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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

School striker paints artworks for climate change

Impressive local teenage activist and artist Alice Harcourt is making waves on the climate change front, merging her passion for the environment and art to make a difference.

The 13-year-old school striker comes from a family passionate about climate change and has been attending rallies since she was a toddler.

Alice has donated three of her artworks to the Conservation Council ACT Region’s online auction in the hope money raised will go towards the worthy cause.

“Climate change is a big thing and we need to start noticing it a bit more,” she said. 

“We are noticing it now but with the [COVID-19] crisis going on, we are not really taking action.

“It’s a problem that is going to expand faster and faster and every single second matters.”

The talented youngster attended an art school four years ago and said her passion has been growing ever since.

She has donated a sketch of civil rights activist Mahatma Gandhi, a water colour piece representing the earth and effects of climate change, and a third artwork using only nail polish.

“The third one was a bit of a scribble, but I was using nail polish that I found instead of paint,” she said. 

“I was just using what we had at home instead of buying more stuff and more packaging, so I didn’t create a lot of waste.”

However, donating her artworks to the auction is just one way Alice is trying to do her bit.

“I ride my bike everywhere I can, and we use beeswax wraps in my lunch box,” she said.

“I do take long showers though, I need to stop that,” she smiled.

The online auction, launched on 5 June to celebrate World Environment Day, features over 90 donated items.

Conservation Council ACT Region executive director Helen Oakey said now was the perfect time to be shining a light on climate issues.

“In a year where we’ve been challenged on many fronts, including environmental issues, this is a great time to reflect on the importance of standing up for a safe climate, for nature, and for sustainable living,” she said.  

“Events such as the devastating bushfires over summer, and COVID-19, can serve to remind us that we need to rethink the way we interact with our environment and with each other.”

Alice said she was honoured to donate her artworks to raise awareness on the issue but was concerned the pandemic had overshadowed the important conversation.

“I don’t think the pandemic is an excuse, we shouldn’t stop fighting for this,” she said.  

“People might take more notice when this is over, but I feel like we should show more interest now and all the time.”

Alice said she hoped people would consider using bikes and public transport to get around and switching off electricity. 

She also said she would like to see Adani stop mining near the Great Barrier Reef and was hopeful that the country’s devastating bushfires were a lesson to all.

“I don’t know how you can’t realise it; people are just being a bit selfish and they are thinking about money,” she said. 

“I guess with the bushfires it kind of showed them, it was a small bit of what is facing us in the future. We are being warned at the moment and I hope that’s really showed everyone.”

Online bids can be made on all items in the auction, which will conclude on 26 July.

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