YES! Youth Environment Summit

Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home was an invitation for us as a Catholic Carmelite community to mobilise and promote the importance of sustainability and respect for the environment.

Earlier in the year, a group of passionate Year 12 leaders approached me with the idea of bringing together young people from other Eastern Region Catholic Secondary Colleges in the belief that young people can and should have powerful voices in issues that concern the health and future of our planet.

A focus of the Summit was on harnessing the collective wisdom of the participating students. Together, the group created native seed bombs which were to be taken back to each visiting school and distributed with a view to spreading a message of hope and action. A highlight of the afternoon was the Captains Panel in which each school shared insights from the priorities and actions that they have been working towards in their own unique setting. Students also participated in dialogue with peers from other schools about topics such as renewable energy, waste and resource management, sustainable action and shifting attitudes and behaviours.

Our guest speaker, Jasmine Walker of the Tomorrow Movement, challenged us to see new ways to mobilise our communities in an unstoppable movement to promote positive change and create a more just society.

We extend our thanks to participating students and staff from the following schools:

  • Marcellin College, Bulleen
  • Mazenod College, Mulgrave
  • Salesian College, Chadstone
  • Siena College, Camberwell

Listening to the voices of our young people during this event has truly given me renewed hope for the future. Our Common Home is, indeed, in safe and reliable hands! I congratulate Year 12 students, Josh Adams, Marc Cordeiro, Ben Smith and Luke Verhoeven on their leadership of this event.

Mrs Catherine Spurritt

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching