Youth environmental group sea-ing change
Eighteen-year-old year 12 student Stephanie Evans from Narraweena is the face of Seas of Change, a youth-run environmental organisation seeking to increase awareness about the issues facing our marine life and natural environment.
Seas of Change was born when a ten-year-old Stephanie needed an outlet for her passion on environmental issues.
“I was too young for university, too young for TAFE,” Stephanie tells Peninsula Living with a laugh.
“As a ten-year-old, there weren’t many options for me to engage with my developing interest in the environmental space, so I ended up founding Seas of Change from my bedroom.”
Eight years down the track, the team has steadily grown to include a collective of social media whizzes and graphic designers.
“(The girls) who have joined are such a big help to me. They do so much for me, I’m not sure what I’d do without them,” Stephanie explains.
“And it’s great to be working with my friends and other young people who are passionate about the environment and marine life.
“I think it’s really important to have young voices prominent in the community - we’ve found it’s easier for young people to engage with us than an authority figure, like a parent or a teacher.”
The team have been across the Northern Beaches, speaking to school students about the critical environmental issues all of society is facing.
The engagement they have seen has been very heartening.
“To see the kids so engaged, it’s fantastic. We find they are already in tune with a lot of the concepts we’ve come to speak about, and they’re always listening so intently.
“I feel like we are making a difference and they are definitely getting something out of the school visits.
“It’s a great feeling when I get a cute email from one of the kids saying, ‘Hi Steph, thank you so much for coming to my school’, or ‘I learnt so much from the Seas of Change visit.’”
Those kids are our future and our country will need strong leadership on climate issues going forward.
Reluctant to get too political, Stephanie shows deference to our politicians, but recognises that there could be more done at all levels of government to try to arrest the growth of climate change.
“I’m not an expert on politics and, to be honest, I don’t pay all that much attention to what politicians are doing and saying.
“But more can be done by our governments (in the environmental space), for sure.”
Asked about her plans for the future, she says the team would love to keep the project going, but she has other goals in mind as well.
“I absolutely hope we are able to keep Seas of Change going, but a lot is going to be changing next year.
“We don’t know where we are going to be living next year, and what the next few years will bring.
“We’re all going off to uni, and starting different degrees. I’m going to be studying law.
“I love Seas of Change, and I think I’ll always be passionate about it, but I think I want to keep it as this lovely passion project and not something I rely on to earn money.