Thousands of school students across Australia have gone on strike to rally in capital cities and certain regional centres across the nation, insisting that politicians end their inertia on climate change action.
The Senate passed a motion on Tuesday in favour of the student’s decision to strike and stage national protests.
Rallies occurred in Hobart and Canberra earlier in the week, with rallies occurring in locations such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne on Friday.
The Student Strike for Climate Action rallies were inspired by 15-year-old student Greta Thunberg, who leads school strikes in Sweden.
Primary and secondary students throughout the nation have persisted in rallying despite requests from Prime Minister Scott Morrison to remain in school. The students aim to put pressure on the Morrison Government to implement stronger climate change action in the lead-up to the federal election.
Students carried homemade banners and signs and chanted throughout the streets. Some students also aim to phone Scott Morrison every day for a week in order to put extra pressure on Government to engage in climate change action.
Experts have suggested that engaging in activism offers mental health benefits and is an essential part of a democratic, civics education. They argue that activism can promote a diverse democracy and help students partake in civic responsibilities.
Rules around absences from school vary on the state. In NSW, exemptions are given for activities such as elite sporting events or entertainment work. Overall, however, school absences rely primarily on parental consent.
Some educational providers have suggested that the rallies are a good way to help create actively engaged citizens who value creating a just society.
Some students engaged in the protests argue that they would not have to miss out on school if the Government was doing its job in taking care of climate change.