The Sustainable Urbanist: Educating the Climate Reality

Victoria will host the first AusAID supported ‘Climate Change Educators’ Skillshare’ next month.

Teachers from Indonesia and India will come together in Melbourne to share, learn and develop skills in educating about climate change.

The Climate Reality Project will manage the two week event from May 4-18. The aim is to build the leadership skills of educators to communicate climate change science and solutions to their students and communities back home.

Climate Reality Australia is currently working with sustainability educators and Victorian schools to create a program, which will enable Skillshare participants to experience Australian sustainability education in practice.

Participants will contribute knowledge and resources from their own cultures, working together to create teaching resources which can be used across the Asia-Pacific region.

Indian teacher Susan Thomas is looking forward to sharing her skills at the event, “I have dedicated my professional life to developing environmental education and awareness in schools and I see that there is always so much more to learn from other cultures.

“That is why I am so excited about coming to the Climate Change Educators’ Skillshare in Melbourne in May,” she said.

Indonesia-based climate leader Azizah Nasution was the driving force behind the innovative program. The idea of the Skillshare originated on trip to Australia for the 2011 Asia Pacific Climate Change Leadership Congress.

After visiting the Hepburn community wind farm, Azizah was inspired by community-based renewable energy projects in Victoria. This led to a conversation with Australian and Indian educators, which 12 months later turned Skillshare into a reality.

“Ever since learning about climate change at university, I have tried to make stronger connections between educators and environmental issues.

“In Indonesia, teachers are well respected in their communities. Their position gives them power to inform family, school students and colleagues – we can tap into this power to communicate climate change,” Azizah said.

The Climate Reality Project is a non-for-profit organisation. Its mission is to increase awareness of climate change at a grassroots level. TCRP has branches in the UK, Australia, Spain, India, China, Canada, Indonesia and Mexico.

American politician Al Gore works as a trainer as part of the project. Once trained, educators become an interactive community with the support of professionals who develop and revise materials for Climate Leaders to use.

With an updated and regionalised slide show, Climate Leaders address their audiences, carry out their presentations, and talk to their networks about the challenges and solutions available to address the climate crisis.

The Climate Reality Project Australia is the hub for the Asia-Pacific area. It is run in partnership with the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Matt O’Leary


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