The best way to safeguard our environment for the next generation? Get the next generation involved!
If you know us, you’ll know that educating and inspiring young people to have a stake in environmental conservation has always been a huge part of what we do.
Because It’s young people who can drive lasting and sustainable change; who will become the next ambassadors in environmental conservation.
Ambassadors for change
Wild Mob has been working with Aussie school kids through our Classroom Program for a few years now. These programs get kids on the ground at actual conservation sites, where they can experience first-hand the challenges and rewards of conservation biology.
Our Classroom Programs get kids to the coalface of conservation.
But while chatting to teacher, mentor and all-round amazing woman Kalindi Brennan from Queensland’s Silkwood School one day, our CEO Derek Ball decided it was time to take this experience to the next level…
“We need the youth to get excited and involved in the real work required to create sustainable futures.” – Kalindi Brennan, Silkwood School teacher
“As an educator, I find that adults often talk about young people rather than with them in relation to environment and sustainable futures,” says Kalindi.
“We need the youth to get excited and involved in the real work required to create sustainable futures, in ways that are inspiring and authentic to their hopes, needs, skills and individual interests.”
And so the Youth Ambassadors Program was born, with a vision to help grow a group of young people across Australia to step up and be the next leaders in nature conservation.
So who were these young people we sought? Who would take charge of the environmental challenges being left for them? Luckily, Kalindi had a few amazing kids in mind.
18-year-old Briody, who has already co-founded her own environmental not-for-profit Youth 4 Beaches. 17-year-old Harry, a volunteer rural fire fighter with a traineeship at Jacob’s Well Environmental Education Centre.
Izzy and Zali, both 17, who together have founded an ethical photography and film making business Mermaid Creative Co.
Gold Coast Junior Council members Lawson, 17 and Isabella, 16. 17-year-old documentary film maker Olivia. And environmental ambassador Jack, 17, who is currently undertaking a traineeship with the Australian Bat Clinic and wildlife trauma centre in Macropod rehabilitation.
“It’s our turn!” – Wild Mob’s Youth Ambassadors
They’ve all volunteered with Wild Mob before, but now, these incredible kids are now taking direct action to protect critically endangered ecosystems.
Youth Ambassadors Harrison, Jack, Briody, Izzy and Lawson with Wild Mob CEO Derek.
“We want to do it our way and have our voices heard on how to create sustainable futures,” reads their mission statement. “It’s our turn!”
The first Youth Ambassadors project
Each new project sees our Youth Ambassadors identify an environmental problem in their area and develop a measurable, achievable, sustainable solution to help solve it, under the gentle guidance of Kalindi and the Wild Mob team.
“We can give them the flexibility and freedom to dream up ideas and take action.” – Kalindi
Unsurprisingly for a group of kids so driven, the inaugural project is well underway. The team have dove head first into a campaign to move marine debris off the Great Barrier Reef islands, bringing focus to mitigating the problem at its source: the waste habits of humans.
Marine debris on Penrith Island in the Great Barrier Reef. This debris wreaks havoc on local habitats and smothers turtle nesting sites.
“Through the Program, we can give them the flexibility and freedom to dream up ideas and take action to support the Wild Mob ethos of conserving critically endangered ecosystems, providing them with mentorship, expertise and guidance to help them succeed,” says Kalindi.
We’ll be following them every step of the way here on the blog, so be sure to check back and see how they’re going (and learn how you can lend them a hand!).