“In this photo all the smoke from bushfires across parts of Australia has moved a long way showing how severe these fires really are.”
“This relates to our lives as the smoky air prevents us from going outside and enjoying fresh air. It keeps us inside making it really hard to enjoy the outside world.”
“This problem has grown from climate change. Because our weather is becoming a lot warmer, Australia is becoming prone to more bushfires resulting in people losing homes, lives and family.”
“To overcome this problem the smallest things could make a difference. Donating to causes that can help firefighters or affected families could make the difference. We could also do small things like switching to more eco-friendly solutions. If we don’t acknowledge this issue it may only get worse.”
Photographer: Abhi Kariamal
This photograph featured in the Youth Booth exhibition showcasing the work of 10 Victorian young people produced over the 2019-2020 Australian summer. Their work captures their collective experience: being digitally savvy, the stress of study, influence of social media, climate change and the impact of poor mental health. These perspectives, along with our video series produced alongside this, allow us to see the complex situations that impact the youth experience of education.
For schools, teachers, parents and policy-makers it highlights the importance of listening and collaboration with young people, particularly when developing policies and implementing practice to build more inclusive communities. For researchers, we hope this exhibition highlights one way to use participatory visual research methods to support and strengthen the voice of youth.
The exhibition adopts a rights-based perspective which emphasises the importance not only of listening to youth, but actively and authentically collaborating on matters that directly affect them.
The study was conducted by researchers Dr Christine Grove and Louisa Trainer in 2019-2020 at Monash University and is funded by the Monash Education Small Grant Award.