An open letter to Gladys Berejiklian

Dear Gladys Berejiklian,

Congrats on being reappointed as Premier of NSW. It’s great that we continue to have a female Premier however, there are multiple things you and your party say or do that many don’t agree with.

For starters, your recent abolishment of the Department of Environment and Heritage is really concerning. We are now the only state without an Environment department. This department did so many things regarding the preservation and education of Aboriginal culture and the environment. I would like to know your plans regarding this change and if you realise many of the younger people living in your state actually care about the environment. If you’re unsure how important it is to us, check out the School Strike 4 Climate that your party was so against people attending.

Have you ever stopped to think about the effects of climate change on our First Nation’s people and our culture? Probably not. I can tell you do great things in certain areas and unfortunately, the environment and Aboriginal culture are not any of them. With the recent election, One Nation suggested DNA testing for Aboriginal identification. We already jump through hoops to get our identification and your party seems to support One Nation. Would you support this testing? Would you let down thousands of people in your state? I bet you don’t even realise your Indigenous people are still counted as flora and fauna in the constitution. Indigenous people as a whole care for the environment as it’s a part of our culture, so every day our environment deteriorates is another day we are losing Indigenous culture.

I want to express to you how important the environment and climate change is. I’ve taken these facts from the Department of Environment and Heritages NSW Climate Change fact sheet;

  • NSW warming is projected to average about 0.7°C in the near future (2020–2039), increasing to about 2.1°C in the far future (2060–2079).
  • Across most of NSW there will be more days over 40°C
  • Heatwaves are projected to occur more often and last longer, up to 3.5 days more on average
  • By 2030, there is projected to be up to 10 more heat wave days per year and by 2070 up to 33 more in the north of NSW. In the south, there is projected to be up to 7 more days.
  • Increases in average and severe fire weather are projected to occur mainly in summer and spring, with the largest increases by 2070 to occur in spring.
  • Climate change is projected to increase heat-related mortality and morbidity
  • Potential increases in water and food-borne disease are projected
  • In the near future, less groundwater recharge is projected across much of NSW, especially in the south-east of the state.

Sure, some of these dates seem far away but not when the next generation has to deal with it. In matter of fact, 2030 is merely 11 years away. I understand you probably won’t be in power then but it’s up to you to make a difference now.

Please be the role model all young girls and women need, you’re in the prime position to show true leadership and make differences where it’s needed.

Think about it.


Madison Page
Wiradjuri Woman and Founder of Murriyan

Madison Page is a marine biologist and Wiradjuri woman who grew up in Sydney. She’s passionate about ocean conservation. As an Aboriginal woman, she aims to reduce our environmental impact and has a little obsession with sea turtles.

Murriyan is a non-profit organization and communication initiative aimed to promote ocean and marine life conservation. It bases its values and goals on Australian Indigenous cultural ethics. It also aims to promote the effects of environmental degradation on Indigenous culture.

Murriyan is the Wiradjuri word for sea. Although, aiming to raise awareness for ocean and marine life conservation, Murriyan’s values and aims incorporate Indigenous culture. Since the sea is the part of the ocean that is usually met by land, it is the most used part of the ocean by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.

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