The bushfire crisis is heartbreaking.

Australia is experiencing its most devastating bushfire season on record. The scale of the impact – on people’s homes and health, the loss of life, nature and wildlife – is enormous, and difficult to comprehend. 

Along with the groundswell of support for affected communities, more and more people are demanding our leaders step up. Millions of people took to the streets for the last global climate strike, and with the ferocity of these fires attitudes are shifting even more around the world. By working together, we can rapidly build our movement and reach a tipping point for action.

During a time of crisis people search for answers. Conversations are a powerful way to connect with your community and join the dots between this crisis and the big polluters who are damaging our climate. 

People-powered movements are rising around the world. From the frontlines of disasters like these fires, to the millions taking to the streets for global climate strikes, pressure is mounting on leaders to step up, and rapidly transition us away from coal to clean energy. Every conversation counts!

We need climate leadership.

Our elected representatives must rise above party politics and stand with our communities, wildlife and places we love – not the big polluters who have fuelled climate damage.

The Morrison Government is not showing the leadership we so desperately need. And the big polluting corporations who have fueled this crisis are evading responsibility. Enough is enough

A good government would end their ties to dirty polluting fuels, ramp up clean energy, and properly resource communities to manage the impacts of climate damage on people, nature and wildlife. 

We’ve prepared an open letter to all Members and Senators in the Australian Parliament to do the right thing for our communities and planet. The more people who sign the open letter, the more power we build together – invite others to sign the open letter and share it far and wide!

Principles for conversations that connect

Every conversation is different – some people will simply want to express their grief, others may be energised like never before to get involved in the movement for change. Here are some tips for being sensitive to this moment while inviting people to take action.

Be present and authentic. The best conversations involve making a human connection, coming from a place of genuine care for how each of you are feeling and interest in how you’ve come to form your views. Be present and focused on engaging with what others say – it will help you understand their reasoning and see opportunities for making new connections.

Ask questions. The goal is to have others talking twice as much as you, to give them the opportunity to think things through for themselves and genuinely share their own experience. The more time people have to process the situation, the more likely they will be able to think clearly about it and consider action. 

Listen compassionately. Focus on listening to others’ experience and tune in to their emotional state: are they flat and despondent? Upset but talkative? Outraged and ready to act? Meet them where they are at. If they’re not ready for this conversation, don’t force it. 

Join the dots. The unprecedented bushfire crisis is fueled by climate change – and the biggest cause of climate change is burning coal. We need to help people join these dots so that together we can demand the change that people and wildlife so desperately need.

 Share your story. Your personal story can be powerful. Think of examples from your own experience recently which connect to this conversation. Whether you or someone you know have been affected by bushfire,  had your health impacted from the smoke or had an emotional reaction to reports of the fires – your story can connect with theirs. 

Build the movement. At times like these attitudes can shift quickly. Unlikely alliances and new connections can be made. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to invite new people to take action and join the movement. Collect open letter signatures! 

Key questions for your conversation

  • Q: How have the bushfires impacted you?
  • Q: Where have you seen kindness and hope in the midst of this tragedy? 
  • Q: The bush is drier, our rainfall patterns are changing and the bushfire season is getting longer and more dangerous. How resilient do you think our communities are to managing these changes? 
  • Q: The biggest cause of climate damage in Australia is burning coal. What more should governments be doing to help us replace coal with clean energy? 
  • Q: Climate strikes in September saw hundreds of thousands of people hitting the streets in Australia alone, and I feel like more people are connecting the dots between climate damage and increasing droughts, fires and floods. With the current bushfire crisis, do you feel like attitudes are shifting? 
  • Q: I’ve signed an open letter to all Members and Senators in the Australian Parliament to urge them to rise above the politics and stand with our communities and ecosystems – not the big polluters. Would you like to add your name to the letter? 

Invite them to sign the open letter

Together, let’s build the movement towards a thriving future for us all – free from climate-wrecking pollution, powered by clean energy.

Additional resources

Bushfire crisis: Frequently Asked Questions

Download: Personal bushfire reflection worksheet

Download: Open Letter (physical copy)

Download: Bushfire response conversation guide