It’s the Little Things that Count: The Role of Youth in Shaping a Stronger and More Resilient Partnership between Australia and Pacific Island Nations
04 October 2023 | Sarah Duong
The core of Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy lies in the region’s capability to foster a link for dozens of states through engagement activities including trade, diplomacy and defence cooperation. Through such initiatives, the Australian Government has notably expanded and deepened its diplomatic network, honing a special strategic interest in partnerships with the Pacific Island nations. This was first expressed in 2017 through a pledge made by former Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, in which a “commitment to ‘step-up’ Australia’s engagement in the Pacific” was promised. In fulfilling that commitment, and a myriad of development initiatives, Australia has earned the role as the ‘paternal’ figure of the Pacific ‘family’. However, despite Australia’s substantially objective middle power status and increasing regional engagement, Australia’s leadership ambitions remain doubtful and somewhat grim, especially from the perspective of South Pacific states. This is due to various factors, primarily, Australia’s disproportionate focus on geopolitics which has narrowed its foreign policy possibilities. Moreso, Australia’s continual failure to adjust policy settings to meet the Pacific Island states’ high priority concerns, such as climate change, have created substantial friction and dissonance within the ‘family’. It is evident that a compromise must be reached; if Australia wishes to maintain its strategic defence and security engagement with the Pacific Island states, then it must first build its climate change credentials.
This policy brief advocates for the Australian Government to creatively recalibrate its Pacific step-up policies and renew its commitment to Pacific Island nations by utilising a youth-oriented approach on climate action. Over the last decade, a new generation of passion-driven youth climate activists has burgeoned, demanding global political attention and action to their demands. Although they present immense potential to be active stakeholders in the climate communication arena, these new voices have been largely underprivileged and even criticised in policy discussion, such that their views are discredited in favour of traditional authority figures. Utilising a youth-oriented approach will reap potential benefits to all parties involved. Not only will Australia foster its climate change credential on the international stage, but it will be in a better position to revitalise its legitimacy as a capable power and leader in the Indo-Pacific whilst harnessing the economic, political and sociocultural diversity that Pacific island states provide. On the other hand, these states will foster greater confidence in having Australia as their guiding ‘paternal’ figure, and their principal security partner.
To be a more genuine, comprehensive partner for the Pacific islands, Australia should:
- Make genuine effort to involve Pacific island states in cooperative operations so that they are treated as equal and active constituents – not simply as recipients. This will necessitate a refocus on doing policy ‘with’ the Pacific, not ‘for’ the Pacific.
- Align and balance its broader strategic interests with the priorities of Pacific island states, especially considering the disapproval over AUKUS’ flagship component: Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines. Furthermore, enhance transparency mechanisms between Australia and Pacific island states to facilitate trust.
- Recognise the political significance and security agenda of the Blue Pacific narrative proposed by Pacific Island states. The Australian government needs to engage more directly with the priorities and security concerns of the Blue Pacific, thus build stronger collective diplomacy within the Indo-Pacific region.
- Acknowledge the critical role of youth in public diplomacy, boosting multilateral relationship building, and strengthening Australia’s position in the Indo-Pacific region. Recognise the knowledge, skills and ideas of youth in climate change and disaster risk management. Furthermore, enable their participation and advocacy with governments and decision-makers from around the Indo-Pacific region so that they can demonstrate their action competence.
Australia’s Pacific Step-up policy was first announced at the Pacific Island Forum Leaders’ Meeting in 2016. Described as a ‘step-change’ in Australia’s relationship with Pacific regionalism, the title has been glossed and glamourised in numerous Foreign Policy and Defence White Papers. Encompassing initiatives focused on enhancing security, development, diplomatic and people-to-people links, the policy appears to be like a written continuation of Australia’s provision to the region through aid and monies. For Australia, the launch of this strategy was intended to reaffirm itself as a security partner of choice for Pacific island states. However, for these receiving states, the ‘step-up’ Australia proclaims about seems to give off a greater impression of a being ‘step-down’. The rationale behind this lies in the fallible design and ingenuity of the policy. Whilst the policy intends to increase Australia’s integration with Pacific Island states, it only compromises of initiatives that seek to reflect Canberra’s own strategic anxieties: China leveraging a larger sphere of military influence within the region. In doing so, the unique security concerns of Pacific Island governments are overshadowed and downplayed. It has been reiterated a multitude of times that climate change, not conflict, poses the “single greatest threat” to the security and people of Pacific Island states. This threat has not been properly addressed by Australia, primarily observed by their unequal focus on superpower rivalry within the region, as well as their domestic inaction on climate change. This has not only weakened the family narrative with Pacific Island states but has also weakened Australia’s own credentials as a meaningful and durable regional power.
For Australia, maintaining a strong and resilient partnership with the Pacific Island nations is vital for national defence and security purposes, as well as preserving the collective security of the Indo-Pacific. Pacific Island countries are strategically positioned between Australia and major ally, the United States. Any undesirable military presence in the region, namely by China, could potentially result in regional disputes, disrupting the region’s peacetime architecture. To avoid this, Australia must revitalise its title as the Pacific Island countries’ security partner of choice. A middle ground must be found: to foster the Pacific Island nations’ trust in being security partners with Australia, Australia must first accommodate by acting on more ambitious climate change policies.
Whilst Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government has made a solid footing in the Pacific islands by actively seeking to differentiate itself from previous Morrison government, much more work is to be done. Albanese’s Labor Party has pledged to cut emissions by 43% by 2030. Whilst this target brings Australia a little more up to speed with the rest of the developed world, it is by no means winning the race, especially when numerous other countries have promised to at least cut emissions by 50% within the same timeframe. Moreso, Australia’s support for new coal and gas projects further engrains the government’s hypocritical approach to climate change. Under these premises, Australia’s continual failure to maintain consistency has resulted in a large cloud of doubt looming over the Pacific.
Australia must seek consistency in their approach to the Pacific Island states. A new Climate Council report, endorsed by several prominent Pacific leaders, has indicated that if Australia is to claim the title of being the Pacific’s security partner of choice, it must first commit to more ambitious climate action. These will include an unprecedented level of support for the Pacific Island’s priorities in regard to global climate negotiations.
Significance of the ‘Blue Pacific’ Narrative
In the past decade, Pacific Island countries have sidestepped their archetypal portrayal as vulnerable and isolated small states; instead, they have opted to reframe their identity as “large ocean states”. In the pursuit of this alternative narrative, Pacific Island leaders have reasserted the importance of Pacific regionalism to be guided by their shared cultural, political and economic connection over the ocean. In the spirit of “one Blue Continent”, the shared ‘2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific’ was positioned at the forefront of the 2022 Pacific Islands Forum discussion agenda. The Strategy, developed through a mosaic network of Pacific governments, civil society, academia and technical consultations, sets forth a collective long-term commitment to tackling issues of “climate change, security and sustainable development”.
Figure 1: The Blue Pacific continent – Exclusive Economic Zones of 14 independent Pacific Island countries. Source: Secretariat of the Pacific Community (2014).
These issues are not foreign to the Pacific, nor are they necessarily recent. In 2007, during the UN Security Council debate on climate change, a representative from Papua New Guinea asserted that climate change dangers exposed to the small island States were “no less serious than those faced by nations and peoples threatened by guns and bombs”. A decade later in 2019, the same sense of urgency was reiterated by Fiji’s military commander in a regional security dialogue, in which he identified that out of the “three major powers in competition” over the region: United States, China, and climate change, that climate change was “winning”. In the past ten years, Pacific island countries have been victim to intense climate change disasters such as tropical cyclones, sea level rise and changing rainfall patterns. These have all had adverse impacts on livelihoods, infrastructure and settlements.
Pacific Island states have repeatedly emphasised that the growing geostrategic competition between the US and China, and Australia’s intensification of military capabilities, do little to combat the havoc of climate change. Notably, the announcement of the AUKUS trilateral security partnership in September 2021, including Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, have incited grave concern amongst the Pacific island states. Feeling “sidelined” that they weren’t included in the consultation, the general consensus of Pacific leaders was that they felt let down by Australia not acting in the “best interest” of its Pacific family. A sense of betrayal was felt by many Pacific leaders and peoples; many of whom had long-advocated for a nuclear-free Pacific after being first-hand victims of nuclear weapons testing consequences. The “staggering $368 billion” Australia has set aside for the AUKUS deal execution has caused relations with the Pacific states to fracture even deeper, considering the same money could be funded towards climate change assistance.
Australia’s Historical and Current Climate Policy
Since the late 1980s, there has been a massive accumulation of scientific evidence documenting the urgency to address the imminent threats of climate change. Up until recently, Australia’s domestic history of political battles has resulted in a colossal failure by politicians to take serious policy action. However, the federal 2022 election campaign witnessed a significant political shift which reverberated throughout Australian voters; the climate crisis was pinned as a national government priority. This was vividly demonstrated by the unprecedented support for the Greens Party and pro-climate teal independents, who forwarded the most ambitious climate change strategy during the campaign.
The Labor Party’s modest promises on climate change action and its subsequent actions are pervaded in inconsistences and contradictions. The approval of new coal and gas mines, despite scientific evidence demonstrating the adversity these mines would cost for Australia’s emissions target, was one of their most notable campaign priorities. In late August 2023, Environment Minister Plibersek approved the fourth coal project this year: an expansion of the Gregory Crinum coalmine in Queensland. The development of coalmine expansions in this year alone are expected to release an additional 150m tonnes of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere over their lifetimes. Their emissions reduction ambitions of 43% by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2050, have also been subject to international condemnation for not adequately reaching the Pairs Agreement’s 1.5-degree warming limit. It seems that both within Australia and beyond the shores, the Labor Party’s continual recklessness and hypocrisy has amounted to great distrust. In a diplomatic regional meeting last year, the Pacific Elders Voice, a group comprising of former Pacific island nations’ leaders, reiterated the importance of “halv[ing]” global emissions within the next decade, emphasising that there was “no room for new coal and gas”. Enele Sopoaga, former prime minister of Tuvalu, also referenced the Labor Party’s emissions target was “minimal”, and “far from being adequate”.
The Role of Youth in Climate Change
The federal election of 2022 witnessed the remarkable shift away from the two major parties, with a host of Greens and independent candidates filling up seats. This was accredited to what political scholars term the “youthquake”, which encompassed the significant influence of young voters (within the age bracket of 18-29-year-olds). In a time marred by bushfires, extreme heat waves and floods, it is no surprise that young people feel an increased sense of urgency to engage with politics. Australia’s largest youth survey on climate change, ‘Our World, Our Say’, revealed several noteworthy findings. An overwhelming percentage of young people, 67%, perceived Australia as not doing enough to tackle carbon emissions. More concerningly, only a very small percentage, 13%, felt listened to by Government leaders. These results demonstrate the need for youth to be at the forefront and back end of climate change conversations and policies.
Figure 2: Graph on how well youth perceive their voice to be listened to by parents, teachers, and leaders in government. Source: Our Way, Our Say (2020) survey results.
Despite young peoples’ marginal position in Australian institutional and environmental politics, they exhibit great initiative in climate activism efforts and movement-building. The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (‘AYCC’), comprising of an approximate 120,000 youths, is an example of this effort. In their advocacy, the AYCC discursively and practically frame ‘youth’ as a core strength of the organisation, and the broader climate justice movement. Their engagement in visual protest action and digital media campaigns have not gone unnoticed. At the announcement of the Labor Government’s electoral victory last year, a handful of members demonstrated an installation of emotionally-driven letters from young people across Australia demanding for more substantial climate action by the Party. More recently, the youth organisation created the campaign, ‘NewsJacker’, in an attempt to combat climate denial, misinformation and scepticism. The innovation involves a “simple link to a cookie recipe” which takes the user to a newsfeed infiltrated with “pro-climate content”. It is apparent this generation of youth possess unique strengths, knowledge and an altruistic commitment to intervene in climate change action. However, they are virtually absent as the agents who can forge Australia’s climate future.
Figure 3: AYCC members presenting letters from young Australians about their fears of climate change, live at Parliament House. Source: Canberra Daily.
If Australia wishes to sustain co-operation on defence and security with the Pacific Island nations, then it must demonstrate unparalleled effort and commitment to climate action. Four recommendations are proposed below.
Firstly, Australia must strengthen engagement with Pacific Island states through a case for inclusion. If Pacific Island states are to be treated as active partners in regional defence and security dialogues, a deeper level of trust will need to be developed. Wallis and Powles have suggested greater transparency inclusiveness of existing diplomatic and strategy partnerships, such as the Quad, currently consisting of Australia, India, Japan and the United States. Australia must make an effort to invite Pacific Island leaders to the table, and centre geopolitical discussions around their involvement and unique security concerns. This will demonstrate a genuine commitment to one another’s interests.
The Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (‘IPMDA’) initiative, supported by the Quad, intends to work with Pacific Island institutions to enhance maritime domain awareness, thereby increasing transparency to essential waterways through the region. The sharing of cutting-edge technologies will accelerate information exchange, improve capacity for in-country analytical endeavours, and strengthen interoperability. The innovation will also support the capacity of Indo-Pacific partners to rapidly respond to climate events. Though the program is a commendable strategy in the security sphere, and does reap some potential climate benefits, the Quad should do more to directly address the imminent threat of climate change for Pacific Island states.
Secondly, Australia must set Pacific priorities at the forefront of their regional policies in order to facilitate trust-building. Whilst it is promising that the current government has emphasised a focus on listening first-hand, it will have to do more than a few ministerial visits to dampen the distrust caused by AUKUS and Australia’s future acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines. The most profitable approach to diluting tension will be through transparency, honesty, and a compliance to international rules. Closed door conversations will only create room for misinformation and accusations. In a ministerial consultation earlier this year, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister mentioned the importance of “cooperation instead of secrecy” in dealing with AUKUS activities. The same point will apply for Pacific Island states. Australia must ensure that Pacific island states are kept informed of future geopolitical consultations regarding AUKUS. Furthermore, Australia must demonstrate and explain the benefits of the security partnership for its Pacific neighbours, beyond umbrella security promises. The execution of AUKUS’ Pillar Two and the advanced technologies within its scope will be particularly important in this recommendation.
Thirdly, Australia must acknowledge that Pacific Island nations are in an era of building their own narrative amidst the current geopolitical backdrop. Whilst the current Albanese Government has wholeheartedly endorsed the 2050 Strategy in rhetoric, expressing the importance of climate change policy action to its fellow Pacific family members, it fails to demonstrate this support in action. Financial aid will not be enough to signal support. Australia will need to engage more closely and deeply with the unique security agenda of the Blue Pacific to cement ties with the Pacific Island countries. By adopting this outlook, Australia will be in a better position to respond to Pacific regionalism and processes, thus enabling a “reset” of the step-up strategy posed by the previous government.
Lastly, the Albanese Government must appreciate the “wisdom of the crowd” in climate adaptation conversations. Dialogues should engage a diverse range of participants and must be conducted on the basis mutual respect and listening. This will ultimately require the Government to recognise the critical role of youth in public diplomacy and other forms of engagement. Although numerous policy documents mention youth, they are merely seen as passive recipients, incapable of exercising agency and action competence. This two-dimensionality risks pigeonholing youths as “problems to be solved, rather than partners for potential change”. To counter this, the Albanese Government must capitalise on youth leadership opportunities and experiences. There must be a genuine commitment to pedestaling youths’ voices in formal and informal spaces, such as in political forums and community groups, down to sporting or social activities. Youth mobility can also be an effective avenue to bolster diplomacy. The New Colombo Plan Mobility Program launched by the Australian Government, especially when it is in partnership with Pacific island countries, demonstrates great prospect. However, more Youth Leadership Summits must be organised by the Pacific-Australia Youth Association (‘PAYA Inc.’). In fostering collaboration, these summits create congenial environments which can conduce solutions to regional challenges that are both cross-cultural and unique. Whilst the summits are currently inaugural, the PAYA Inc. should aim to host more youth consultations through the year. This way, they will garner attention and discussions will reach political stakeholders. Furthermore, enabling youths participation in such leadership settings will strengthen diplomatic relationships.
The deal is simple: if Australia wants to retain the title of being the Pacific Island nations’ security partner of choice, then it must first build its international climate change credential. In what might be Australia’s “largest diplomatic event” to date, the Albanese Government has pledged to co-host the annual United Nations climate summit alongside its Pacific neighbours as early as 2026. This collaboration would inevitably signal two things: one Australia’s commitment climate mitigation and adaptation, and two, Australia’s ever-lasting defence and security partnership with Pacific Island countries. Until then, however, the Albanese Government must first recraft Australia’s climate priorities, and accelerate the shift away from fossil fuel projects and finances. This brief has suggested a youth-oriented approach to actioning this transition. Growing up in a time of turbulence, the youth of today are equipped with unique knowledge, ideas and skills that are needed to forge the security of the region’s future. Their participation in climate negotiations is furthermore crucial to fostering security and diplomacy with Pacific nations. On both a metaphorical and literal sense, it can be forwarded that the little things, like youth, do matter in the larger picture: that is, in shaping a stronger and resilient security alliance between Australia and Pacific Island nations.
About the author
Sarah Duong is a third-year student at the University of Western Australia. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Law and Society, as well as second major in Political Science and International Relations. Upon completion of her studies, Sarah hopes to pursue a career pathway which connects her passions of law, diplomacy, and humanitarianism.
 Jenny Hayward-Jones, “Turnbull’s First Pacific Islands Forum,” Australian Institute of International Affairs, September 15, 2016, https://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/australianoutlook/turnbulls-first-pacific-islands-forum/
 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Stepping up Australia’s Engagement with Our Pacific Family, September 1, 2019.
 James Batley, “The Albanese government and the Pacific: Now for the hard part,” The University of Melbourne (blog), August 24, 2022, https://asialink.unimelb.edu.au/insights/the-albanese-government-and-the-pacific-now-for-the-hard-part
 Joanne Wallis, “The Enclosure and Exclusion of Australia’s ‘Pacific Family,’” Political Geography 106 (2023): 1029325. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2023.102935.
 Peter Layton, “Fixing Australia’s failing Pacific Step-up strategy,” The Interpreter (blog), April 26, 2022, https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/fixing-australia-s-failing-pacific-step-strategy
 Wesley Morgan, “Large Ocean States: Pacific Regionalism and Climate Security in a New Era of Geostrategic Competition,” East Asia 39, no. 1 (2022): 45, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12140-021-09377-8.
 Ibid., 46.
 Pacific Islands Forum, The Pacific Security Outlook Report 2022-2023 (Pacific Island Forum, 2022), https://www.forumsec.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Pacific-Security-Outlook-Report-2022-2023.pdf
 Tyson Sara, “Defending the Pacific to defend Australia,” The Strategist, July 19, 2023, https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/defending-the-pacific-to-defend-australia/
 Helen Sullivan, “China’s rising power and influence in the Pacific explained in 30 seconds,” The Guardian, March 9, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/mar/09/chinas-rising-power-and-influence-in-the-pacific-explained-in-30-seconds
 Morgan, “Large Ocean States” 45.
 Batley, “Albanese government and the Pacific”
 Wesley Morgan, “Will Australia’s new climate policy be enough to reset relations with the Pacific nations?,” The Conversation, July 8, 2022, https://theconversation.com/will-australias-new-climate-policy-be-enough-to-reset-relations-with-pacific-nations-184833
 Sarah Martin, “’It doesn’t make sense’: Pacific leaders say Australia’s support for new coal at odds with Cop29 bid,” The Guardian, September 14, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/14/australia-must-set-higher-climate-ambitions-to-avert-impending-disaster-pacific-island-leaders-say
 Climate Council, A fight for survival: Tackling the climate crisis is key to security in the Blue Pacific (Australia: Climate Council, 2022), 3, https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/CC_MVSA0314-CC-Report-Pacific-Islands-Forum_V6-FA-Low_Res_Single-Screen.pdf
 Morgan, “Large Ocean States”, 46.
 Ibid., 47.
 Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Forty-eight Pacific Islands Forum (Pacific Islands Forum, 2017), 3, https://www.forumsec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final_48-PIF-Communique_2017_14Sep17.pdf
 Climate Council, “A fight for survival”, 5.
 Emyr Jones Parry, “The Greatest Threat To Global Security: Climate Change Is Not Merely An Environmental Problem,” Green Our World 44, no. 2 (2007), https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/greatest-threat-global-security-climate-change-not-merely-environmental-problem#:~:text=The%20French%20called%20it%20the,threatened%20by%20guns%20and%20bombs%22.
 Wesley Morgan, “Geostrategic competition is intensifying in the Pacific,” Griffith Asia Institute, October 1, 2020, https://blogs.griffith.edu.au/asiainsights/geostrategic-competition-is-intensifying-in-the-pacific/
 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis (The Working Group 1 contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report) (IPCC, 2021), https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessmentreport-working-group-i/
 Climate Council, “A fight for survival”, 15.
 Ibid., 6.
 Joanne Wallis and Anna Powles, Smooth sailing? How Australia, New Zealand and the United States partner in–and with–the Pacific islands (Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 2023), 19.
 Ibid., 20.
 Andrew Greene and Matthew Doran, “Australian nuclear submarine program to cost up to $368b as AUKUS details unveiled in the US,” ABC News, March 14, 2023, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-03-14/aukus-nuclear-submarine-deal-announced/102087614
 Stan Grant, “Kiribati President says AUKUS nuclear submarine deal puts Pacific at risk”, ABC News, September 28, 2021, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-28/kiribati-president-criticises-australia-defence-submarine-deal/100495894
 Robert B Stevenson, “Climate Movements, Learning and the Politics of Climate Action in Australia.” Australian Journal of Adult Learning 62, no. 3 (2022): 424.
 Ibid., 425.
 Adam Morton and Katharine Murphy, “Climate concern the main reason voters swung to independents at federal election, study finds,” The Guardian, November 28, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/nov/28/climate-concern-the-main-reason-voters-swung-to-independents-at-federal-election-study-finds
 Stevenson, “Climate Action in Australia,”, 426.
 “Pilbersek approves Labor’s fourth coal project,” The Greens, August 31, 2023, https://greens.org.au/news/media-release/plibersek-approves-labors-fourth-coal-project.
 Adam Morton, “Coalmine approvals in Australia this year could ad 150m tonnes of CO2 to atmosphere,” The Guardian, September 2, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/02/coalmine-approvals-in-australia-this-year-could-add-150m-tonnes-of-co2-to-atmosphere
 Joanne Wallis, “Contradictions in Australia’s Pacific Islands discourse,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 75, no. 5 (2021): 488, https://doi.org/10.1080/10357718.2021.1951657
 Morton, “Coalmine approvals”.
 Kate Lyons, “’Far from adequate’: Former Pacific leaders group urges Australia to increase 43% emissions cut,” The Guardian, 8 July, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/08/far-from-adequate-former-pacific-leaders-group-urges-australia-to-increase-43-emissions-cut.
 Stevenson, “Climate Action in Australia,”, 426.
 James Ross, “Young Australian voters helped swing the election – and could do it again next time,” The Conversation, June 6, 2022, https://theconversation.com/young-australian-voters-helped-swing-the-election-and-could-do-it-again-next-time-184159
 “Our World, Our Say: Australia’s largest youth survey on climate change,” Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, accessed 24, September 2023, https://www.aidr.org.au/news/our-world-our-say-australia-s-largest-youth-survey-on-climate-change/
 Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, Our World, Our Say: Youth Survey Report 2020, (Melbourne, Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, 2020), 13.
 Ibid., 22.
 Cecilia Hilder, and Philippa Collin. “The Role of Youth-Led Activist Organisations for Contemporary Climate Activism: The Case of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.” Journal of Youth Studies 25, no. 6 (2022): 793. https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2022.2054691.
 “About AYCC,” Australian Youth Coalition Council, accessed 24, September, 2023, https://www.aycc.org.au/about
 Hilder and Collin, “Youth-Led Activists Organisations,” 806.
 “’43% is a death sentence’ say youth climate activists at Parliament,” Canberra Daily, August 3, 2022, https://canberraweekly.com.au/43-is-a-death-sentence-say-youth-climate-activists-at-parliament/
 Parker McKenzie, “Sneaky or cheeky? Climate activists change the news to change views,” The New Daily, August 22, 2023, https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2023/08/22/newsjacker-hacktivism-climate/
 Wallis and Powles, “Smooth sailing?”, 12.
 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness, May 20, 2023.
 U.S. Department of State, Fact Sheet: Enhancing the U.S.-Pacific Islands Partnership, September 25, 2023.
 Dechlan Brennan, “Pacific Responses to AUKUS a Mix of Unease and Understanding,” The Diplomat, April 18, 2023, https://thediplomat.com/2023/04/pacific-responses-to-aukus-a-mix-of-unease-and-understanding/
 Yvette Tanamal, “AUKUS ‘transparency’ crucial, Indonesian minister tells Australia,” Asia News Network, February 14, 2023, https://asianews.network/aukus-transparency-crucial-indonesian-minister-tells-australia/
 Soli Middleby, Anna Powles and Joanne Wallis, “AUKUS and Australia’s relations in the Pacific,” East Asia Forum, November 4, 2021, https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2021/11/04/aukus-and-australias-relations-in-the-pacific/
 Abdul Rahman Yaacob, “AUKUS brings more than nuclear submarines to Southeast Asia,” East Asia Forum, September 15, 2023, https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2023/09/15/aukus-brings-more-than-nuclear-submarines-to-southeast-asia/
 Morgan, “Large Ocean States” 58.
 Robert Glasser, Mark Howden and Mark Crosweller, “Australia needs a comprehensive national plan for adapting to climate change,” Australian Strategic Policy Institute, December 23, 2022, https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australia-needs-a-comprehensive-national-plan-for-adapting-to-climate-change/
 Helen Berents and Katrina Lee-Koo, “Finding a place for youth leadership in Australia’s new International Development Policy,” The Interpreter, September 12, 2023, https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/finding-place-youth-leadership-australia-s-new-international-development-policy
 Ly Thi Tran, Huyen Bui, and Minh Nguyet Nguyen. “Youth Agency in Public Diplomacy: Australian Youth Participation in Outbound Mobility and Connection Building Between Australia and the Indo-Pacific Region.” International Studies in Sociology of Education 32, no. 2 (2023): 409–33. https://doi.org/10.1080/09620214.2021.2017784.
 DFAT, “New Colombo Plan scholars strengthening ties with the Pacific through youth leadership summit,” February, 16, 2023, https://www.dfat.gov.au/people-people/new-colombo-plan-scholars-strengthening-ties-pacific-through-youth-leadership-summit
 Wesley Morgan, “After decades putting the brakes on global action, does Australia deserve to host UN climate talks with Pacific nations?” Climate Council, November 11, 2022, https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/does-australia-deserve-host-un-climate-talks-with-pacific-nations/#:~:text=As%20the%20COP27%20climate%20talks,be%20a%20very%20big%20deal.