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Ahead of Earth Day this Saturday 22 April, young people presented Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP with three urgent climate change priorities voted on by 2,000 South Australians as part of Create4Adelaide, a creative climate action initiative from Adelaide Festival.

In March, young people shared their urgent need to be heard and take action by voting in the Create4Adelaide survey to identify the most pressing environmental issues affecting their daily lives. The top three priorities chosen by the 2,000 South Australians who voted in the survey are:
1. extreme weather events (such as floods, droughts and bushfires),
2. the extinction of animals and plants,
3. the pollution of our air and waterways.

The announcement of these three priorities not only marks the beginning of a year-long cultural and artistic initiative, but also allows the young people to make their voices heard.

As an unprecedented democratic journey, Create4Adelaide was conceived with young people, is led by young people and aimed at young people. An Adelaide Festival initiative, its ambition is to empower young people through creative action. Giving them a much needed voice to tackle the most burning issue of our times - a voice that more than 60% of them claim they are being dismissed.

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP said: “I am honoured to be a spokesperson for such an empowering movement in our state. The young people of South Australia are making their voices heard, and it is time we listen to them. With the launch of Create4Adelaide, Adelaide Festival is truly living up to its slogan A Festival for the Future, by inviting our school students to take the lead on climate change thinking.”

Pippa, age 10, said: “Young people can do as much as adults, just because we are young does not mean we cannot do the same things as them.”

Helen Connolly, Commissioner for Children and Young People SA, said: “One of the things we know about young people is that they’re driven by their values, and their values underpin all aspects of their lives. When it comes to climate change, they have a much broader understanding than just the science or the environmental aspects. For young people, this is about justice. This is about the way they want to live their lives. It’s about the future that they want for themselves and for future generations.”

Adelaide Festival Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie CBE is particularly excited by this feature of her first Adelaide Festival. As Artistic Director of the 2024, 2025 and 2026 festivals, Mackenzie said this is the start of a new ambition to directly work with young people and schools to empower them to develop their creative skills and have a role in the festival as artists.

Mackenzie said: “All generations can be artists and activists against global warming. Create4Adelaide is a one-of-kind project in South Australia, led by the art and values of its young people. This movement is expanding a little more each day, and I couldn’t thank our collaborators enough. Many local partners have joined us in the fight against climate change, such as the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Children’s University Adelaide, the Botanic Gardens of South Australia, SALA, Slingsby, the South Australian Museum and Carclew.”

Find out more about Create4Adelaide at

Photo: Reimer, Noa, Sophia (Children's University) had the top climate priorities to Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP. Credit: Roy VanDerVegt

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