When children tell us that climate change, rising inequality, and LGBTIQ rights are important we have to listen

Kallista Primary School won best film in schools with their film, ''The Homeless.''

It could be argued that such is the current climate and state of world affairs that children have become the adults and the adults are the children.

In Australia – at the moment – a large open cut coal mine in Queensland has been given the green light; a plastic bag ban is being blamed for slowing the economy and hostile architecture erected in our main cities prevent the homeless from seeking shelter.

It seems that now the responsibility has fallen to those so young that they are not given the choice of the time they can go to bed to sound the alarm and point to the issues and crises that matter the most to them.

At this year’s inaugural Lantern and Light International Film Festival, it was a young generation so easily caricatured as disconnected and self-absorbed, that took the chance to be heard by creating films about issues that are neither fake nor easily averted.

The festival saw movies tackle genuine problems within today’s society, ranging from inequality and homelessness to climate change.

It was a heartening spectacle of the issues that are important to the generation who will eventually inherit the earth, and at the same time a terrible indictment of those of us who have not listened to their concerns.

Of the 57 schools that entered Kallista Primary School won best film in schools with their film, ‘The Homeless.’

The movie follows a homeless man who has his only companion- a cat called gizmo – taken from him. The students befriend the man and raise money to retrieve the cat from the pound and eventually event get it registered.

Speaking to the award winners, actress Ivy Tucker explained that there were many issues that the team wanted to address, though the heart of this film was about compassion.

“Most people don’t really care about homeless people, they just walk past them quickly or try to avoid them,” the students said.

“One of our school values is compassion and we wanted to help raise awareness for this issue, so we thought making a movie for it would be a good way to do that.”

It took the grade 5-6 student three days to film and edit, with oversight provided from RAPA.

In a heartening interview following the awards, the students told the Mail that it was important to show compassion and not to ignore the problems facing society as a whole, even if that problem does not impact you directly.

“We need to pay more attention to homeless people and their needs, and look after them, and their pets.”

“They are still people, and they still need a home and somewhere to feel safe.”

The world is an ever-changing place, and this generation is facing new and different challenges, that are radically different to those faced by any other generation.

These young people can expect to live lives that will be quite unlike those of any previous generations. So, when they tell us that climate change, rising inequality, and LGBTIQ rights are important, we have to listen.