Mia Vissenjoux: at 13, already a role model
Every day in Australia, over 8 million pieces of rubbish are improperly disposed of – thrown out of car windows, dumped in parks or chucked into the gutter.
And despite what you might think, research suggests that kids are those least likely to litter. Only 1.5% of under-15s litter, compared with 29.5% of 15-25s, 25% of 25-44s and 12.5% of those over 44.
That’s why Keep Australia Beautiful are turning to the kids to lead the way on rubbish. They formed the Leading Intergrated Taskforce Tackling Litter Everywhere – aka LITTLE - Committee, a group of 10 people under the age of 15 dedicated to getting grownups to clean-up their act.
13 year-old Mia Vissenjoux was hand-picked by former Senator and Project regular Natasha Stott Despoja to be chairperson of the committee.
“The LITTLE Committee’s message to all litter bugs is that no matter what you drop, no matter how small, it’s going to impact the world for future generations in the worst way,” says Mia. “So please stop.”
Mia’s not new to pushing for a better environment. At age 11 she lobbied the board of Qantas to use more recycled products in their in-flight products.
Mia’s now working as head of her school’s Environmental Committee to reduce the school’s environmental footprint. She is trying to phase in recycle bins at school and is also encouraging students to reduce the use of air conditioners and classroom lighting during the day.
It’s this sort of dedication that impressed Natasha.
“She’s a young woman who wants to make a difference,” says Natasha, “and hopefully she’s going to encourage many other young people, and maybe some older ones, to think about their actions, change their behaviour and create a greener, hopefully fairer society.”
Mia’s also a talented dancer, across ballet, jazz, hip-hop and tap. She aspires to a career as a professional dancer – though is also interested in studying law at University.
Though whatever the future might hold, Mia knows that underlying it all is the decisions we make in the present.
“Children are the next generation and we’re going to be the custodians of this world so we need to get involved.”
Mia will be a special guest on The Project tonight.