Mother and daughter stoke climate change action in WA

Food & climate change article written on the 03 May 2012

Year 12 student, Emma Stokes, hails from the beautiful forest town of Nannup in the south-west of WA. Inspired by a climate change forum run by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition she was on the look-out to get active. A few e-mails to Oxfam later and she had instigated the climate change ‘Land is Life’ exhibition at the Georgiana Molloy Anglican School which she attends in the nearby coastal town of Busselton.

“I saw this and thought it could make people aware” said Emma. “Using pictures is an effective way to communicate the pressing need for sustainability”.

Oxfam has been working with partner organisation Women on Farms to increase opportunities for women who are most affected by food security issues in South Africa — including climate change. These women’s stories are told in the ‘Land is Life’ exhibition, both in words and in the remarkable pictures of acclaimed photographer Matthew Wilman. Some of the women from the project will also be visiting Australia for a speaking tour in June.

Head of Senior School at Georgiana Molloy Anglican School, Steve Treloar, helped organise the exhibition and used the pictures as a teaching aid to discuss environmental and sustainable issues.

Unaware of Emma’s good works, Emma’s mother Louise Stokes, who works as a Community Development Officer in Nannup, also organised another ‘Land is Life’ exhibition in Nannup.

“I always knew that Emma had great empathy and concern for the environment and global issues,” Louise said. “It is a great feeling to know she is prepared to do something about it.”

“I thought the ‘Land is Life’ exhibition would be a great opportunity to showcase the message on climate change and food security in Nannup, as well as Africa,” she added.

A joint report released this week by the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO warns that the south-west of WA (where Nannup is situated) is warming and drying faster than anywhere in the country.

In an amazing coincidence, this remarkable family have done more than their fair share to help spread the message on climate change and food security. It you want to find out how you get active too, check out the Oxfam website.