Hannah, aged fourteen, and sister Isabelle, aged ten, aim to showcase inspiring stories of Australians working to protect and enhance our environment through their YouTube channel and website - "Everyday Earth Heroes". Through the platform, they conduct interviews with locals actively engaged in activities aimed at improving the local environment in their area and with this content they hope to inspire others to take similar action.
Both Hannah and Isabelle are ardent nature lovers with a wealth of experience in researching and educating others about the importance of preserving habitats for endangered species such as little penguins and black cockatoos.
At the age of twelve, Hannah presented her concerns about the potential destructive impact of reconstructing Penguin Island's information centre on the endangered local little penguin colony to the Minister for Environment and Climate at a meeting in parliament. While her desired outcome was not achieved, the experience introduced her to like-minded individuals and forged connections that have since contributed to the growth of their YouTube channel.
These young activists are members of Millennium Kids, a youth-led environmental action organisation that convenes monthly meetings where members receive mentoring and have the opportunity to pitch their change-making ideas. Established in 1996 by former teacher Catrina Aniere and four young leaders, Millennium Kids empowers young people from ages seven to twenty-four years old, placing them at the forefront of environmental activities.
Catrina, the organisation's co-founder, believes in maintaining a fun and engaging environment for the group and limits adult involvement to mentoring and facilitating duties. She acknowledges that sometimes it can be challenging for adults to relinquish control, but she remains steadfast in her commitment to allowing children to lead and pursue projects that capture their interests.
Hannah and Isabelle's mother, Sara, agrees with Catrina's approach and describes her role as primarily administrative. Sara ensures project tasks align with the girls' strengths, keeping the activities enjoyable and sustaining their engagement in the project.
The sisters have already had the opportunity to interview several local environmental champions, including film-maker and bird expert Simon Cherriman and Marji Puotinen, the driving force behind the Kids Care About Climate Change initiative. Marji organised a project where student drawings were transformed into a giant banner displayed in Antarctica to draw attention to environmental concerns.
Throughout her interactions with individuals dedicated to environmental causes, Hannah has been inspired by the sense of fun and hope she has encountered. This approach resonates across Millennium Kids, where the focus is on caring for the environment and having fun.
Hannah's advice to other kids who want to make a difference:
Research and connect with local environmental organisations like Millennium Kids to get involved.
Stay engaged and continue to participate in activities that help the environment like National Tree Day.
Commit to regularly helping the environment. Even the seemingly small act of picking up three pieces of trash each day can lead to bigger things.
Hannah and Isabelle's dedication to highlighting the work of environmentalists and their commitment to inspiring others serves as a shining example of how young individuals can play a vital role in the preservation and betterment of our planet. Through their YouTube channel and uplifting messages, they are igniting hope and encouraging positive change.
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