Why we’re trekking to Lord Howe Island to raise money for the Climate Council

11.03.16 By

This month, eleven of our most dedicated supporters will head off to Lord Howe Island on a fundraising trip for the Climate Council.

One of our Lord Howe Island trekkers, Tony Kent, explains why he and his wife Sue are raising much-needed funds for the Climate Council below.

We’re so grateful for their support, and you can help them reach their fundraising goal here.


Sue & I grew up in western Victoria, and we’ve been acutely aware from an early age of the influence of climate on the economy and the community around us. As a farm-kid from the (then) damp and windy Western District, I have memories of lying in bed during the 1967-68 drought listening vainly for the sound of rain on the iron roof. For Sue, growing up in a small Wimmera town with the family business entirely dependent on the fortunes of the farming community, weather forecasts, rainfall and harvest prospects were a constant topic.

I’ve been involved in agriculture all my life. While I am an agronomist by specialisation, I’ve also worked in agribusiness, R&D and rural development in Australia and overseas. Although Sue & I have lived through some extreme seasons in rural Australia and South East Asia and despite my involvement in natural resource and catchment management, the issue of climate change was never a front-of-mind consideration. However, the millennium drought really focussed my mind, mainly because for me, that environmental and socio-economic calamity coincided with a period where I was establishing a wheat variety breeding business, which was hostage to the seasons. Rare was the day during that decade that I didn’t think about climate risk mitigation. So I have become aware of and concerned about the issue of climate change over a long period, initially from a hard-nosed risk management perspective.

I have felt powerless as corporations, governments and sadly, many Australians have stalled on action to address this issue at home and globally. But the logical consequences are now clear for anyone who cares to look, and inaction can no longer be tolerated. The eldest of our seven grandchildren will be 45 in 2050. What will his world be like then? How will our children & grandchildren live on a hotter planet, with a population of 9 billion, and a climate characterised by extreme weather events?

Sue and I felt that we cannot be silent as the world moves towards this fate, and have joined the Climate Council’s Lord Howe Island Challenge as a way to raise awareness of climate change impacts in our community, and help fund the Council’s important work.


You can support the Climate Council and help Tony and Sue reach their fundraising goal here.