The Youth Climate Network is a space for young people living in the Loddon Mallee region to connect with other like-minded people, share information and learnings, and have their voice heard in planning for a climate ready future. Read the story so far…

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And ADAPT Youth Climate Network event!

Find out what happened when 23 passionate young people came together to talk about creating a climate ready future in Loddon Mallee.


What’s ‘Future Ready Youth’ all about?

‘Future Ready Youth’ – was a two-day youth climate retreat in held in September 2022 in Malmsbury. Twenty-three young people aged between 13 and 26 years attended the event, hailing from across our region, everywhere from Dunolly, Castlemaine, Maldon, Bendigo and Maryborough all the way to Mildura.

Future Ready Youth aimed to

  • connect like-minded young people from across Loddon Mallee
  • strengthen awareness, skills and knowledge about climate adaptation and resilience
  • be a lot of fun!

An exciting program of speakers, workshops and activities (see right) was pulled together through a four month co-design process with four youth leaders- Kelsey McDonald, Jemille McKenzie, Mhairi Conford and Jemima Lotika.

Some highlights from the event include:

  • Learning about Traditional Owner perspectives about the impacts of climate change on Country and Culture through a river walk and weaving workshop with Djaara Elder Aunty Marilyn Nicholls
  • Hearing about the latest climate change projections for Loddon Mallee with CSIRO’s John Clarke
  • Workshop on aligning strengths and interests to climate action with journalist and comedian Issy Phillips
  • The young people created collective vision of a climate ready future in Loddon Mallee through visual art pieces
  • There were also a range of workshops where young people were able to apply their learning including:‘Growing Food in a Changing Climate’ facilitated by Peppergreen Farm, ‘Restoring the Natural Environment’ facilitated by Biolinks Alliance and ‘Storytelling for Impact’ facilitated by Youth Leader Jemille McKenzie and documentarian Kyla Brettle.

Future Ready Youth has set in motion a network of committed and engaged young people who are keen to work with their communities to strengthen their resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The Youth Climate Network are now considering what’s next and how they want to continue working together – JOIN THE MOVEMENT NOW BY REGISTERING YOUR INTEREST BELOW!

The story so far

Collaboration and codesign are key principles of the Youth Climate Network. We do not assume to know what young people think or how they want to address the impact of climate change on their lives and communities 

The Youth Climate Retreat was a starting point to engage young people in the conversation on climate change adaption and understand how we can best support them. It sought to create connections between young people living in Loddon Mallee and empower them with the skills and confidence to communicate and facilitate change in their communities and amongst their peers. 

Youth voices are leadership capacity of our future leaders.

More stories from the network:
Youth Climate Network- Caring for climate on country
Our story is just the beginning

“Climate change does impact health, which is why I wanted to get involved. I know it can increase infectious diseases, such as malaria, and it also impacts people who are in disadvantaged situations. This includes the elderly community and people with asthma, for example. In turn it will affect the economy because people with illnesses are less likely to go to work” – Jemima Lotika

Over the weekend, participants gained skills in systems mapping and prototyping as they developed ideas and projects that will engage other young people in the conversation on climate change adaptation as well as shaping the way we engage with them on this topic in the future.

Participants participated in a Wayapa workshop delivered by Rowena Price and tried their hand at basket-weaving with Dja Dja Wurrung elder, Auntie Marilyne Nicholls.

“It would be very beneficial for our area [Mildura] moving forward if we were able to help the farmers out and move to more sustainable agriculture and horticulture techniques and regenerative farming. This would help with future food security and adapting to our changing climate” – Emma Johnson

There was also ample opportunity for participants to meet and connect with other like-minded young people living in their area.

The participants proved to be an inspiring bunch and brought with them an impressive knowledge and insight into the issue of climate change adaptation. There were many creative ideas and a positive attitude towards the future despite the doom and gloom perspective that often frames climate change conversations.

“[the Youth Climate Retreat] gives young people like us a voice and a say in our future” – Anthony Mammone

Read the recommendation that came out of the retreat HERE

What happened next?

Following the retreat, the Youth Climate Network was formed by participants to continue to collaborate on projects and extend their knowledge and skills to other motivated young people.

The Youth Climate Network continued to foster the momentum that the Youth Climate Retreat begun and despite the challenges the COVID-19 presented ADAPT was able to deliver an event that connected young people with Traditional Owners from Dja Dja Wurrung to hear about climate change impacts on Country and build cultural awareness. You can read more about the event HERE

ADAPT Loddon Mallee continued to work with young people to ensure their voices were including in the Climate Ready Plan. The Youth Climate Advisory Board (Y-CAB) was set up in March 2021. A diverse group of young people from across the region were recruited to review the DRAFT Climate Ready Plan and give us recommendations. The group worked together over the course of six online meetings, led by youth facilitator Tiana Sixsmith. The recommendations were compiled in a report that you can download HERE

Following the Y-CAB feedback comprehensive changes were included in the Climate Ready Plan and we look forward to working further with young people in the Loddon Mallee to deliver on those priority actions.

More stories from the Youth Climate Network:
Our story is just the beginning

Principle Partner

ADAPT Loddon Mallee is proud to partner with YLab, a social enterprise of the Foundation for Young Australians. Y-lab is experienced in working with young people from all over Australia aged 12-29 years and have built Australia’s largest community of young changemakers. They have an existing social media community of 150,000+ and 50,000+ website visits each month. Y-Lab have experience in putting young people’s time and talent at the centre of collaborations with government, business, and community organisations to rethink future systems and influence issues that relate directly to them, recognising that they are experts in their own lives. Y-Lab operates nationally and has extensive networks with regional and rural community groups in Victoria.


Engage a diverse range of regional youth, including representatives from different cultural, social, economic, environmental and political perspectives.

Provide a supportive environment for all participants to have their views, attributes and contributions recognised.

Confidence that young people have an understanding of their own communities and peers and are best placed to develop an appropriate engagement approach.

We acknowledge and respect Victorian Traditional Owners as the original custodians of Victoria’s land and waters, their unique ability to care for Country and deep spiritual connection to it. We honour Elders past and present whose knowledge and wisdom has ensured the continuation of culture and traditional practices. We are committed to enabling self-determination for all Aboriginal people and aim to work closely with the Aboriginal community to drive action and improve outcomes especially in the context of a changing climate.