opinion

"This Mother's Day you'll find me fighting for my children's future."

I am a mother of two precious girls. As any mother, I want them to be able to experience the wonders of our world; I want them to know the magical beauty of the world that I have seen.

That’s why for me watching the news stories about the changing climate and the destruction it is already bringing makes my heart break. Seeing our beautiful rainbow reef turn a stark ghostly white; or the towering trees of Tasmania burned to a crisp; or the stunning glaciers melt in front of our eyes brings tears to my eyes.

What upsets me most is our Government’s role in this devastation. By continuing to approve giant coal mines, frack for unconventional gas, and drill the Great Australian Bight for deep oil, our Government is condemning my children to a radically different world.

The future generations should see the beauty of this world (Image provided)

As a mother, watching this unfold can leave me feeling helpless. I also at times feel guilty for not doing enough. It can be hard as one individual knowing how to stand up to a Government that is intent on watching the world burn while handing out subsidies to their friends in the fossil fuel industry to keep on polluting: putting short term profit ahead of our children’s futures.

We simply cannot keep pretending that climate change is someone else’s problem, and that is why, as a mother I felt compelled to act (Image provided).

I currently run a Facebook page called 'What Will We Leave Our Children?' and this weekend myself, my eight year old daughter, and a group of mothers will be spending our Mothers Day peacefully protesting at the coal port of Newcastle under the banner of Break Free.

We will be joining with farmers, pacific islanders, community leaders and people from all across Australia to show our political leaders that Australians care about the future of the planet. We simply cannot keep pretending that climate change is someone else’s problem, and that is why, as a mother I felt compelled to act.

Coffs Harbour Wants Action (Image provided).

I sometimes wonder why every parent is not marching on the streets demanding a future for our children? But then I remember that, like me, we all get wrapped up in the daily chores of life.

Too often we put our faith in governments to solve all our problems. But on climate change, governments have recklessly abdicated their role to provide leadership. Lobbyists have bought them their election victories and now money trumps science in the most important issue we as a civilisation have ever faced – our climate and planet. To be honest, sometimes I just have to allow myself to be angry or let the grief roll in.

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It is at moments like this that I remind myself of all the incredible mothers out there who in their own way are working to safeguard the climate for their children’s future. These are the mothers that I have sat in parks with and brainstormed ideas of how to change the world. These are mothers from all walks of life who are brought together for a common cause.

The people of Coffs Harbour gathering together for a common cause (Image provided).

My local climate action group is awash with mothers. They are incredibly inspiring. Between school pick ups and swimming lessons they fit in late night grant applications, writing speeches, organising local events, media releases and market stalls. They do what they can, we all know what's at stake.

Through my page I've found other women, Knitting Nannas, Climate Angels, mothers who run their own pages. I feel a genuine sense of community among these inspiring groups and I can see as time goes by our acts are becoming more defiant, more determined. We will not allow this destruction to go on. We will not allow governments and corporations to sacrifice our children's future and we will stand in their way to create a better outcome.

Once you are a mother your child's life becomes your priority. Our main purpose is to care for them, to protect them, to raise them so they are happy human beings who can cope with the struggles life brings. But when you realise that this life you have nurtured is jeopardised by the very greedy few, how can you not act?

Seeking positive change for the environment (Image provided).

That is why this Mother's Day I will defend the rights of my children. I will join hundreds of others on the frontline in the coal ports of Newcastle to demand that our Government truly embrace the change that is needed and that they put their children and grandchildren first.

I am so proud to be able to share my Mother's Day with other brave mothers. And also with countless other extraordinary, but ordinary, mothers, grandparents friends across the country who in their own way are standing up against the fossil fuel industry. There is no turning back now: as the temperature rises the people will too. This movement can only grow.

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