News and Events

A collective youth voice

March 13, 2024

Great food being prepared at Yours Cafe.

The 2024 Otago secondary schools hui “YOUR VOICE!” involving 9 schools and 40 students, focused on turning environmental ideas into action in schools and the wider communities.

The whakatauki for the hui was “Ehara taku toa i te toa takatahi, he toa takitini” a traditional Māori whakatauki “My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective”.

The participating students started the day volunteering in their local community being hosted by Trade Aid, Yours Café cooperative, Stitch Kitchen (a textile waste minimisation group) Dunedin Fringe (promoting creative expression), Graffiti Removal, Food Bank, and two second-hand stores.


Creativity for Dunedin Fringe.

Hearing from Stitch Kitchen about reducing fabric waste.









“Awesome to start the day at Trade Aid doing some mahi,” said one student.

Volunteering at one of the second-hand goods shops.

They then gathered together to hear from inspirational environmental action speakers – a conservationist, waste minimisation educator, local action advocate, and an artist.

“Great range of speakers! Was really cool to hear from such a wide range of people.” – feedback comment

The afternoon was spent planning for projects for the year and discussing these with their peers.

“Awesome day, and great to have the time to plan our activities for the year,” remarked one person.




Hearing from experts.

Reflecting on learning and planning for next steps.











“It was a great day and the students were a very keen and engaged bunch. Next time we’d like to provide even more opportunities to collaborate and draw out ideas and share experience from students as part of the day,” said facilitator, Jennie in response to feedback.


“It looks like quite a few of the Envirogroups are ready to share their ideas with other schools, be inspired by their peers and to collaborate on “a vision for the city”! We will certainly follow up on this by contacting schools and we would love to facilitate a follow up after-school hui to continue this mahi!” – added Facilitator Tess

Banner image: Sharing a laugh at Yours Café

You can also read the Otago Daily Times story about this hui here.