By Rebecca Meikle | Posted: Tuesday October 13, 2020

A youth-led exhibition about climate change inequality October 3rd – November 1st 2020 Beautiful Science Gallery, Otago Museum

During the school holidays, four Kavanagh students, Sarah Al-Balushi, Jeremy Meikle, Cameron and Quinn McCormack, attended and presented at the opening of the ‘Climate Change: Striking a Balance’ exhibition at the Otago Museum. For the past 11 months, the group of Kavanagh College students joined forces with youth from Otago and Southland to create an exhibition tackling the topic of Climate Change. Beginning in November 2019, the team spent countless hours researching climate change and planning the exhibition. Despite the challenge of Covid-19, they pushed through and continued working on the project via Zoom workshops and individual research.

In the early stages of the project, all of the students brought their own knowledge of climate change to the workshops which they shared. They further researched the topic and attended workshops hosting speakers who enhanced their knowledge on aspects of climate change and the impacts. The team then determined which aspect of climate change would be the focus of their exhibition. Climate change inequality was deemed to be a significant issue faced by communities globally. The impact of the inequality experienced by these communities is far-reaching and is preventable if everyone takes the right action. It was very moving to hear the stories from affected communities outside of New Zealand who were interviewed by some of the students for the exhibition. A particularly poignant fact that came out of their research is that the activities (e.g. factories and manufacturing) undertaken by westernised countries that generate westernised wealth are contributing significantly to climate change impact on developing countries, adding to the challenges that these communities already face. Addressing the issues surrounding the westernised world activities will go a long way to removing the impact on the affected communities and the planet.

The students involved in the exhibition have gained so much from the project. Along with a more intimate knowledge of climate change and its impacts, they worked extremely well as a team respecting and listening to each other, they learned how to compromise in decision-making, and they gained confidence and skills in many areas from sharing ideas in small groups, researching and using technology to communicating their findings effectively and public speaking. A huge thank you to Claire Concannon, Jessa Barder and Amadeo Enriquez Ballestero for providing the opportunity for students to create the exhibition and for guiding them through the process.

Visit the exhibition before November 1st and be inspired! Add your actions to the pledge wall.

And don’t forget to join in the Enviro Week activities at school next week (19– 23 October). The new rubbish bin system will be launched – follow the simple instructions at the bins when disposing of rubbish and help do your bit to reduce inequality in the world. Our individual actions collectively make a huge difference to our planet and your future.

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