Youth power! Meet the Double Helix Sustainability Squad
Category: News

Biodiversity conservationists and entrepreneurs come in all sizes and shapes. These four young Australians are showing the CSIRO Double Helix team that changemakers come from all ages too. Double Helix is CSIRO’s magazine to inspire STEM loving students around Australia. As part of the Double Helix Sustainability Squad program, they are celebrating the achievements of young sustainability champions.

A young citizen scientist

Millie’s litter hunt on her local beach in WA.

Ten-year-old Millie from Western Australia has been leading her community in beach clean-ups. A passionate citizen scientist, she has been doing all she can to protect her local beaches. “The WA Government single-use plastic straw ban has drastically reduced the number of straws found lying on the beach,” she documents.Armed with tongs and a bucket, she gathers her community in sustained efforts to conserve the beauty of her local coastlines, while sharing her story to call attention to marine pollution.




An emerging entrepreneur

Annie’s succulent collection, which she sells at local markets and charity stores.

Annie is a sixteen-year-old from The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School. Her plant collection has turned into a budding not-for-profit business, selling hundreds of plants online to help remote communities attain food security.

“I understood how reliant we are on money and capitalism, and to do good often does not come cheap,” she says. The proceeds from Annie’s plant sales are donated to Food Ladder, which helps remote Australian communities to grow food in extreme climates and educates young Australians in sustainable horticulture.



A wildlife conservationist

Tallulah helping to revegetate a parcel of cleared land with Australian natives.

Working with her school in Balnarring Victoria, nine-year-old Tallulah has led the way to wildlife conservation in her community.

“Lots of species of native animals have become threatened in some parts of Australia because of deforestation,” Tallulah tells us. Her love of wildlife and the urge to protect them led her to plant 100 trees on a section of cleared land. Working with her school environmental team, Tallulah also engages her peers in sustainability education.

By sharing her initiatives with the Double Helix Sustainability Squad, Tallulah hopes to continue to inspire others to look after the environment.



A sustainability ambassador

Isabelle donating her clothes and toys at her local drop-off location.

Isabelle from Nunawading Christian College has exemplified the power of a community. At 11 years old, Isabelle has rallied her school to help recycle bread tags. Between August and September this year, her school donated approximately 1,500 bread tags for recycling.

Back at home, she is also a role model for sustainable practices, donating clothing and toys to give them a second life.




The Double Helix Sustainability Squad has shown that anyone can make a difference, big or small. If you want to join in and follow these environmental initiatives, sign up to Double Helix magazine.

Author: Chenxin Tu from CSIRO’s Double Helix Sustainability Squad