Communities Leading Change brings together people and groups representing multiple sectors of the Latrobe Valley and broader Gippsland community to develop and advocate for a community-led just transition plan in line with climate science.

Our Principles: 

  • We respect the leadership of the Gunnaikurnai people as the Traditional Owners of the land that we live, work and play on. We acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded and a just transition must include justice for First Nations people. 
  • We believe in a fair and fast transition for our region. Fair means inclusive of everyone – not just the people who have benefited from the existing economy.  Fast means in line with climate science.
  • We believe solutions must be grounded in place and empower our communities with the tools and resources that are needed for us to have agency in the creation of this transition. 
  • We believe a zero emissions economy is an opportunity to build a thriving, more resilient, more connected, healthier future for the Valley and will significantly reduce risk and harm to our health, environment and climate. 
  • We believe in the power of bringing people together from all walks of life. We are inclusive and believe in ensuring secure and dignified livelihoods forpeople. 

Background on Communities Leading Change

In 2018 Climate for Change joined with the Gippsland Climate Change Network to create the Communities Leading Change program.

Communities Leading Change supported people in the Latrobe Valley to hold conversations with their local community about what transition meant to them, and what their vision of the future looked like.

Thirty people in the Latrobe Valley were trained to facilitate compassionate conversations, and 118 members of the community joined these conversations over two years. As a result of the conversations, people are more personally motivated to take action on both energy transitions and climate action.

They also learned about climate change in general and about existing renewable energy projects in the Valley. They feel more connected to the community and more supportive of climate action. The facilitators have more confidence to talk about climate change and transition with their local community, and have noticed a shift in sentiment in the region toward optimism about the future.

Out of the training program, a collection of us decided to build Communities Leading Change into an active group advocating for a sustainable and just transition plan for the region. Volunteers analysed the transcripts of more than 200 conversations in the Latrobe Valley to create the following intention statement:

“We can see climate change happening. It is increasing inequalities and we are concerned for our future. Fossil fuels are hazardous for the environment and our health. Change is hard and our community sometimes feels divided. But the world is responding and change is inevitable. We don’t want to be left behind. We need a plan for our future and leadership from businesses and government. With change there will be opportunities. We value our community and if we work together, we can find a way forward.”

Get involved

Volunteers are at the heart of all we do! Our team needs to grow so that we can grab every opportunity to spread the word and work of Communities Leading Change.
There are numerous ways to volunteer with Communities Leading Change, including:

  • Hosting conversations in the community
  • Writing and research
  • Social media and blog writing
  • Hosting kitchen table conversations, events and forums

Sign up below or contact us at [email protected] to get involved.

You can also follow the work of Communities Leading Change on Facebook