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We need your help to make a colourful, memorable impact on Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge to get him on board our Solar Our Schools campaign — to install solar panels and batteries at every school and preschool in Australia.

Australian Parents for Climate Action lodged a Pre-Budget Submission to the Federal government to include funding for Solar Our Schools in the upcoming May 2021 budget, and many of our supporters wrote a personal submission in support of Solar Our Schools — thank you, legends!

But so far our request for a meeting with Minister Tudge has fallen on deaf ears, so we need to make sure he can hear the voices of the 10,000-plus parents and children across Australia who support Solar Our Schools!

Insiders tell us that letters and artwork from children make it to the top of the pile of Ministers' correspondence — so your kids artwork will get noticed in a way that letters from us adults won't!

Here’s how you can help:

1. Make a Time to Shine artwork with your child (check out our inspiration board below)

Create a sun artwork with a “sun clock” theme to convey the message to Minister Tudge that the clock is ticking on the May budget and we need him to advocate for funding Solar Our Schools! 

Older kids can write a letter — or make a TikTok video! — explaining why Solar Our Schools is a no-brainer. Here are some points they could mention:

  • Solar and batteries on every school and preschool in Australia will lower school energy costs, create local jobs and lower carbon emissions!
  • The Federal Government has fallen behind the states on renewable energy infrastructure investment. It’s time for the Federal Government to come to the party and shine on our schools!
  • With a Federal election and the Glasgow COP26 conference both looming, now is the time for our Federal government to invest in renewable energy infrastructure that reduces our carbon emissions and creates green jobs across Australia!

2. Send your Time to Shine creations to Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge

Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Education and Youth

PO Box 6022

House of Representatives

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

(02) 6277 7350

[email protected] 

NB: If you are sending Minister Tudge your Time to Shine artwork or letters in the mail, take a photo of them before you send them off. 

3. Share your Time to Shine creations with us

Share photos of your artwork and letters and/or your videos on social media with the hashtags #SolarOurSchools and #TimetoShine, and our handle @ap4ca. 

If you want to tag Minister Tudge, his handles are: @tudgeMP (Facebook), @alan_tudge (Instagram) and @AlanTudgeMP (Twitter).

Also, please email them to [email protected] for us to share with our supporters so we can encourage others to send a message to Minister Tudge!



Enter your email address here and we will send you our handy climate action checklist, which includes:

1. The Big Picture on Carbon

2. Goal: Personal Change

  • Use less fossil fuels at home
  • Cut your emissions from transport
  • Move your money!
  • Offset your carbon emissions
  • Support climate justice
  • Eat less meat
  • Reduce food waste

3. Goal: Local Change

  • Reduce your school or preschool’s carbon emissions
  • Start more climate conversations
  • Share your story
  • Find your tribe
  • Hit the streets
  • Lobby your council
  • Run for election, or support someone else to do so

4. Goal: Widespread Change

  • Campaign for climate action at the Federal Election
  • Help to Solar Our Schools
  • Create your own petition
  • Add your name to demand a national Climate Bill

5. Sources and Further Reading

 

Sign up

Come on, let's make some noise!

Here is some expert tips on writing a punchy and personal letter to the editor:

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

  • Grab a copy of your local paper or read it online to get a feel for the letters section – how many are printed, average length, types of topics covered, tone.

MAKE IT PUNCHY

  • Be considered and critical where necessary, but avoid ranting. You are trying to convince people, not shut them out.
  • Keep your letter short and succinct: 150-250 words is a good guide. Less is more.

WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT SOLAR OUR SCHOOLS 

  • Focus on the positives – Solar Our Schools is great for:
    • Jobs and post-COVID economy
    • Saving schools money in electricity bills
    • Schools being able to re-allocate money saved from power bills into more teachers or educational resources
    • Millions of tonnes per year carbon emission reduction
    • While some schools/states have made progress with respect to solar, Solar Our Schools calls for every school and early childhood centre to receive solar and batteries – renewable power for all, not just a few.
  • You could mention that you have signed the Open Letter to the Prime Minister to Solar Our Schools and you would like other people in your community to sign the open letter too.
  • Or you could mention how you've made a Pre-Budget Submission to the federal government so they will (hopefully!) include Solar Our Schools in the next budget. You care what your taxes are spent on!

MAKE IT LOCAL

  • Make it relevant to the readership – why should other locals care about the points you are making?
    • Do schools in your area desperately need solar?
    • Are classrooms too hot, and the best way to cool them would be air-conditioners powered by solar?
    • Is there something else about Solar Our Schools or AP4CA that you think would interest your local Member of Parliament?

MAKE IT PERSONAL

  • Mention your perspective as a parent:
    • What kind of world would you like to see your children grow up in?
    • What do you worry about as a parent when it comes to climate change?
    • What does Solar Our Schools mean to you and your family personally?
  • Sign your name rather than just your school/organisation. 

SUBMITTING YOUR LETTER

  • The paper (or online version) will provide contact details – a general editorial email address, contact details for the editor or instructions on how to submit a ‘letter to the editor’.
  • Be sure to follow any specific instructions about your letter (format/word length/content). 


Follow our guide and make a submission to get Solar Our Schools in the next Federal Budget.

The Australian Treasury is now accepting public submissions to advise the make up of the next Federal Government budget in May. This is our chance to show how much support there is across Australia for Solar Our Schools. The more people who make a submission, the louder our message is.

You can make a submission in 3 easy steps.

1. Download our guide here.

2. Make your submission through the government's public online submission portal here.

3. Please notify us that you have made a submission - email [email protected]

 Pre-Budget Submissions close on 29 January 2021. 

 

Background: In September 2020 Australian Parents for Climate Action delivered the Solar Our Schools open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, signed by more than 11,000 Australian parents, asking him to fund fund solar and batteries for every school and early childhood centre in Australia as part of the October COVID-19 recovery budget.

But PM Scott Morrison failed to respond to the 11,000 parents who signed the Solar Our Schools open letter; and the Federal Government failed to invest in renewable energy in the October COVID-19 recovery budget.

Australian Parents for Climate Action are now asking our supporters to formally submit to the Treasury to request funding for Solar Our Schools in the next federal budget.

 

Solar Our Schools is a shovel-ready initiative that will:

- Create at least 6,870 renewable energy jobs in all regions of Australia.

- Slash school energy bills which frees up more funds for learning resources and teaching wages, saving large schools $114,000 in energy bills per year and small schools $12,700 per year  (Beyond Zero Emissions).

- Save millions of tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

 

By combining solar and batteries, Solar Our Schools also allows schools and early childhood centres to act as Virtual Power Plants, giving communities access to a local, de-centralised power source; providing resilience in the face of climate emergencies like extreme weather events. These virtual power plants would also help to stabilise our whole electricity grid.

If every school and early learning centre in Australia got solar and batteries, the battery systems alone would store enough power to replace the power generation provided by the Liddell coal-powered electricity station in NSW.

 

 


Support us!


Become a volunteer

Australian Parents for Climate Action was built from the ground up by concerned parents like you, volunteering their time to ensure a safer future for our children.

We are solutions-focused and non-partisan, with the mission of influencing government and business to take more action on climate.

Our primary focus is running a national campaign to get all schools and early learning centres powered by solar and batteries: Solar Our Schools.

Our volunteers are actively engaged in a range of activities for Solar Our Schools and other climate action campaigns, including:

  • social media
  • research
  • writing government submissions
  • creative and editorial writing
  • collecting signatures for our campaigns
  • hosting climate action play-dates
  • running campaign-related social events
  • as spokespeople for the media
  • writing letters to the editor
  • working with international climate action parent groups
  • and many more!

Our core staff will enthusiastically support your volunteer work, including offering bespoke training masterclasses throughout the year.

Come join with us and together we can get more action on climate in 2021!

 

 

Become a volunteer

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Australian Parents for Climate Action meet and work on the lands of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and respect that sovereignty of those lands was never ceded. We pay respect to Elders, past and present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.