TWENTY four community leaders from across the region are helping their communities adapt to climate change after graduating from a new ADAPT Loddon Mallee’s first Regional Climate Leadership Program.

The graduates were so inspired following their 12-month course, aimed at building and delivering local climate change adaptation actions for communities, that they have taken it upon themselves to form an Alumni group called ‘Climate Adaptation Loddon Mallee’ (CALM), with the catch phrase ‘Keep CALM and take action’.

The group will continue the important work they have already begun carrying out in their local communities.

The graduates from Bendigo, Campaspe and other regions in the Loddon Mallee said they were inspired following their 12-month Regional Climate Leadership course.

“I am so glad I took the opportunity to sign up when the ADAPT program,” Rushworth graduate Louise Costa said.

“Thanks to the practical workshops and the dedicated participants, we want to help facilitate, integrate, add weight and contribute to normalising this narrative.”

“We want to focus on climate adaptation through educational, project-based, community activities and events to support and advocate for a more hopeful transition into an unknown but (currently) bleak-looking future.”

“During the course of the Program, the group learned what various communities and residents are doing around climate adaptation and were exposed to different perceptions and views, including those of Traditional Owners, migrant communities and our all-important youth,” ADAPT Loddon Mallee project coordinator Dona Cayetana said.

Presenting the new graduates with their certificates, DELWP Loddon Mallee Regional Director, Marg Allan, said she was encouraged knowing the participants will most certainly put their new and learned skills to great use in their communities moving forward.

“It was great to hear about their innovative projects and ideas and how they’ve already made a difference in their own communities by helping them adapt and be prepared for the impacts that our changing climate brings,” Marg said.

The group is continuing aims to build a climate ready Loddon Mallee by supporting adaptation planning and actions to address climate change impacts across the social, cultural, environmental and economic systems in the region.