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Environment – 4 April 2019


Hope for change

Speech given at Assembly by Environment Captain Izaiah Roch

Let me question you with this, what have you been hopeful for?

Why did that particular event make you feel hopeful? We have all have been hopeful for something in our lives, whether that be a test grade result, or waiting for that new latest and greatest item. Whilst we take having hope for granted, unfortunately there are people out there who have no hope at all. No hope in a world that is drastically changing further putting them at state of despair.

Climate change is happening, whether you believe in it or not, and while we live in a comfortable stable and safe part of the world, we often do not see the repercussions of the devastating events happening this very minute. Since we are a Catholic school, and based on what we learn in our religion classes, we have an obligation to help amend the problem to ensure everyone has a chance of life.

As the school motto for this year is We Grow Together. We as a school community are transforming into a school that understands the need for sustainable change. We collectively need to be more conscious of the environmental impacts on day to day life. Carbon Dioxide is an invisible gas that has fuelled climate change, a by-product of fossil fuels for decades.

In 2018, Australia’s renewable energy sources were at a level of 20 percent. This compared to other countries is very minute amount. With the lack of action from the government, we as a school entity have taken the initiative to install solar panels on all campuses to dramatically reduce our need for coal powered electricity, which has significantly reduced our carbon emissions. Whilst this a small step in the fight against climate pollution, every bit makes a difference!

Developing nations and regions such as East Africa and the Philippines are amongst the countries that are experiencing unprecedented weather patterns reducing the quality of life. This has an impact on the people who are living on edge for the next disaster to ravage through. I have firsthand witnessed the stresses and hardships these people have gone through. Particularly in the Philippines, villagers have built a simple shack out of bamboo right on the banks of waterways. This is no match for the ferocity of a cyclone ravaging through the area, without the help from external sources like Caritas and other charities.

Recently students all around the world came together and rallied for a better future, as young adults we have put trust in politicians who determine the world we will live in. The power is in our hands if we are not to fall mercy to the lack of inaction of the generation before us. How can someone have hope and aspirations for a future that will be filled with devastation of events caused by climate change?


I know some of you might not care for the environment or be particularly moved by what I have just mentioned. The St Francis Xavier College environment action group is taking positive steps and actions to give hope to the most vulnerable people in the world. We are at a critical moment in the earth’s history to change to a more sustainable future where we can live without the pressure of a dying world.

We need to take urgent action to reduce the damage that has been done. As one we are giving hope to the planet, to say that we stood on the right side of history. What side of history will you stand on? What will you do to give better hope to a cleaner future?


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