In 2007 you helped to found Students Against the Pulp Mill and lead demonstrations in Hobart and Launceston where students walked out of school to protest against the pulp mill. What’s it like to lead 700 or more high school students out of class and through the streets?
That was fantastic. I think high school students are the most energetic of all activists, they have so much enthusiasm, and when they get fired up about something, they really get fired up about it. Those rallies were successful because of the students themselves, their energy… they helped to organize it and spread the word amongst their friends. The pulp mill was an issue they felt they had a really big stake in because they didn’t want to see their state and the places where they lived become destroyed from the pollution from the pulp mill. They were also really annoyed about the corruption around the approval process. It was also amazing because you had all these adults telling them that they were too young to protest, that they didn’t know what they were talking about and the police on the day even told the students to go back to school, that they were being silly. You don’t tell that to someone who feels so passionate about an issue! They knew exactly what they were doing there and they got really angry when people tried to tell them that they had no clue.
[from an interview published in ‘Famous Reporter’ issue 43, May 2012]