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Shine a light on climate change at Grafton Youth Festival

2016 Clarence Valley ambassador for Earth Hour Laura Johnson.
2016 Clarence Valley ambassador for Earth Hour Laura Johnson. Adam Hourigan

FROM the moment they were born, younger generations of the Clarence Valley have been hearing about climate change.

Next week, they will be recognised in the Clarence Valley as the focus of this year's Earth Hour, with a youth festival at Grafton's Market Square.

Clarence Valley Council environmental officer Suzanne Lynch said the festival was about celebrating the idea that "our young people are so incredibly talented, but also aware of what it's going to take to look after the planet for their future generations".

"This generation was actually born into the climate word and have been hearing it from the moment they've arrived so they know a lot of stuff."

Starting at 5pm on Saturday, March 25 the event will offer food, music and free mandala magic and belly dancing workshops.

Audiences will be treated to live performances from Anaya Reimer, Maeve Grant, Ryan Kemp, Jason Reynolds, Smokestack and The Deadfish Handshakes from 6pm.

Grafton High School student Jordan Smith will deliver the keynote speech on the back of winning a Lions award for an impromptu monologue on climate change.

"His parents were really surprised at how much he knew," Ms Lynch said.

"They just soak it up and it's just so great we have young ambassadors who really care."

For those who want to get involved, but can't make it, Ms Lynch said people could swap lights for candles for an hour.

"Switch off anything that blinks or is on standby, and parents may want to encourage their teenagers to maybe even consider switching off their screens for an hour and go for a walk," she said.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Earth Hour, which has grown to become the world's largest grassroots-led environmental movement for the planet, engaging more than 178 countries and territories worldwide.

Topics:  climate change earth hour grafton youth festival jordan smith market square whatson youth



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