Young Bundjalung woman named Environmentalist of the Year

TAKING ACTION: Bundjalung woman Amelia Telford is the Environmentalist of the Year.
TAKING ACTION: Bundjalung woman Amelia Telford is the Environmentalist of the Year. Kiernan Ironfield

YOUNG Bundjalung woman Amelia Telford has been named Environmentalist of the Year for 2015 by the Bob Brown Foundation.

The foundation was set up by, and is chaired, by former Greens leader Bob Brown to promote environmental protection and education.

Ms Telford was well known at her high school, Trinity Catholic College in Lismore, for her involvement in the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

Now 21, she has already founded a national organisation with paid staff and representation in every state and territory.

"Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network is made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people from all across the country who are standing up for a safer climate and for our country," Ms Telford said.

Her next step will be a road trip around Queensland to hear the voices of Aboriginal communities.

"We're doing a big road trip from Townsville down to Brisbane ... and taking it as an opportunity to listen to the views of our people on climate change," Ms Telford said.

Ms Telford said her motivation to begin Seed started in high school.

"I really loved being connected to a broad youth climate movement ... but recognised I wasn't really working with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters," she said.

"For me it just stood out there was a huge gap, broadly across the environmental climate movement."

Ms Telford said Seed brought people together and localised climate issues.

"It's really easy to feel it's doom and gloom sometimes, and you feel as one small person you can't do much," she said. Being connected to people across the country and the world, it makes you feel like you're a part of something much bigger."

Ms Telford is hoping to elevate the voices of Indigenous Australians ahead of the UN Climate Negotiations this December.

Former senator Bob Brown presented Ms Telford with her award earlier this month.

Topics:  bundjalung environment environmental environmentalist

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