ACHIEVING: Participants of OzGREEN with the painting depicting their environmental vision for Byron Shire.
ACHIEVING: Participants of OzGREEN with the painting depicting their environmental vision for Byron Shire. Sue Gardiner

Protecting their futures

ALSTONVILLE teenager Annika Hallinan will lobby for a community garden to be established in her home town after being inspired by her participation in a youth environmental forum this week at Byron Bay.

The three-day Byron Youth Leading the World congress, was one of 53 held across Australia, including at Nimbin.

The initiative, in its fourth year, is run by Bellingen-based non-profit group OzGREEN, and aims to educate and inspire young people to act on their environmental and social concerns.

Annika, 16, one of 14 people between 14 and 30 years to participate in the three-day Byron event, said she had learnt many practical ways to reduce her environmental footprint as well as how to educate others to do the same.

The group came up with a top six list of environmental issues they wanted addressed including our disconnection from nature, water, corporate power, animal rights, oceans and CSG.

The participants painted a visual representation of the vision they have for Byron Shire which includes a solar thermal plant, bicycles, music, a house with a vegetable garden on the roof and a wind farm.

Volunteers Hanabeth Luke, Karl Goodsell and Amelia Hicks ran the Byron forum while at Nimbin congress Gail Clarke, Moksha and Adam Guise were at the helm.

Adam said: "I am inspired to volunteer for OzGREEN because its mission is to create leaders who will address the urgent issues of climate change and biodiversity extinction.

"We must urgently accelerate this shift to fair futures by building a movement of inspired leaders.

"This is what OzGREEN hopes to achieve."



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