96. Evey Hunter

9 Nov

16-year-old Evey Hunter is a force to be reckoned with; her push for environmental sustainability and the inclusion of local schools has seen her set foundations for change.  

Evey may be young, but her desire to implement environmental awareness across the Banyule community has inspired many schools in her area to adopt sustainable practices.  

She is the heart and soul behind the Jumper Recycling Program, where youth in the Banyule community can donate their old-school jumps to be recycled.  

The program came into fruition at a local youth event and with the help of Banyule Youth, she donated the recycled jumpers to Upparel where they’re turned into a range of useful products.  

Evey said that organising the project was very organic and with help across the community she saw that people we’re eager to jump on-board.  

“It was easier than I expected,” she said. “One thing I definitely learnt during the process: people are more enthusiastic to help me than what I was expecting.” 

“I worked with a wonderful woman at the council named Naomi, and she was a massive help coordinating and helping me draft my emails to Upparel and they jumped onto it very quickly. 

“We designed and printed collection boxes that are placed in schools and businesses across the Banyule area… we collected all the school jumpers and then Naomi and I drove down to Upparel warehouse where we dropped off 6 massive boxes. 

“It was a very rewarding moment to hand them over to someone where they were going to get recycled and diverted from landfill.”  

But, where did it all start?  

Evey was always interested in environmental awareness and saw that schools could be doing more to endorse recycling among young people; she just needed somewhere to start.  

This moment collided with the bi-annual Banyule Youth Summit event where young people from across Banyule convene to discuss important topics affecting youth in the community.  

Topics such as; the environment, disability awareness, LGBTQI+ rights, and a range of other topics. 

When her school was approached to take part in the event, Evey saw this as an opportunity; she decided to attend and use her passion to create viable and tangible change.   

“I did a project in school and a teacher spoke to me about the possibility of getting the project started and how I could turn that passion for clothing recycling into a tangible project that I could bring to my community.  

“The Youth Summit came at a perfect time because after going, I met some people who were really enthusiastic about helping me; they helped me source Upparel – the company who help me recycle the jumpers.  

“It started as a project at school, but quickly transitioned into something I was pursuing with the Banyule council – In particularly the Banyule Youth Summit.” 

During the Youth Summit, Evey used her project to come up with the Jumper Recycling Program, and she saw this as an opportunity across the entire region.  

The program gained rapid traction and she received a positive reception with many young people joining her efforts at their own schools.  

“I’ve always been passionate about the environment and the waste crisis that we’re facing; particularly the textile waste issue and I know the community are very enthusiastic to get on board,” Evey said. 

“It was really well received which was excellent, because I think generally speaking, people want to do the right thing when it comes to clothing recycling.  

“It’s a bit tricky to do so [however] because people don’t often know where to go or where to drop their clothes off. 

“I would like to further the program and provide that intermediate step and provide a means for people to have their clothing given to a place where it can be recycled.” 

When it comes to the Youth Summit, Evey is glad she we went: “because it gave rise to a lot of cool stuff I’ve been able to do since.” 

That cool stuff surrounds her subsequent involvement with council meetings where she’s taken the opportunity head on to talk at council meetings about youth involvement. 

She didn’t originally see herself in this career path, but avidly participating in youth discussions and being able to use her passions has given her a path not previously considered.  

“I hadn’t really considered that field of work before I got involved with the Banyule Council; I’ve had beautiful opportunities to talk at council meetings specifically about youth involvement,” she said.  

“That’s been a really cool opportunity, and it’s allowed me to meet councillors who are passionate about the work they do, and are making a tangible difference in their community. 

“It’s all about helping people and that’s something I would love to continue doing in the future.”  

Words: Curtis Baines

Photography: Frances Biggar


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