Long before COVID-19 and the devastating bushfires of 2020's Black Summer, 20 UTS Journalism students fanned out across NSW to see how regional communities are living with climate change.

Between January 28 and February 9, they split into four teams and left Sydney on train or coach, bound for the Mid North Coast, South Coast, Central West/Orana and New England regions. 

Over four days they met and interviewed children, farmers, community leaders and more, to find out what it's like to live with the increasingly constant spectre of drought, bushfires and floods. They asked these communities how they were building a sustainable future and how, as trainee journalists, they could help bridge the divide between city and country climate reporting.

The students were welcomed into homes and workplaces with open arms. They heard stories of struggle, resilience and hope and discovered rural communities united in their active search for solutions. 

These are their stories.

*The Regional Reporting Project has been made possible by the philanthropic support of Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Atlassian.

 Forster-Tuncurry (Photo: Mark Kriedemann)

Strategy to build Bega’s climate resilience

Dairy farmers in the Bega Valley have long battled supermarkets over the prices paid for their milk products, so when summer’s bushfires swept through their properties and herds, it was all too cruel a blow.



A smoky dawn over Cobargo in the NSW Bega Valley. The dairy community was hit hard during the December bushfires, with the drought leaving locals very little water to defend their homes and businesses. (Photo: Isabella Garrido)



Grant "John" Cadoret, seen here just outside Dubbo, has been walking the highways of eastern Australia for more than 40 years. He reckons the summers are getting hotter and longer. (Photo:William Owens)





MID NORTH COAST: Emily Kowal, Melanie Wong, Mark Kriedemann, Soofia Tariq and Alex Turner-Cohen

SOUTH COAST (with TrainLink South staff): Hanchi Nguyen, Kate Atkinson, Isabella Garrido and Lanie Tindale


ORANA/CENTRAL WEST: Matthew Kruzmetra, Henry McGilchrist, Bevin Liu, Madeleine Achenza, William Owens and Daniella Scotti

NEW ENGLAND: Kirsten Jelinek, Travis Radford, Sidney Boen (front), Lauren Klugt and Rhiannon Soliman-Marron


(click each publication logo to read even more )




Sue Stephenson, Dr Helen Vatsikopolous, Dr Chrisanthi Giotis, Marcus Eckermann, Michael Stranges, Lori Hamilton, Destiny Wolf and UTS Head of Journalism Professor Monica Attard. 

*The Regional Reporting Project has been made possible by the philanthropic support of Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Atlassian.


Narromine earth (Photo: William Owens)