Pacific Warriors welcomed in Shark territory

Cronulla Sharks CEO Barry Russell with 350 Solomon Islands Pacific Climate Warrior Silas Savara Leti. Phototgrapher: Steven Saphore
“When there is a Pacific rugby test, why is it that we can fill the seats with 19,000 supporters? How do we figure how to gather that same support for the work that the Pacific Climate Warriors do?”
Mal Fruen, NSW Council for Pacific Communities Chair

In a day of culture, rugby and climate action, the Pacific Climate Warriors were welcomed to Sydney by the New South Wales Council for Pacific Communities and the Cronulla Sharks Rugby Club.

The Pacific Climate Warriors are in Sydney to share the realities of climate change in the Pacific, during their Pacific Pawa Frontline Truths Storytelling Tour. Since 2014, the Pacific Climate Warriors have been intentionally building their bases within diaspora communities in New Zealand, the United States and Australia. This was to build the safe spaces needed for Pacific people in the diaspora, willing to meaningfully engage in the global climate movement. Our communities in the diaspora can play pivotal roles in disrupting iconic fossil fuels developments and that potential remains untapped. Until now.

Pacific Climate Warrior George Nacewa. Photographer: Kacper Czerniak

In an emotional session of sharing and cultural performances, Pacific Climate Warrior, George Nacewa was taken aback by the words of affirmation.

“In this line of work, we’re not used to compliments. In activism, it’s just doing the best you can, day to day. To hear from people that have been impacted and appreciate the work of the Pacific Climate Warriors, is a good feeling. To know that we’re making a difference.’

The Pacific Climate Warriors will be holding their final Frontline Truths Storytelling Event on the 5th of October, at Bankstown Arts Centre from 7pm to 9pm. This will see a collection of stories, artwork and creative embodiments of the truths that our region faces at the frontlines of climate change, shared with members of the Pacific diaspora communities.