Traveling more than 1,300 miles from Jakarta to Perth, Kevin Johanes Tantowi and Ariel Ezra Bazaliel of Universitas Pelita Harapan College got the chance to learn more about climate change and explore some of the city’s best tourist sites.
They popped over to Perth after winning a Climate Change Short Film Competition for high school students organized by the Australian Embassy, the City of Perth, Climate Project Indonesia and Indonesian Nobel Foundation.
“It’s been such a wonderful opportunity for us to come here. We felt very welcomed, by the universities we visited and by our host family,” Kevin said. “And even by the Mayor!” Ariel added.
During the five-day visit to the capital of Western Australia, Perth Mayor Lisa Scaffidi also invited the film makers for a chat over afternoon tea to talk about what Perth has done to preserve the environment.
Their first stop on the scientific trip was Curtin University of Technology.
There Kevin and Ariel learned about the need for detailed assessment to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial practices. They also learned about the impact of climate change on marine ecology, including rising sea levels and threats to coral reefs.
For their part, the experts appreciated the filmmakers’ creative efforts.
“What you’ve done is great. Animation is such a good educational tool, it can easily influence people, including the government, to take action toward climate change,” Laura Stocker from the Curtin Sustainability Policy Institute said.
The duo had submitted their animation, Nature’s Memory, to the competition. The film told the story of deteriorated environmental conditions as a result of reckless human activities.
The journey continued to Murdoch University to get more information on climate change.
They also visited Kings Park, a 4 km2 home to over 300 native plant varieties and 80 bird species. The park is a mixture of grassed parkland, botanical gardens and natural bush on Mount Eliza.
“I’m just amazed with all I’ve seen. They’re just very serious about tackling this climate change issue,” Kevin said.
“And now we’re going to be very confused. How to put all these visits into a 10-minute movie?” he laughed.
The duo will make a short film about their trip, focusing on efforts to mitigate climate change as a way to spread the information they obtained, Ariel said.
Kevin said the visit was just a start for them to help save the environment.
“It’s like a breakthrough for us. We know many new things. Next we need to figure out what we can do with what we’ve got here,” he said.
As soon as they returned to Jakarta, Ariel said, they would immediately do the sorting, drawing and putting together of a short documentary. The film will be webcast on the Study in Australia website and YouTube.
Of course, their trip to Perth was not all work and no play. They also took a break to see the famous Swan River, trawled the city’s Central Business District to shop and stopped by the zoo to see kangaroo and koala.
“I think their visit here is a better prize than just cash money. They get much more by traveling here,” said Graeme Nancarrow, Ariel’s host father in Perth.
ys/Novia D. Rulistia