Catrina is co-founder and CEO of Millennium Kids, a non-profit environmental youth organization. Grown from a youth led annual conference in 1996, Millennium Kids is a dynamic organisation for young people who are engaged and empowered to identify community issues and create positive change. Millennium Kids nurtures and applies the passion for the environment shown by young people in an adult-dominated world, through a dynamic process that allows young people to learn new skills, identify their superpowers and tackle the big issues. Catrina led young people locally, regionally and internationally to work to address deforestation and loss of natural environments at the local level since 1991. Millennium Kids launched the Green Lab in 2020; a citizen science and action program designed by young people to increase, protect and monitor tree canopy within the Greater Perth. Green Lab was named a Top 14 Innovator project by the World Economic Forum in 2021. Catrina is an educator and she is currently a committee member on the newly formed Western Australia Tree Canopy Advocates.
TREENET Symposium Speaker: Catrina Luz Aniere
Thursday 8th September
Millennium Kids: youth leading change
In the early 1990’s a teacher mused that environmental education would one day have the highest priority. Over several years she’d led students to adopt landscapes and working with other teachers had embedded environmental education in cross-curriculum processes. In 1995 with her students she attended the first United Nations Environment Program Children’s Environmental Conference, where the rights of youth to have a say about their world was highlighted. This conference was the catalyst that brought together in Western Australia a team of young people and adults to support youth to make a difference. In 1999 Millennium Kids Inc began and young people have been voicing their concerns, pitching ideas, making change and caring for their local environment since then. The processes developed by Millennium Kids focus on hearing the voice of youth voice and providing meaningful opportunities to take local action to implement their ideas. By highlighting Millennium Kids’ learnings through a series of case studies, the highs and the lows, this presentation will inspire thought on how young people might be included in other stakeholder engagement models – they are the changemakers who will inherit the planet, after all.