ARC Discovery Project funding success for student climate action research

Young and Resilient researchers have been granted $466,586 from the Australian Research Centre (ARC), as part of the ARC Discovery Project funding scheme. The funding is for a large study into the significance of young people's participation in climate change movements for democracy.

Led by Professor Philippa Collin with WSU colleague Dr Michelle Catanzaro, the project is a collaboration with Professor Judith Bessant (RMIT), Associate Professor Faith Gordon (ANU), Dr Stewart Jackson (Sydney University), and Professor Robert Watts (RMIT).

“This project will work with young people to generate new knowledge on how students are organising, communicating and taking action for climate justice in digital society,” says Young and Resilient Co-director, Professor Collin.

The funding is crucial to furthering the research. “It will fund the people; student collaborators, a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Early Career Researchers, who will undertake the research,” says Professor Collin.

The research started in 2019 with Professor Collin leading the Australian component of a 19-country study on who participates in the Fridays for Future/School Strike 4 Climate protests. Despite a Ministerial veto in 2021 by then Acting-Minister Stuart Robert, rejecting the recommended ARC Discovery Project funding, the team persisted.

“The veto slowed down our research, but it didn't stop it! With the support of the participating institutions and the commitments of our team and student advisors we were able to make a start. We have laid the foundations in 2022 to rapidly scale up and deliver the full project from 2023,” adds Professor Collin.

We welcome this grant that will make a difference in informing the way young people engage in politics and how that enhances Australia’s democracy.