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Blog: Confronting the Headlines

This week at our Principal’s Assembly, Jemima in Year 10 spoke about the never-ending cycle of bad news and how we can control our reaction to it.

‘Kabul international airport bombing leaves 60 dead’

‘Climate change made deadly Germany floods up to 9 times more likely’

‘Decrepit smuggling boat packed with 539 migrants found off Italy’

‘Historic heatwave, extreme drought and wildfires plague North American west’

‘New Kabul terror attack highly likely in next 24 to 36 hours’

These are headlines from news stories over the past days. It really seems like our world is falling apart.

It's so important for us to be politically and socially engaged, but how can we be constructive in our reaction to these confronting events? On social media, we are constantly bombarded with uncertainties and ‘uncontrollables’.

Faced with the challenges of overcoming global conflict, social unrest, human rights abuses, climate change and the resulting extreme weather events, it is easy to become paralysed with fear for the future. I think a lot of us, especially at our age, feel powerless at times. It’s frustrating to hear these terrible things and feel that you can’t do anything about them.

So how do we overcome this?

Denial is easy when we aren’t directly impacted by many of these things, but putting our heads in the sand is unacceptable. We need to use our privilege for good, pushing for change and holding each other accountable.

Panic isn’t productive either. Thinking about the worst-case scenario and wasting energy in hysteria is useless.

What we can do is look for inspiring stories of positive change, such as the town of Onslow in Western Australia that is now powered by 100% renewable energy. We can sign petitions, donate and advocate for causes. Many of us have signed up for the 40-hour Famine as these funds go to those suffering in Afghanistan.

Recently, I found myself so frustrated with the Australian Government’s climate inaction that I emailed the Prime Minister with ways to reduce our carbon emissions, and I know many others have done the same. Last week, a poll showed 67% of Australians believe the Government must do more to address climate change. There are more people on this Earth who want change for better rather than change for worse. The momentum is building. So, stay aware, actively engaged, and positive.

Thank you! Have a great week everyone.


Jemima (Year 10)