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May 2020 Digital Edition #92

ASB MAGAZINE: More than 100 local climate change warriors gathered just prior to the opening of the Margret River Pro and with the surfing world turning focus once again to Margret River main break, guest speakers, local council, student representatives and members of the community came together to facilitate change.

While local surfers battled it out in the Margaret River Pro trials, Surfing WA provided a space at the event site for the interactive session. “Looking after the environment is the right thing to do. Not just as surfers, but as humans,” Surfing WA CEO Mark Lane reasoned.

The Augusta Margaret River Climate Change Action Plan is being led by the Shire and aims to work within local community to develop real life actions the public can implement in the fight against climate change.

“We’re in the early stages of a revolution,” Shire President, Pamela Townshend, pronounced. “The global sustainability revolution,” she finished.

Passionate Margaret River High School student representatives, Sam Isles and Maia Sheridan-Hulme, were invited to the summit as a voice of their peers. They spoke eloquently of the recent Youth Climate Action Summit, expressing the concern of their generation.

“As a 16 year old, I can see it from the bottom,” said Sam. “Many kids as young as 10 years old told us they felt betrayed by our government. But they also spoke of hope,” said Maia.

The collaborative event identified 11 priority projects which included ideas to support agriculture to transition to regenerative farming, incorporating sustainability into local town planning and rallying for low carbon public transport.

Working toward sustainability is everyone’s responsibility, and the surfing community is also on board. “As surfers it’s important for us to communicate on these issues because we see it first hand,” 7x World Champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore said. “Ocean health is so important; it’s oxygen, food, travel, it’s everything. It’s really cool to have the World Surf League and Surfing WA so passionate about it,” she concluded.

Moving forward, there is undeniable enthusiasm in the local youth. Speaking of the many attractions Western Australia is known and loved for, Maia Sheridan-Hulme concluded; “How amazing would it be if we in Margaret River were to earn the title of Climate Warriors too?”