As part of the Youth Voice in Parliament Week initiative, I am pleased to read out a speech by Isabella, an 18-year-old in my community who just finished her year-12 exams—best of luck, Isabella, for whatever comes next:

Australia has the capacity to lead and inspire a future with renewable energy, in alignment with the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in transitioning away from fossil fuel industries.

The change future generations will benefit from the most is change that is intersectional and informed.

Change that accommodates the integration of fossil fuel industry workers and rural communities into new industry to equip and empower them.

Change that educates current generations to make better choices about their consumption and carbon footprints.

Change that holds corporations and governments accountable towards transparent and smart progress forward.

So, as a young person, when I look at the way things were, I see decisive ignorance about climate change, and stagnant policy.

When I look at the way things are, I see young people across the world, in my city, protesting to summon government action towards this issue that undeniably affects us all.

And, finally, when I look at the way things could be, I am filled with a fragile hope that Australia takes a leap to change its attitude towards climate change.

Thanks, Isabella, for your work, and congratulations to everyone who took part in this competition.

Click here to watch this speech.

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