This week, Millicent Shungube boarded a plane and made the long trip from her home town of Phola, South Africa, to Australia.
Millicent is here to put pressure on Australia’s fourth largest mining company, South32, which operates a large coal mine directly impacting her community of Phola, South Africa.
Deeply concerned by the impacts of South32’s coal mine on their community, women in Phola launched a year-long investigation to document the truth about the Klipspruit mine – and already they’ve brought to light some disturbing findings.
“Ever since the mine came in there’s been a lot of changes. People no longer have space for farming, they’re taking our water. Illnesses have increased in a way that small children are suffering from asthma, sinus problems and eye irritation because of the dust that they cause. We no longer live in an environment that is stable.”
“South32 hasn’t done any justice for the community of Phola Ogies, that’s why we are demanding they be held accountable,” explained Millicent.
Thanks to the generous support of the ActionAid community who chipped in to cover her travel costs, Millicent was able to travel to Australia this month to ramp up the pressure on South32 to respond to her community’s calls for justice.
But this trip is also an important opportunity for Millicent to grow support for her campaign by connecting with everyday Australians who support the community’s cause.
Sydneysiders are invited to come along on Tuesday 20 November for a unique opportunity to hear from women on the frontlines of the fight for climate and environmental justice around the world.
Millicent will be talking about her community’s campaign to see justice from South32, and will be joined by Dr. Ruth Saovana Spriggs, a Bougainvillean academic, researcher and activist, who has been outspoken on the impacts of large-scale extractive industry projects on women in PNG.
We’ll be screening a short film about the impacts of the extractives industry in PNG, and beverages will be provided. A delicious dinner will be available by donation at this event, which is run in partnership with Jubilee Australia.
When: Tuesday November 20th, 6pm
Where: Redfern Town Hall•73 Pitt St, Redfern, Australia 2016
MELBOURNE: Voices of Resistance event
Are you based in Melbourne? Join us this Sunday 18 November for a unique opportunity to hear directly from Millicent and connect with other inspiring human rights activists from around the world.
Millicent will be joined by labour rights activist Sheung So from Hong Kong who is campaigning for better working conditions in factories in China.
There will be music, snacks will be provided and meals will be available from the Friends of the Earth Food Coop.
When: Sunday November 18, 6pm
Where: Friends of the Earth Café, 312 Smith St, Collingwood, Australia 3066
Come along on Thursday 22 November for a unique opportunity to meet Millicent Shungube over dinner by donation at Annalakshmi on the Swan. Millicent will be sharing her story and we will be writing messages of support that she can take back to share with her community.
Come and join us at the dinner table and show your support for Millicent and her community!
When: Thursday 22 November, 6:30pm
Where: Annalakshmi on the Swan, Jetty 4, Barrack Square, Perth
Can’t make it to the events in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth? Join a live webinar with Millicent Shungube from Phola, South Africa on Monday 19 November.
This will be your chance to hear about the work of the Greater Phola Ogies Women’s Forum, show your support, and ask them any questions you have about their campaign.