This story is comprised of the heart-wrenching tales of three Grade 5 students from Australia, impacted by the terrible effects of climate change and wildfires.
Note that this happens every year, and we need to stop messing with the environment, because this is a global issue. It is simply devastating.
Thea B.M. Astley Primary School,
309 Priestdale Road, Rochedale
Brisbane, QLD, Australia 4123
Premier of Queensland Anne Pilwurst
1, William Street,
Brisbane, QLD, Australia 4000
Dear Premier of Queensland,
This is Karen Bitterbeck, and I am the class teacher and social studies teacher of Grade Five A at the Thea B.M. Astley Primary School. I and my students request you to give immediate attention and priority to the inscribed later. These all are normal, Australian children who’ve been seeing the terrible effects of climate change. As you might know, the wildfires some weeks ago destroyed all of us Aussies psychologically and physically. When these guys came up with their incidents, I had to send it to you.
My name is Amelia Lionheart. I am ten years old, and I live with my dear mother in a revolting apartment in the more appalling areas of this city.
I was seven when my parents divorced. We used to live in a small home by the beach in Sydney. My mother is from Brisbane, and she came here shortly after she divorced my father. For a few months, we lived in an apartment before moving into a massive bungalow. It was tall and wide, stretching the width of six school buses. In it was a huge yard that was full of shrubs, trees and other little plants. The carpet of grass was pleasant to step on, and the smell of the flowers near the fences was saccharine. In the house were the finest wooden furniture and the latest electronics. The flooring was made specifically in a factory in Europe for this particular home. The light azure of the wall gave the home a cool vibe.
When the wildfires came, it all changed. As the fire engulfed the house, everything was demolished. The lawn was brown and disgusting, the tiles were all burnt, the furniture was now ash, the gizmos were not functioning, and the walls were all broken. My mom ran to rescue me, and burnt parts of her left leg, making her decapitated for a while. All this was traumatizing. My sweet home was all but ash in a matter of a few hours.
We stayed in a hotel for a few days before we found a home. The new home was very unappealing. The smell of rancid meat almost killed me. The noises and sound was enough to make human skulls break, and the technology was old. People said unpleasant things, and we knew this, because the walls were thin and their paint was cracking. And if you'd put anything more than a hundred kilos on those tiles, that'd sink all the way to the bottom. My mother lost her job, and the new job didn't give us much.
I am going to beat around the bush - that destroyed how we lived. While we certainly can survive, it was never the bare minimum. And it is not just a terrible home, it also makes you uneasy and reminds you of very unpleasant things.
Amelia Lionheart (5A)
My name is Mandeep Singh Kapoor, Monty, for short, and my family is destroyed. I mean destroyed.
I study in class 5 like all 10 or 11 year olds do, and I really enjoy playing sports. You can’t play sports when your father is angry, though.
It was a few months ago when “the thing” happened. You see, my father runs the Indian Food Company all throughout the country, and what he does - I don’t really know because he talks in really hard words or Punjabi (I don’t understand either) when he’s working. Basically though, he just trades corn and stuff. Grains, like Mr. Huang's science class, taught us.
Now, coming back to the foodstuff, He has this really big warehouse in Geelong, in Victoria. It is a pretty place, and we went to Melbourne too, with Papa. Back to Geelong, there is where he stores all this stuff that comes from the farmers in NSW and our state Queensland and then they store it until it is given to people in Adelaide, Tas, Perth, Hobart, ACT, and Darwin.
So, it was this really hot summer going on, I think it was just 29th November then, but still, really hot, and then, there was this sudden flood. And all of the grains were just poof - gone! Now it certainly made us tight on money, but there was an even worse thing.
My papa’s been really sick since the “incident”. I mean, he even had a small heart attack! That’s not right, okay? My papa getting heartattack is not OK. He has also gotten himself tons of other bad stuff. He has High BP, sugar - and he’s not been eating properly. It is a bit funny, but my grandmother thinks that papa is in shock. Maybe, he is.
Do you want people to die because some vile companies couldn’t do with like, $2 less in profit? I dunno man, you guys need to do some serious thinking.
Mandeep Singh (5A)
My name is Ashley Kanter, I am 10 years old and I come from a small village in New South Wales. The only reason I am here, studying at the T.B.M.A. Primary. Gosh, I could’ve been studying in school with my friends and in December, at the barbie. None of that happened, and that's really ain’t a beauty.
Three years ago, I remember it was a good time. My dad was downing a coldie, and my mom and I were at the barbie making hot dogs. It was right around Chrissie, and we were really happy. I was wearing overalls over daks, what a dag! I was also playing footy, if I remember correctly.
Fast forward to today, and we barely celebrated Chrissie. And that's not all, I’ve had little time to talk to Dad about anything at all. He’s dang busy with all his stuff. Y’know, in the mornings, he’s at the community garden, as a gardener. Then, he comes here for dinner, and then off he goes for his duty as a security guard and comes home at like 1 in the midnight. And, on weekends, he’s outta town working as a tourist guide. I’ve got three baby bros - 3, 1, and 7-month old Matthew, Elliot and Karl. All of them need attention, and my mom cannot give that to me.
Most families of my cobbers here, they got game nights every single Friday. And what do I get? Nothing. NO family time, like at all. Now, all of you might be wondering, how did this happen?
The last-to-last summer, it was just bad. Superbad. I hated it. All these dingos and ostriches would just ravage the barn and the farm. He was slowly sinking. And last summer, the coppers told us that we’d need to go. It was all over. He’s in massive debt, and all I just want is gone. Just gone. I hate it.
Now, Premier ma’am, I just wanna be quick and honest with ya - you gotta stop putting the bails on people’s lives. I hate how our life is now.
Ashley Kanter (5A)
Ma’am, I hope you’ve read what the kids wrote. Its really, really important that action is taken now, before everything’s just out of hand. When the kids gave me their letters, I wasn’t sure you were the person to mail it to. But when I read those, I cried. I don't do that often. I cried a lot. But as I put the stamp on this, I’m sure you’re just the right gal. So, ma’am, just read it.
Karen C. Bitterbeck,
On behalf of the three students,
Thea BM Astley Primary, Brisbane