Wave of new ideas

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Snow Li, 11, and Djai Hunter, 15, will be a part of the Coastal Connections Challenge.
Camera IconSnow Li, 11, and Djai Hunter, 15, will be a part of the Coastal Connections Challenge. Credit: Holly Thompson

Young people will take action to improve the Rockingham coastline next year through a two-day forum.

The Coastal Connections Challenge program will bring together young people from across Kwinana and Rockingham from March 27 to 28, to identify opportunities and challenges in caring for coastal areas.

Attendees will then work in groups with subject matter experts and mentors to turn their ideas into practical projects to be implemented in the community.

The program is run in partnership with CSBP and Perth NRM, with support from Millennium Kids, the City of Kwinana and the City of Rockingham.

Two young people who will be involved with the program, Snow Li, 11, and Djai Hunter, 15, are excited about creating their own projects.

“I have always been an outdoors sort of person ever since I was little, I have always loved the environment and I have watched a lot of documentaries about sustainable environment safety and solutions to problems we have such as climate change,” Djai said.

“Little bits and pieces could help change the big picture of something and I have really been inspired.”

Snow said she had always loved the ocean and wanted to do something to help the local coastline.

“I really want to connect to the ocean more and help,” she said.

“I grew up in China but when we moved here we were close to the ocean and I wanted to go every week, I loved it.”

Perth NRM coastal and marine program manager Kathleen Broderick said she was excited to be involved in a program entirely driven by young people.

“There are a lot of challenges when taking on a coastal area, weeds, litter, feral animals, poorly managed access, all sorts of things,” she said.

“We want these young people to come up with fresh ideas on how to solve these problems and be disruptive, this project is really an experiment to see what young people want to do and how they want to be involved.

“During the two-day think tank, the young people will learn about some of the challenges in the area, meet with subject matter experts and then pitch their ideas.”

CSBP general manager Tanya Rybarczyk said she was proud to work with Perth NRM to develop an event which is the first of its kind in the community.

“With local youth organising the inaugural event, the CSBP Coastal Connection Challenge will empower young people to make a difference now and in the future by developing real solutions to real issues affecting their coastal and marine environments,” she said.

Schools and youth groups have been asked to express interest in the program and teams will need to be signed up by January 31.

To register or for more information, call 0499 104 377 or email Kathleen.Broderick@kwinana.wa.gov.au.

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