Victoria McKenzie-McHarg hosted the panel for the recent Climates event, Women leading change: Fresh faces in the climate discussion. As President of Climate Action Network Australia, Victoria herself is at the forefront of pushing for change on climate.
Climate Action Network Australia is a group of over 80 organisations committed to action. These diverse organisations – ranging from big national groups like GetUp to smaller groups within individual council areas – have in common that they want to build a fair, clean and healthy Australia for everyone.
“The scale of the change that is needed is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before,” says Victoria. “That’s why we need leadership at all levels of society – from organisations with grassroots connections through to those who can go and speak with government.”
When we asked Victoria about the one thing people could do to make a difference on climate change, the answer was unexpectedly simple: “Everyone can have a conversation.”
“The vast majority of people are concerned about climate change,” she explains. “But these same people think that most other people aren’t concerned about climate change. Because of this, people don’t seek to have a conversation.”
However, it’s conversation and connecting that make people feel empowered. For example, when Victoria organised the People’s Climate March ahead of the 2015 Paris climate talks, she said that for the 60,000 people who attended the Melbourne event, just seeing that there were so many other people like them who cared was very powerful.
“Never underestimate the power of communities to make change happen,” says Victoria.
We were proud to support the Climates event Women leading change: Fresh faces in the climate discussion. Image: live-scribing illustration of the panel discussion’s themes - Devon Bunce, Digital Storytellers.