Our Community Environment Network (CEN) Youth held its first brainstorming session on Sunday 21 July. A cross section of Youth aged between 16- 30 discussed issues they were concerned with such as deforestation, equity for those impacted, plant-based food and farming, renewable energy and social justice.

Themes that regularly came up were youth engagement and climate justice:

“There are no pathways to get involved,” Callan stated.

“We need to be involved, in decisions that affect our future,” Yasmin said.

“There needs to be creative ways we can engage our community” said Caitlin.

CEN Chair Hale Adasal said: “Youth are the people who will be most affected by Climate Change, yet there are few opportunities to be involved in solutions, action and events."

When asked about the best bit of the brainstorming session:

Emily responded, “fresh healthy vegetarian lunch surrounded by nature, is up there.”;

For Suzy,“it was being with like- minded Youth on the Central Coast”.

For Andrew it was, “developing partnerships with similar groups,” such as Central Coast Intrepid Landcare for which he is the representative.

The next CEN Youth brainstorming session will be on Sunday 18 August. This coincides with the week of the United Nations International Youth Day with the theme of ‘Transforming Education.’

Hale said: “Our Youth are inspiring and need to be supported - we welcome any Youth aged 16-30 years of age, who want to become involved in shaping the world and community in which they want to thrive.” Hale went on to say: “I am proud to be guiding the Youth arm of CEN and supporting them with ongoing training, networking events and educational programs to build on their leadership and community engagement skills. The best legacy we can leave behind is a generation of leaders resilient enough to manage any future challengers they may face”.

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