Strike a blow for change
THEY'RE not old enough to vote, but that won't stop them from having their voices heard.
Thousands of students across Australia took part in a national strike last Friday, walking out of school in protest against Climate Change inaction.
The global campaign was inspired by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish schoolgirl who sits on the steps of her country's Parliament every Friday in an effort to force politicians to act on climate change.
The strikes have reached the Whitsundays and about 20 students gathered at the Cannnonvale Foreshore on Friday, where 13-year-old student Tayla Ziviani had a simple message for everyone.
"Open your eyes,” she said.
Tayla, who lives on a boat, said during the years she had observed more and more plastic in the ocean.
"You used to spot a plastic bottle once every couple of months; now you could easily fill a plastic bag, with rubbish” she said.
Among the striking students were supportive parents.
Kerry Dibbin said she was more than happy to support her son and the kids.
"If they want to be involved in creating awareness around climate issues and our environment, then I think that's a positive,” she said.
Ms Dibbin said she had in no way pushed her son into protesting on Friday.
"I have two kids; my daughter didn't want to protest so she's at school but my son did so he's here.”
Ms Dibbin said real-life experiences could be just as valuable as a day in the classroom and, at home, her children had been naturally engaged and curious during open discussions about the environment.
School Strike 4 Climate Action Whitsunday coordinator Jessa Lloyd said local schools had been supportive of the students.
"The schools have been fantastic and supportive of the children who are participating in the strike, and it's wonderful to see support from local community groups.”