IT'S TIME TO ACT: St Patrick's College student Shellie Joseph and Gympie State High School student Echo Hunter-Demecs will play an influential role in today's Climate Strike at Cotton Tree Park, where more than 1700 people have flagged they're
IT'S TIME TO ACT: St Patrick's College student Shellie Joseph and Gympie State High School student Echo Hunter-Demecs will play an influential role in today's Climate Strike at Cotton Tree Park, where more than 1700 people have flagged they're "going” or "interested” on Facebook. Troy Jegers

Gympie warriors lead thousands on Coast school strike today

IT MAY be happening on the Sunshine Coast, but the heart of today's local School Strike for Climate Action belongs with two star Gympie students following their shared passion.

Gympie State High School Year 12 student Echo Hunter-Demecs joins returning peer and soon-to-be St Patrick's College graduate Shellie Joseph in leading a sea of voices demanding immediate Federal Government action on the "climate crisis".

READ MORE ON THE SCHOOL STRIKE

- VIDEO: Gympie student explains reason for school strike

- Gympie school strike leader tells trolls: 'Do your research'

- 'If you don't want us striking, don't teach us science'

More than 1700 people have flagged their interest or confirmed they're going to the Cotton Tree division of the Global Climate Strike, 200 more than the numbers at the last event in Peregian in March.

Miss Hunter-Demecs decided to step up her involvement this time after drawing further inspiration from a youth climate conference in Melbourne.

"It looked like no one was going to do it... and I just saw that someone needs to keep this going," she said.

"A day off from school is really meaningless in the face of what we're actually fighting for. It's not even a day off, I've spent the last three months getting this together."

She said today's strike will see campaigning for a new demand on top of 100 per cent renewable energies by 2030 and no new coal or gas.

"One of the biggest backlashes we get from people who are against the movement are saying we're not considering the workers in the fossil fuel industry," Miss Hunter-Demecs said.

"A new demand of the school strike in Australia is that we fund a sustainable transition for the workers and those looking to move into it in the future, because they're actually some of the most important people to consider in this cause."

"(The Adani mine going ahead) was also one of the big reasons why I decided we needed another strike. We can see that change is not being made in the way that we want it to be, and we need to keep letting our voices be heard

Miss Joseph said criticism from the strike's online detractors about the kids' absence from school was misguided.

"There's kids sitting at home playing Xbox all the time and we're getting one singular day off for something very important."

Today's strike takes place three days before the UN's Emergency Climate Summit.

The Sunshine Coast Climate Strike is at Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore, from 12 noon - 2pm.

Visit https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/sept20 or look up Sunshine Coast Climate Strike on Facebook.