Share via

Getting real about climate change – real people tell real stories


The Climate Media Centre (CMC) makes headlines but you won’t read about it in the news.

It works behind the scenes to promote the voices of people who are impacted by climate change or who are part of the solution. The CMC finds, trains, and pitches them to journalists around Australia so that the real faces and everyday stories of climate change are heard.

our way of winning over public opinion which in turn influences the vested interests, the decision makers and the broader media industry,” says CMC Director Jolee Wakefield.

Its work has been funded by The Robert Hicks Foundation over the last five years, bringing new and trusted voices such as farmers, firefighters, renewable energy workers, doctors, nurses and Indigenous leaders to the climate story.

The Robert Hicks Foundation is the only charitable trust out of 650 managed by Equity Trustees that specifically calls out climate change as an area of focus. Robert, a successful farmer, had first-hand knowledge of the issue and left directions in his will to fund the preservation of the natural environment.

The CMC now employs eight former journalists and PR professionals who stand ready to respond to breaking climate news while also looking forward to the stories that will be making future headlines.

The CMC has now had a hand in more than 53,000 media items and has trained more than 4500 people and 100 organisations.

It has influenced traditionally hard-to-reach media such as Sydney talkback radio hosts and the News Limited press.

The CMC also prompts organisations to rethink their approach to climate and energy communications, and arms journalists with everything they need for a good yarn.

We know we’re making a difference,” Jolee says. “Third party research credits our spokespeople for changing public opinion over the Black Summer bushfires; we’ve inspired a south-east Asian and Australian economic version of our centre; and our politicians now regularly talk about renewables as a mainstream energy source.”

The Climate Media Centre initiative was support by The Robert Hicks Foundation, managed by Equity Trustees.

As Australia’s leading specialist trustee company and leading trustee philanthropic funder, we’re proud to launch our 2020 Annual Giving Review.
Read our report online at the link below.

  GR 2020 GIF 1140x90