“As I have been travelling throughout the country, it is clear to me that Australians are deeply concerned about climate change and want to know what they can do to help,” said Gore.
The Climate Project in Australia aims to equip citizens with the knowledge and skills to educate the community about the science, impacts and solutions to climate change.
“The program is designed to help the community make a difference in the monumental battle to eliminate the threat of global warming,' Gore said.
More than 1,700 Australians applied to attend the first Australian training session. The selected 84 represent a diverse range of interests including business, health, agriculture, Indigenous affairs, education, arts and culture and come from all Australian states and territories.
Once trained, the volunteer presenters each will deliver at least 10 presentations over the next year.
Bruce Beatson, a retired dairy farmer from Gippsland who is now involved in the wind industry, was one of the 84 candidates chosen.
'This is the biggest privilege that’s come my way in my whole life,’ he said. “I have been concerned about climate change as a farmer for 20 years and I never dreamt in my wildest dreams that I would have a chance to be part of something that would have such a global impact.'
Anna Keenan, a student from Brisbane, postponed her 21st birthday party to take part in the training. “I think that climate change is going to be the most important issue over the next 50 years. It’s really important for young people to get involved.”
Gore’s climate change slide show has been adapted for Australian audiences with additional Australian information on climate science, impacts and solutions.
Gore will lead the training on the slide show content, with support from eminent Australian scientists Professor Ian Lowe and Dr. Graeme Pearman. The trainees also will take an intensive presentations skills course.
“We have been overwhelmed by community support for the program and the desire to drive real action on climate change,” said Australian Conservation Foundation Executive Director Don Henry. “As the Australian partner for Al Gore’s Climate Project, we are committed to supporting the climate presenters in their crusade to educate the Australian community about the threats of climate change.”