sorry for the interruption, we're trying to save the world
Whether it’s fighting for freedom, the animals or the planet, more and more kids are breaking the mould of generational apathy, and starting to stand up for what they believe in. Meet a few of the activists of today who are changing the landscape of...
Kai Clancy, Sex Education Warrior
What do you do? I work at the Aids Council teaching sex education to help queer Aboriginal people learn in a culturally appropriate way. What led you to this? I've always been passionate about my people in an Aboriginal context and my people in a queer context. I've been able to combine these so it's really been the perfect job. What do you want to convey through your work? Awareness. I try and get people to have empathy towards Aboriginal people as I think the message gets lost easily - even in positive campaigns - and there's not enough sensitivity to the situation. What are your hopes for the indigenous population in Australia? Bringing back the self-determination for aboriginal communities and aboriginal people in general. In the 60s and 70s there was less reliance on government funding and it was better. We should all be able to be self sufficient in this day and age.
Abe Nouk, Director at Creative Rebellion Youth, Artist & Performer
What do you do? I work with Creative Rebellion Youth which is a centre for arts with no limitations. I also write and perform spoken word poetry. When did you arrive in Australia? Eleven years ago but it feels like eleven days. It's just starting to make sense now - I didn't know stability when I was young and when you don't get that early on in life, you never expect it's going to happen. Having experienced that myself I can help young people going through the same thing. Do you think art and creativity are a good way to protest and send a message? I think only art can save us in these times of conflict and political misunderstanding. Art is the only focus that might keep us from destroying the world - it's an avenue for social change - once people get busy with art everything else falls into place.
Marcella Brassett, Communication and Mobilisation Officer for Australian Conservation Foundation
What are you working to change? We're trying to connect people with the general value of loving nature so that we can change the social license regarding harming the environment - we're engaging people by telling stories they can relate to. Fundamentally, people don't want nature harmed but they don't really understand what they can do to make change. We need to take away the power of the big companies by educating the community. Are people listening? I think they are. At least 80% of the population want renewable energy and are into protecting nature. They want action on climate change. Even amongst the people who voted for Tony Abbot it was only 10% who wanted the carbon tax scrapped. The conservatives have a monopoly on the narrative and are able to spread misinformation easily. It's our challenge to communicate our message more effectively also. What advice would you give to other young campaigners? Join an organisation and get some training. Learn how to have powerful conversations and go door-knocking or get on social media.
Leigh Ewbank, Yes 2 Renewables Co-ordinator
What do you stand for? Renewable energy. I'm in charge of political, media and community strategy for Yes 2 Renewables from my headquarters at Friends of the Earth. There's a lot of support for renewable energy, how's it going? Poll after poll shows how popular renewable energy is but government after government put ideology ahead of the national interest. Right now we're seeing Tony Abbot trying to get rid of this very popular renewable energy target policy even though Australians want it. Last year we spearheaded a call to rip up anti wind farm laws and it just happened so we're making progress. Do you think art and creativity are a good way to protest and send a message? Absolutely. I've been playing in a band for five years and politics and social commentary are at the core of it. In fact it's my involvement in the punk scene that's influenced the way I operate. There's a degree of authenticity that the bigger groups cannot replicate. There are no t-shirts or billboards - just old school campaigning. Who inspires you? I'm most inspired by the invisible campaigners who work hard for no credit. Their humility is astounding.
Text Briony Wright
Photography Ben Thomson