On Monday 23 August, Samantha Ratnam, leader of the Victorian Greens Party, came in for a lunchtime Q&A session with the girls in alignment with the Prefects’ Term 3 focus of Environmental Awareness. Samantha is an avid advocate for the environment and social justice and her passion for these topics was inspiring and thought provoking for many of the girls who attended the session.

Samantha provided us with incredible insight into ways we can preserve the environment in our day to day lives, stressing the impacts of transport and energy which we use every day. She also talked about the recent IPCC report, as well as the recent decision by the government to consider drilling for gas near the landmark of the 12 Apostles and her Party's view on the matter. Not only did we learn all things environment related, but Samantha also talked about ways of making effective change and raising awareness. She insisted that our age did not limit us in terms of what change we can achieve in the world, and she suggested that by working together and using platforms such as social media, we can be the drivers of real change within our communities, which I think inspired many of the girls in the session.

Some of the questions asked by the girls to Samantha were:

  • What changes could we make to our lifestyles in order to reduce our impact on climate change?
  • What would you say to those who suggest that our financial security is threatened by some of the actions that are proposed to reduce climate change?
  • How do we stay hopeful?
  • What is the most memorable campaign in which you have been involved?
  • What projects are the Greens currently working on?
  • On an average work day, what do you actually do?
  • How important is it to be vegan or vegetarian in terms of impact on climate?
  • How has the fact that you started your life in Sri Lanka shaped your views?
  • What obligations does the Government have in relation to climate change?
  • What is the coolest change you have been part of?

Overall, it was an incredibly positive experience and I thank all the girls who attended the session as well as Samantha for coming in and speaking with us all!

School Captain