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  • 25 Nov 2021 14:18 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Climate change, activism, and supporting the mental health of children and young people: Perspectives from Western Australia

    by Naomi J Godden, Brad M Farrant, Jaime Yallup Farrant, Emma Heyink, Eva Carot Collins, Bella Burgemeister, Mena Tabeshfar, Jason Barrow, Mara West, Jasmine Kieft, Mason Rothwell, Zoe Leviston, Susan Bailey, Mindy Blaise, Trudi Cooper.

    "This article is co-authored by a group of WA young people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal academics, activists, and practitioners engaged in youth, mental health and climate justice spaces.

    The article examines the intersection of mental health, climate change, children and young people and climate activism in WA. We explore the mental health impacts of climate change on children and young people, and youth climate activism as a resilience strategy.

    In Box 3, youth climate activist co-authors then discuss opportunities to support the mental health of young people compelled to take climate action.

    We argue for structural change to address the causes of the climate crisis, alongside enhanced mental health evidence and approaches to appropriately support children and young people affected by climate change.

    Furthermore, we support the call of Aboriginal peoples to ensure culturally appropriate, place-based frameworks and programs based in caring for Country."

    Many Climate Justice Union members contributed to this important article, published by the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

    Please click through below to read the full article.

    Click here for the full article:

  • 23 Jun 2021 16:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kaya everyone,

    Today Agency France Press have released an article into the mainstream entitled "Crushing climate impacts to hit sooner than feared: draft UN report" which will be a difficult read for many, even those of us who have been expecting publication of it's contents for a long time.

    Reading the reality of current and expected climate impacts stated bluntly in mainstream media is a different experience from talking about them in safe spaces with activists, friends and colleagues.

    And of course, talking and reading is very different to living through, preparing for and and experiencing the impacts themselves.

    With the next round of major IPCC climate science and impact reporting coming up, we're going to see a LOT more of this material entering mainstream conversations and media, and it's predictable many people are going to struggle with it.

    They're going to struggle to accept, they're going to struggle with the emotions, the stress and anxieties involved with acceptance, and they're going to want to know there are other people out there feeling the same way and somehow managing to get on with the work that needs to be done to address it.

    This article is a short summary of what will be a comprehensive 4000 page report on climate impacts due out in February 2022, the largest ever scientific peer-review process in all of human history.

    The challenges articulated in this summary highlight the exact reasons why we collective created CJU and why we are working together on our Big Plan.

    "The world is confronting a complex set of interwoven challenges,"

    "Unless you tackle them together, you are not going to do very well on any of them."

    "We need transformational change operating on processes and behaviours at all levels: individual, communities, business, institutions and governments."

    "We must redefine our way of life and consumption".

    Here's the link to the full article by AFP : 

    This is tough and long-term work, and it's work which becomes more and more important with every single year, month, week, and day that passes.

    From the work our CJU mental health team have done in understanding how humans respond to crisis, we know we need 3 things to support us in coping emotionally and mentally during times like these:

    1. We need spaces, places and people with which to process and deal with our emotional responses,

    2. We need systemic policies and processes that support the community during these times, and

    3. We need accurate and reliable communication at all stages of the crisis. We need to know what is happening, what is going to happen and what we need to do about it.

    And all of this needs to be grounded in our real experiences of the world, in the stories and deep understandings of where we live, work and spend our time.

    As CJU members we have built a collective culture which is intentional about addressing these needs to enables all of us to continue our important work, while pro-actively protecting our mental health.

    If you want to be involved in furthering these discussions, or to collaborate on ensuring people are able to engage with this information in ways that lead them to taking effective action (rather than into despair) - then become a member of Climate Justice Union today and let's work together.

    And when you share this kind of information - which we absolutely need you to do - PLEASE be mindful that people can only engage with the grief and despair it may bring in ways that move them to action (rather than into despair) if they are supported to do so, through relationships, practical support, and intentionally designed collective responses.

    We're all in this together, so let's look out for each other properly - so we can all get on with doing what needs to be done.

    In solidarity

    Bella, Jaime, Jasmine, Luke and the team at Climate Justice Union

    PS. If you think it would help to connect with professional services and organisations to talk through what this article brings up for you, here are some useful resources we have curated for you:

  • 27 Apr 2021 13:57 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Firstly, we want to begin this blog post by sending a message of solidarity to all those in the cyclone impacted areas across the North and Central regions of Western Australia.

    We know there are many people still in the middle of working out where they will live, how to move forward without electricity and basic infrastructure, how to hold communities that are now unrecognisable and how to support those who were already vulnerable. The rebuilding of communities isn’t just about place and space - it is about people. CJU is in solidarity with those affected and commits the power of our members and networks to support these communities however we can. If you aren’t sure of how to do this, you will find some practical ways you can help at the end of this post

    This last year has seemed like a rollercoaster of extreme events and for many of us the connections with climate change and climate justice are obvious. We’ve seen (and are still seeing) a pandemic, floods, drought, fires, smoke haze and now a cyclone.  Even if you haven’t been directly involved in an extreme event, you may still find yourself impacted in very real ways. 

    For now, we just wanted to say CJU sees this and we recognise it can be difficult. This post is intended to bring visibility to what many of us may be experiencing right now.

    It’s a long post -  we hope you take the time to read and reflect on it’s content. In the coming months we will share more resources to support us during these times, but for now we hope this is useful. 


    Both the impact of these events and the release of reports, studies and news stories can affect our social and emotional mental wellbeing in a number of ways. We know that the road ahead will challenge us in many ways and that our emotional health might need some attention. 

    You are not alone if you feel overwhelmed. It's ok not to read up about each and every update. It's ok to dive in and then step back. Whatever you feel, anger, determination, sadness, loss, passion - It’s ok.

    We might notice some, or any of the following reactions in ourselves and our fellow Climate Justice activists:


    • anger and resentment towards people who don’t acknowledge climate justice, or don’t seem to be taking action
    • anxiety, or panic
    • guilt or shame about “not doing enough” or having limitations to the energy we can commit to taking action
    • grief and sadness 
    • numb and detached
    • overwhelmed about the reality of now and what lies ahead
    • resentment at past generations or parts of our society for not making more progress


    • constant and intrusive thoughts about the climate, social justice and the future
    • repeated questioning of yours and others actions "What if I had done x, y or z, instead?"
    • that other climate justice activists not doing enough or taking a hard enough line of action


    • inability to focus
    • inability to plan ahead
    • intrusive memories or dreams related to the events
    • difficulty in connecting with others
    • 'replaying' the event and inventing different outcomes in order to be prepared should it happen again
    • sleep disturbances

    So in knowing this, what can we do?

    Engage with our reality:

    There is immense power in recognising your own personal reality, in acknowledging the feelings and fears that come from being engaged in what is happening. Giving space for these to be felt with help you process information and continue to take actions without being overcome by extreme emotional responses. Being real and bringing our whole selves to our activism also serves to reduce the barriers for other activists and peers to share their challenges and builds a sense of safety, solidarity and support.

    Take action: 

    Taking action personally and collectively is in itself a significant coping strategy. Taking action gives us multiple results. We are actively helping to restore a safe climate, creating a caring community, and being a part of the solution helps us manage our distressing feelings. Action is often the best antidote to feelings of despair and helplessness.

    Call on the collective:

    Working with others who are also taking action can increase your sense of connection and reduce the feeling of burden and overwhelm that may come when faced with the sheer scope of the challenges ahead. Being around others who have optimism and hope can help you hold that hope when you find it too heavy to hold alone.

    Celebrate wins:

    Micro-wins can seem insignificant when stacked against the task ahead. But what if we all started sharing and celebrating the small wins? Having a conversation that changed the heart, mind or action of a single person may not seem like that much, but collectively we are all experiencing small changes in the communities we live, work and play in. Amplifying these positives can help keep us motivated during the times when it seems like we aren’t making progress.

    Be flexible:

    Allow yourself (and other activists) to have options for different types of action you can take depending on your current capacity and life circumstances. There will be times when you can go to every protest and every meeting, and other times when you only have the time, energy and spoons to amplify events and voices via social media. Maybe you usually speak to every single person you know about the need to take action, but you have a big uni assignment, or your child is unwell, so you need to save your energy just to get through the next week. Your mental health might need attention so you might disengage with taking action so you can give yourself the time and space you need. Your financial situation may change so you can’t donate, your available time might change so you only give financially for a while. ALL ACTION IS VALUABLE ACTION.

    Switch off/Switch on:

    Be mindful about how, where and when you are consuming media and reports. If you are intending to delve into something heavy, plan for connection or debrief afterward. If you are swamped by casually coming across stories and media, plan for some down time that sees you totally switch off from the media (even if only for an hour). If you are finding heavy emotional responses to content don’t read it before you go to bed or when you first wake up. Having a deliberate plan about how you consume information can make it seem less out of control.

    Share the feels:

    Find casual and structured support places where you can connect and share. This may be in your own personal relationships, on the CJU members Facebook page, at a CJU Wellbeing Session or through a professional setting.

    For a list of more formal mental health and well being supports click on this link.

    What can I do to support those affected by current climate events?  

    The Lord Mayor’s appeal fund is set up specifically to provide financial support for those impacted by Tropical Cyclone Seroja and you can donate through this site.

    Perhaps you want to learn more about how we can increase our ability to prepare for extreme events. This website has a host of materials and resources. Or maybe you are wanting to look into training as a local emergency services volunteer, it’s clear we are going to need more trained volunteers in the years to come. You can find out more about that here.

    If you are aware of practical ways members of the Climate Justice Union can support recovery efforts for the Perth Fires or Cyclone Seroja (or other events) please get in touch with us and we can share through our networks.

    If you have any questions, ideas or contributions for how we can better support the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of members, contact Bella for a chat.

  • 31 Dec 2019 11:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is easy to feel despair, grief and anxiety in the face of everything going on right now, and everything we collectively experienced in 2019.

    It is easy to feel hopeless and to want to point fingers of blame and to attack politicians and people in positions of power.

    All of that is normal response to the environmental and human rights catastrophe unfolding in front of us. And no doubt most of it is very valid.

    Current and past political leaders failed to prepare us on so many fronts.

    Failing to address climate change in the 90s and early 2000s when the opportunity to avoid these particular catastrophic impacts still existed. Failure to adequately resource our emergency services. Failure to ensure both existing and new buildings are fire safe before the long-predicted fires became reality. Failure to have an adequate social and economic safety net for those whose jobs and homes no longer exist.

    In the face of inaction it is easy to think democracy and collectivism have failed. But this is not the case.

    We need democracy and people power now more than ever before.

    The only answer to a politics dominated by a powerful elite is to rebuild a powerful and organised citizenry.

    Through collective organising we can plan and implement our own way through the just transitions we need to have, without leaving anybody behind. We can do this in our own communities, workplaces, industries and other areas of influence.

    We can open-source the creation of a new and better society, even if we have to do so against the will of powerful elites.

    We can have a future that is net-zero emissions across every aspect of society. We can get there very, very rapidly. We can have work and income guarantees, to ensure no person is left in poverty or without purpose. We can have safe, reliable, zero carbon transport. We can reduce inequality of wealth, opportunity and access. We can have a proper social safety net so nobody is left behind during hard times. We can have an environment which is healthy and thriving... If we make these things our top priority.

    In 2020 that's the work we'll be doing.

    We'll be working with community members to figure out how we do this transition in our communities, our workplaces, our industries and our state more broadly. We'll be bringing together community knowledge about what needs to happen, what is already happening and of how we bridge that gap.

    In the face of all that despair, grief, anxiety we will bring action, planning and implementation. We will build power, organise collectively and share our resources.

    If ever there were a time to be a part of something bigger and bolder and collective, it is right now.

    Together we can and will get this work done.

    Let's make this happen. Ask people you know to join the Climate Justice Union today:

    In solidarity,

    Luke Skinner

    Climate Justice Union WA 

  • 22 Oct 2019 12:15 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our first Annual General Meeting was held in October at which we officially elected our first Committee of Management for the Climate Justice Union WA Incorporated. 

    This is an important step toward setting up our governance and strategic leadership structures. 

    Our initial committee is elected for two years, as follows:

    Committee Member: Bella Burgemeister 
    Committee Member: Bhaval Chandaria
    Committee Member: Galen White
    Convenor: Jaime Yallup Farrant
    Secretary: Luke Skinner
    Treasurer: Giorgia Johnson 

    Further information about the committee members will be made available on the website in due course. If you have any questions about the committee in the meantime please email 

Call: +61422738541 

ABN: 23767498078

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

We acknowledge that we begin our work as The Climate Justice Union on the Boodja (land) of the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We honour the Wadjuk people and their kin in other Nations and Country across these lands and waters, who have always cared for this place and all who lived here.

We acknowledge First Nations Elders past and present, and acknowledge that those of us living here, who came from across the seas, live on land that was taken, stolen. We acknowledge the responsibility that comes with this understanding and that we personally and collectively benefit from this theft.

As such, we all have a responsibility to decolonise ourselves, our lives and work, and to heal the harm these oppressive systems have inflicted.

Click here to read our full acknowledgements

We are a community union and do not cover you in your workplace. All Climate Justice Union members are also encouraged to join the relevant industrial union. Click here to find your industrial Union.

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