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Citizens for climate action | Peter Garrett & Jean Hinchliffe

Peter Garrett

An informed active citizenry is the essential foundation of a healthy, successful, and fair society.

Peter Garrett

We need to be together as a community and we need to not see ourselves as individuals working towards one goal, but see ourselves as citizens, as a broader community, as a united front that can truly transform the world.

Jean Hinchliffe


As the reality of climate change and extreme weather bite globally, and our politicians continue to dither and delay, many ordinary Australians are taking matters into their own hands.  Australians are installing rooftop solar at a phenomenal rate, eating less meat and using environmental metrics to decide who to bank and invest their super with. But without strong political leadership, individual actions can seem futile and collective action a far-off dream.  

In separate keynote addresses, and reflecting the voices and perspectives of different generations, Peter Garrett – musician, activist and former Federal Environment Minister, and Jean Hinchliffe – a 18-year-old climate justice activist and organiser within School Strike 4 Climate, will remind us that throughout history, momentous change has always relied on people coming together to take action.  

Listen as these activists argue that a citizens’ movement, bringing Australians of all stripes together, could be the phenomenon that breaks our political polarisation and results in genuine action.  


Since 2012, UNSW Sydney has hosted the annual Gandhi Oration celebrating the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi as a champion of human rights. The Oration features discussions on the significant human rights issues of our time. Past speakers have included Senator Pat Dodson, Peter Greste, Pat Anderson, Shoma Chaudhury, Reverend Tim Costello, Rosie Batty and Shen Narayanasamy. 

Peter Garrett

Peter Garrett

Peter Garrett is a long-time advocate and campaigner on a range of local and global issues. A member of Midnight Oil, one of Australia’s most successful bands, he served as a cabinet minister in the Rudd/Gillard Labor governments from 2007 – 2013. Peter Garrett was appointed the youngest-ever President of the Australian Conservation Foundation (1989 – 1996), and entered federal parliament as the member for Kingsford Smith in 2004. In 2007, Labor won government and he was appointed Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. Garrett is a member of the Order of Australia for contributions to the music industry and environment, an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (France), and in 2010 he received the ‘Leaders for a Living Planet’ award from WWF Australia and International.

Jean Hinchliffe

Jean Hinchliffe

Jean Hinchliffe is an 18-year-old climate activist and a lead organiser within the School Strike 4 Climate campaign. She campaigns for legislative action against the sourcing and usage of fossil fuels, along with pushing for Australia to become fully carbon neutral. Jean is passionate about social, political, and environmental issues and began her activism at age 13, when she volunteered with the Vote Yes campaign for marriage equality. Since then, she has also volunteered with organisations such as GetUp and Stop Adani. Jean’s first book, Lead the Way: How to change the world from a teen activist and school striker was published by Pantera Press in 2021.

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