As we lurch from one ‘once in a hundred year’ environmental disaster to the next, whether it be the floods along the East coast, extreme heat waves in Europe or the time ‘Australia caught fire in 2020’, our changing climate and its effect on our ecosystems is impossible to ignore.  

    And, while it’s understandable that the fear that the sheer scale and uncertainty that climate change and environmental destruction brings is overwhelming for some, for many in the West of Melbourne it’s been a call to arms.  Rather than ignore this ‘once in a millennia’ challenge as too big for one person to win, they’ve realised that there is an opportunity (or perhaps a responsibility) to come together and channel the sense of despair and frustration into something constructive.

    This edition of The Westsider is about taking inspiration from those in our community who attempt to turn around the conversation about our environment; from one of dread and despair to a story of health and hope.  

    So, how can all of us contribute in some small (or even big) way to changing the narrative and our own mindset around the climate emergency we see ourselves in now?

    First of all, I think it’s probably appropriate that we let our natural environment calm and inspire us. Join a local parkrun and get out into the West’s wonderful parks, reserves, waterways and diverse natural environment and soak in the energy and awe.  It’s no coincidence that as we become more and more urbanised, our sense of disconnection not only from nature, but from the sense that we are all part of something infinitely bigger, has been diluted.  While the challenges we face may seem immense, it’s good to know that the sense of wonderment and inspiration we get from being immersed in nature puts everything into perspective.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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