Seed Mob is Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network. A growing team building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for climate justice with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Their vision is for a just and sustainable future bound by strong cultures and powered by renewable energy; shared values making the organisation the ultimate choice for our most recent donation as we continue to work towards Being Our Best.
We speak with Seed Mob Ally Business Development Manager, Eleanor Guerra on short-and long-term goals for change, and lessons we can all take from First Nations people.
M+E: What are the key objectives of Seed Mob, and what are some of the organisation’s short-and long-term goals?
EG: Seed is the first and only Indigenous youth climate network. We work to build the skills, confidence and networks of young First Nations people to protect our land, water and future from the impacts of climate change. Alongside this, we are leading the campaign to secure a ban on fracking in the Northern Territory. At every level of our work, we elevate the voices of First Nations communities to lead climate solutions.
M+E: Tell us a bit about your team and the recruitment/education process as you continue to grow?
EG: Within two years of operation, we have doubled the members of our First Nations team from 9 to 18, essentially increasing our capacity and impact. Staff are currently based in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Alice Springs, and all of them hold strong relationships with the communities in which they operate. Having this geographical spread helps build and support Seed’s national grassroots network of volunteers. We also have a few non-Indigenous allies supporting us in a short-term capacity in the fundraising and operations side of things.
M+E: You talk about the impacts of climate change affecting those who have contributed the least, the most. What are some of the ways First Nations people work to protect and preserve the land for minimal impact?
EG: There are many ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people protect country, this includes cultural land management practices such as cultural burning techniques. We know that our culture has always operated in ways that maintain healthy relationships with country and there is major evidence of this throughout the history books, showing how beautiful and well-kept this continent was before colonial pollution. At Seed we have a focus on using our capacity to create and support campaigns against fossil fuel companies and government decisions that negatively impact our environment, and therefore our cultures and people.
THE SEED MOB TEAM
“Start thinking of land and water less as objects or goods to own, and more like you think of other people - as sentient beings that are experiencing life."
M+E: What are simple practices of First Nations people that we could all look to in an effort to minimise our footprint and give back, as opposed to take, from the environment?
EG: Every country is different with unique care needs, just like people. Our cultural knowledges have been handed down generation after generation through important relationships and so whenever we want to share this knowledge it is extremely important that it is done ethically and respectfully.
Some things you can start doing today are:
1. Start thinking of land and water less as objects or goods to own, and more like you think of other people – as sentient beings that are experiencing life
2. Find ways to support Traditional Owners and First Nations groups that are organising and active in protecting country. Connect with your local community and find out how you can best show your support
An ideal way for mainstream society to adopt some of our land management practices is through returning lands to Traditional Owners (and repatriating governmental powers to Traditional Owners) so that the sharing of culture is one based on mutual respect and benefits.
M+E: How can people support Seed Mob, and should they choose to donate, where will their investment be placed, and what are some of the differences it will make – what change will a donation instigate?
EG: Seed does not take government funding, and we apply a strict moral code when screening funders to ensure all support aligns with our values. This said, we rely heavily on generous donations from the community. This enables us to lead campaigns such as our post-Election national MP road trip where our volunteers will deliver their Heal Country Declaration to ensure politicians are listening to the demands of First Nations young people. We are also running regional training camps later in the year to build young people’s climate advocacy skills. Given a lot of our campaigning/organising is in regional and remote communities, we require ample resources to generate the biggest impact possible. The best way to support our work is by donating and sharing our content far and wide.
For further information and to make a donation, visit seedmob.org.au/