Supporting the next generation of environmentalists.
What's BLAKE Inspire?
Sir Peter Blake was a legendary New Zealand leader, explorer and environmentalist who continues to inspire us all. BLAKE aims to help New Zealanders make a positive difference to the planet by encouraging environmental awareness and leadership development.
Through the BLAKE Inspire programme, Helena, Leo and Charlotte each identified goals and action plans to address environmental issues and drive positive change in their communities. With Westpac’s support, they are putting their plans into action.
Together with BLAKE, Westpac is proud to support these young environmentalists to achieve great things.
Helena Mayer, Year 13, Thames High School, Waikato.
My goal is to create a podcast that educates and urges its listeners to take action on climate change and other related environmental and social justice issues.
I am planning to call the podcast 'Cake, Climate and Colonisation'. Each episode I will interview a guest about the work or activism they do relating to an environmental or social justice issue, while eating their favourite cake.
I enjoy listening to a variety of podcasts, a couple of my favourites which have inspired me include ‘How to Save a Planet’ and ‘Rediscovering Aotearoa’.
I think most environmental issues that we face (pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss etc) are caused by capitalism and colonisation. So, to help solve them we need to live more sustainably and honour Te Tiriti.
I am inspired by the determination of activists, both past and present, to demand a better future.
Leo Palmer, Year 13, Whangārei Boys’ High School, Northland.
My goal is to use the appeal of sport to drive urgent action on climate change. My action plan is to implement the planting of 30 native trees into Whangarei Boys High School year nine physical education curriculum by the end of 2021.
In 2020 Whangārei experienced 220 mm of rainfall, which completely flooded our school fields and resulted in students being unable to participate in physical activities outside of our gym for more than a month. As a passionate sportsman this impacted me and my well-being, cancelling my 1st XI teams’ training and home matches. This experience motivated me to educate my fellow students about how climate change is already having a real and tangible impact on our world.
It is our responsibility as a nation to all play our part in order to reduce our impact on the global climate issue. We need action. I am taking action by planting trees. Trees are the best technology we have to offset carbon emissions.
There is one action every New Zealander can do to help me achieve my goal. That action is to talk about climate and environmental issues. We must be having these conversations because if we do not start now and take action, we as a nation are putting an enormous burden on the future generations of New Zealanders.
Charlotte Doogue, Canterbury. First Year Student, Bachelor of Science at Victoria University of Wellington.
My goal is to foster kaitiakitanga within my local coastal community to inspire the next generation of environmentalists through hands-on experiences.
I was inspired to set this goal when reflecting on my own personal experiences that have shaped me into becoming a passionate environmentalist; one of the most pivotal of which has been my involvement with surf lifesaving.
There are many environmental problems that New Zealand needs to take significant action on. Climate change is the giant in the room. It is the single biggest challenge my generation faces and ultimately requires mass global change - New Zealand is a part of that change.
I am working with my local surf lifesaving club community - specifically the junior surf lifesaving programme as well as my regional council, local enviro-schools educators and several of my peers to deliver an experience which will help teach tamariki in my community about how to conserve our coastlines.
I am inspired by the stunning environments I am privileged to explore. I am grateful for all the work others have put in before me to allow me to enjoy these experiences and I feel a duty of care to these places in order to ensure they are preserved for generations to come.