- More than 100,000 people took part in Melbourne’s School Strike for Climate on 20 September
- Millions rallied around the globe to protest government inaction on climate change
- The AEU was one of 30 Australian unions to endorse the strikes
AEU members joined more than 100,000 students, fellow workers and community members on 20 September in Melbourne’s biggest rally yet for climate action as part of the latest student climate strike.
Inspired by Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg, who as a 15-year-old began striking from school every Friday, teenagers in regional Victoria kicked off the rapidly growing School Strike for Climate movement last October, with 20,000 students striking nationally in November followed by 150,000 in March.
Since then, young people around the world have been leading the mass coordinated strikes to protest government inaction on climate change. On 20 September, 350,000 protestors overall took to the streets around Australia, with millions taking strike action across the globe.
The AEU was one of 30 Australian unions and more than 2,000 businesses to endorse the student climate strikes, calling on the Morrison government to take urgent action to address the climate crisis.
Speaking to the rally on the day, AEU branch president Meredith Peace said, “As a science and geography teacher, I was teaching students 30 years ago about the ozone layer, about the impacts of greenhouse gases on our climate – and sadly, 30 years later, here I am still imploring our politicians to take the action we need to support the future for our kids.
“Education is about paying attention to the facts, paying attention to the evidence, and teaching our students to analyse, to problem-solve, to question and to express their opinions. Can I say how fantastic and inspiring it is to see our kids out on the streets demonstrating that education we’ve spent so much time delivering to them, expressing their views about their futures, as they rightly should do.
“Our students are well-informed, they’re articulate, and our politicians simply need to start listening. These kids are using their voices to be brave, to show they care and to take action, because our government’s not.”