about it a bit differently,” Ms Tulau said. 

“Climate change is an issue that matters to me because it is going to affect people for generations to come.

“I was able to develop a connection with how beautiful the Earth is as I grew up in a place like this.

“[Climate change] will affect everyone - I’ve realised by talking to people from the conference from around Australia the drought has hit people really hard.

“We should be moving forward, not taking back renewable energy targets.”

Ms Tulau said the summit outlined two big campaigns to take place over the coming months. 

Your Voice Our Future aims to get senators to hear the message AYCC members are saying, that their choices affect the future of today’s youth, and Don’t Risk The Reef aims to get 300 Westpac branches not to invest in coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef. 

Participants at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition National Summit made a sign on the lawns of Parliament House.

Participants at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition National Summit made a sign on the lawns of Parliament House.

During the summit at 5am one morning a handful of AYCC members including Ms Tulau went to the lawns of Parliament House to set up a large sign that read Your Choice = Our Future, and asked senators to come down to the lawns to listen to the youth’s stories.

Twenty-two senators turned up, and Ms Tulau said they were inspired at how passionate all the speakers were. 

She said the attitude was very positive at the summit, and everyone was there to learn.

Ms Tulau is currently living in Brisbane, studying a Bachelor of Music at Queensland University of Technology and will continue her involvement with the AYCC chapter there.

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