14 Jul , 2021
Bosede believes when you involve the community and spark those community conversations, you'll find solutions.
Bosede Adetifa moved to the Latrobe Valley from Nigeria, West Africa when her husband got a nursing job in the region.
She says there are many things she loves about living in the Latrobe Valley, but mostly she likes being close to all the amenities her family needs, and she appreciates the friendliness of the people around her.
“When I came to the Latrobe Valley in 2000, the people I met were very accommodating and comforting. Where else do you want to be other than a place where you can easily connect with people, and they’re very supportive, readily available to offer assistance? And I guess I just thought, this is where I want to be.”
She says her vision for the region is about taking care of the youth and elderly people, as well as looking after the environment.
“Being a nurse myself, I realise we need to support the youth, as well as the elderly people in the community,” she says. “We need to look after the environment, our health, and empower people with education and research.”
When it comes to the transition of the local economy towards a zero-carbon future, Bosede says it is important to consider how people are impacted in different ways.
“There have been a lot of people who have been impacted by job losses and others who have had health issues from living near power stations. So, this has definitely affected different people in different ways and we need to find solutions that address all these impacts,” she says.
“We need to look after the environment, our health, and empower people with education and research.”
“To find these solutions we need to involve the community. We need to create awareness by sparking community conversations, so people know the impacts of climate change on the environment - people need to know. I think some people are aware, but they do not know the gravity - how significant it is. And they won’t know until we actually start the conversations.”
Bosede says that she generally feels hopeful about the future of the Valley as people come together and become more educated about the issues as a community.
“I believe that charity begins at home. If every family, every individual can have that little conversation and create that awareness within their own home, then it will translate to the whole of the community. Then everybody would be able to have a safe and healthy environment. So that is my hope that it will happen as a community.”
Article by James Norman. First published in Gippslandia.