Sustainability – 212

After recently returning from an International Antarctic Exhibition as part of the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Program, I have been struck by a profound new connection with the untouched environment of Antarctica, which is one of science and peace that is owned by us all.

Along with 20 other young people chosen from around the world, I joined this exhibition aiming to champion renewable energy as a path to protect the continent, as, as well as spread awareness about Antarctica at an international level. It was a life-changing, perception-altering experience of a lifetime, where participants witnessed the effects of climate change first hand, which has only inspired me further to pursue the avenue of sustainability.

It is hard to describe Antarctica as anything other than a magical place. Standing atop glaciers and looking out, not seeing any signs of humans – no rubbish, electricity poles, walking tracks or even little shacks on the top of mountains – is a surreal experience. There are places you can stand and know you are very possibly the first person in history to have ever stood in that spot. For two weeks, being completely surrounded by a white and blue landscape of sea, mountains, icebergs and glaciers untouched by humans puts our daily lives and current society into perspective – the contrast is stark.

As part of the program, I learnt about leadership, climate change and sustainability change delivery, I also enjoyed discussions about the most effective ways to communicate about the importance of these issues and potential solutions.0In the coming months0I plan0to use my new skills to empower young people in my own community – I’ll be working on an Inner West community solar project, continuing to0coordinate0the Inner West division of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and possibly work with St Scholastica’s Glebe (my old high school) to achieve a carbon-neutral position.

I would not have been able to have this transformative experience without0the support0the community and my sponsors. But what can you do, you ask? There is a lot anyone can do, f0rom reducing energy usage in your home or00workplace, to buying carbon neutral products and0paying a little0extra0for carbon offsets when flying. You can also join organisations like the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (if you’re under 30) or Climate Action Newtown, Burwood or Rozelle- Balmain. Most importantly, consider the environment and the importance of sustainability when you are deciding your vote on September 14th.
If you would like to know more about0the Antarctic Youth Ambassador Program or how to get involved, email

Words: Alice Simpson-Young.

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