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Youngsters for a better future

AYCC-story

Natalie Pa'apa'a from Blue King Brown is a powerful supporter of the AYCC movement - here she is at the Repower launch in Melbourne earlier this year.

Credit: Australian Youth Climate Coalition

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The Repower Monk event in Balaclava, Melbourne.

Credit: Australian Youth Climate Coalition

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The Repower Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute event in Freemantle, Perth.

Credit: Australian Youth Climate Coalition

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By Kirsty Albion from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

As a young person who understands the enormity of climate change, it's easy to imagine a future where things aren't as good as they are now.

Yet here are some stories of young people who are not happy to sit here and wait around for that future. Young people who understand that we're at a crossroads: we can choose a path where we continue as we're going and irreversibly change our climate or we can choose a path where we do something, invest in renewable energy and create a better future.

These young people are doing just that. They are starting in their communities and creating the future they want. Across the country, young people are holding events to raise awareness about climate change and renewable energy in their local community. The money raised from these events go to putting solar panels on the roof or investing in energy efficiency for local cafes, sports clubs, schools and theatres.

Over the last few months, dozens of these events have been happening around the country. Below is a snapshot of two of them.

Repower Monk Cafe in Melbourne

A group of five young friends from Melbourne approached the owner of their local cafe, Monk Bodhi Darma in St Kilda. They had a conversation about the possibility of switching the cafe to renewable energy and inspired the owner to let them hold a fundraiser to do so. Liv, a 19 year old girl who helped organise the event describes the experience:

"Finally the day came around. We woke up at 8am and started chopping wood, baking, setting up marquees and, importantly, taste-testing all the delicious food. Before we knew it the night was underway and our hours of planning had eventuated into reality.

The crowd continued to grow and soon we were soon surrounded by over 120 people who were all there to show their support. As I was circulating with the canapés, I could not help but fall in love with the atmosphere. The music, fire, artwork and people all contributed to creating such a positive vibe. We had all gathered to show support for renewable energy and to show that communities are willing to act. I had such amazing conversations with people.

The night was so successful - we managed to raise over $4000 from the night. We can buy solar panels for Monk!! Yes! I still can’t believe how fun, easy, and rewarding this whole experience was. I can’t wait to get to more Repower events".

Repower Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute - Fremantle

On the other side of Australia, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition's (AYCC) Western Australian Coordinator, Nick, describes their first Repower Event for 2012:

"In WA, we don’t do things in halves – but even we were surprised when we doubled our goals for the first Repower event for 2012: Retro Repower- ‘retro partying for new age energy’! AYCC Fremantle hosted a retro party for 200 op-shop clad revelers in a brick warehouse in central Fremantle.

They raised $4000 for sustainable retro-fitting of the venue and trainings for AYCC volunteers. As a huge converted warehouse office, the building uses heaps of air conditioning to keep it cool, which is why the funds raised will likely be going to increase natural air ventilation and cooling to reduce the reliance on air-con.

AYCC volunteers spent a whole day decking out the warehouse with fairy lights, old sofas and arm chairs, pot plants and ferns, a makeshift bar, a band area and a dance floor. The theme was retro, and even before the venue was filled outlandishly clad partiers, the space looked like a 1960s Tiki Bar crossed with a 1980s Block Party. The outfits were outlandish to say the least- there hasn’t been this much sequins seen in one place since the 80s! The event was a huge success, inspiring many young people to hold their own repower events across WA."

Events just like these have been happening around the country, from the State Emergency Services in Queensland, to Scout Halls, schools, basketball clubs and grocery stores. Young people across the country are bringing together their communities to reimagine the future and create real solutions to climate change.

You can check out a video of our story here or learn more about Repower Australia at repower.aycc.org.au

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Kirsty Albion is the Campaigns Manager for the AYCC.