In July 2018, we partnered to launch the Communities Leading Change program, which supported Latrobe Valley locals to have productive conversations about how to respond to climate change. We're excited to share the program’s immense impact.
Three years ago, in partnership with Gippsland Climate Change Network and Psychology for a Safe Climate, we launched the Communities Leading Change program. The program aimed to create connections across the Latrobe Valley community and empower citizens to find long-term local solutions to prepare for energy transition.
We trained 33 local people to facilitate compassionate conversations on climate change and a safe future for the region. The participants took on community projects, developed community resources and have been involved in various community events.
Over the last three years, more than 200 members of the community joined the Communities Leading Change conversations, leaving them more motivated to become personally involved in energy transitions and climate action.
One of the locals who took part in the program is Bosede Adetifa.
Bosede moved to the Latrobe Valley from Nigeria in 2000 when her husband took up a nursing job in the region.
As a nurse herself, Bosede knows the importance of looking after people in the community, and understands that to do so means that, “We need to look after the environment, our health, and empower people with education and research.”
When it comes to the local economy transitioning towards a zero-carbon future, Bosede says, “There have been a lot of people who have been impacted by job losses and others who have had health issues from living near power stations. So this has definitely affected different people in different ways, and we need to find solutions that address all these impacts.”
“To find these solutions we need to involve the community. We need to create awareness by sparking community conversations, so people know the impacts of climate change on the environment.”
Bosede says she generally feels hopeful about the future of the Valley as people come together and become more educated about the issues.
And she’s not alone in feeling this way.
We surveyed the participants of the Communities Leading Change program, and here’s what we found:
- 90% of participants were more motivated to take action on climate
- 87% of participants were more motivated to take action on energy transitions
- 90% of participants felt more connected to their communities
- 79% of participants were more aware of existing local initiatives
We are so proud to have supported this community to create the change that they want to see for their future.
Some of the participants of the program have started a local group called Communities Leading Change, working towards a just transition in Gippsland. Their mission is to bring together people representing multiple sectors of the Latrobe Valley and broader Gippsland community who will develop and advocate for a concrete proposal for a Just Transition in line with climate science.
We can’t wait to see their community-led transition plan come to fruition, and all the steps forward for climate action they are sure to take.
If you would like to read the inspiring stories of the Latrobe Valley locals who have been engaged through the Communities Leading Change program, check out our Transitions magazine.