St Patrick's College student Shellie Joseph and Gympie State High School student Echo Hunter-Demecs will lead today's Strike for Climate at Cotton Tree.
St Patrick's College student Shellie Joseph and Gympie State High School student Echo Hunter-Demecs will lead today's Strike for Climate at Cotton Tree. Troy Jegers

‘Fight for our future’: Students to lead climate strike

SHELLIE Joseph's passion for protecting the planet has inspired people from across the Sunshine Coast and Gympie to join young activists in demanding climate action.

Millions of people are expected to ditch work and school today as part of the Global Climate Strike movement.

Shellie, a St Patrick's College Year 12 student, says it's vital that young people across the country stand up for their own future and that of the planet.

"Our cut-off to make drastic changes is just getting closer and closer, yet we still look around and see no improvement," she said.

"Our carbon emissions are still going up, we're still making new coal mines. We need changes.

"It's really important that we fight … for our future."

Shellie made headlines earlier this year when she organised the Sunshine Coast Schools Strike for Climate Change event at Peregian Beach.

When she was unable to attend the Sydney strike, she pulled together her own rally on the Coast and amassed great support from fellow students and activists.

Now the momentum has grown and she's set to lead, alongside fellow student and head organiser Echo, a second strike in an effort to protect her home.

As part of the global movement, Shellie has partnered with Our Future Fund - a new alliance taking aim at the Australia's Future Fund.

The country's savings fund invests in fossil fuel projects, and many activists say it's time for a change.

"They (Our Future Fund) are really making leeway in actually making a difference," Shellie said.

"Rediverting those funds is fundamental in improving our climate and diverting the climate crisis."

Growing up in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Shellie was surrounded by rainforest on one side and pristine beaches on the other.

She said enjoying the region's natural surroundings led to a passion for protecting it.

"We need everyone to get involved.

"It affects everyone, it affects our farmers, our workers, our students, our teachers."

She said it was time for governments and community leaders to pay attention to and respect young people campaigning for climate action.

"Since our last strike movement, youth has become synonymous with revolution with the climate crisis and with making change," she said.

"We are already having an impact.

"It's a global movement and it's one of the only of its kind."

The Global Climate Strike will be held at Maroochydore Rotary Park in Cotton Tree today from midday.

More than 1000 people are expected to attend.