The Catholic Earthcare Australian team is excited to announce our inaugural Youth Eco-Summit 2019. We’re bringing together inspiring Year 11 leaders and change makers from across the Catholic education community in Greater Sydney, to see, judge and act on the environmental issues that matter to them.
Finding inspiration in Laudato Si’
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ calls all humanity – as stewards of creation and protectors of Gods creation – to respond to the environmental, social and climate change crisis. It implores all Catholics to ‘care for our common home’, inclusive of the social, biological and biophysical elements now under threat with climate change, and the increasing climate-related social injustices associated with global warming. Pope Francis draws our attention to the inter-generational inequity and challenges we place on our future generations by inadequate action to address such challenges, stating in his appeal:
“Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.”
We have an implicit obligation to help empower young people to create meaningful change. This is the inspiration of our Youth Eco-Summit.
The structure of the summit
This gathering is a showcase event, providing the guidance, advice and cautions to support Diocese across Australia, together with independent schools communities to host their own local Eco-Summits.
Led and driven by our Student Leadership (15 young people) team, we’ll create a summit along the ‘See, Judge, Act’ principles. Combing conference speakers with break-out workshops to challenge and inspire our Student Participants (300 young people). We anticipate the themes of climate change, social injustice, environmental degradation and plastic pollution will take centre stage as key topics throughout the day – although this will be decided by our Student Leaders! And we’ll support and mentor them on this journey, engaging the conference speakers and organisations that critically matter to them.