Wollongong teenager Jess Hewett won't be silenced when it comes to fighting for climate justice.
Even being called a 'bludger, wagger, puppet and idiot' won't get in the way of the Smith's Hill High School student.
In fact the 16-year-old is on a mission to encourage young and old alike to come together to fight climate change and save the environment.
Her passion for climate justice was rewarded recently when the young environmental champion was among 37 regional winners of ABC Heywire storytelling competition.
Jess was part of more than 50 young regional Australians who headed to Parliament House earlier this week to pitch their ideas for social change to Members of Parliament, Senators and community leaders.
"My group's idea was about an App which encourages people to participate in daily challenges to be more sustainable," she said.
"It went really well. They really liked our ideas and we got heaps of great feedback and heaps of people interested saying they'd download the App once it is developed."
Jess got involved in the Heywire program because she was really passionate about the issue of climate change and bridging the gap between generations in fighting climate change.
This passion was ignited on November 30, ironically Jess' first and only day off school in 2018.
"I made my sign: "Denial is not a climate policy", and excitedly got on the train from Wollongong to Sydney for the first mass-school climate justice strike," she said.
"I was awestruck when I saw the sheer amount of people who were at the protest.
It shocked me to see that so many people cared about the environment. It was inspiring.Jess Hewett
"It shocked me to see that so many people cared about the environment. It was inspiring."
But Jess was also shocked at the reaction and response of some of the older generation, who shouted out 'bludger, wagger, puppett and idiot' to the young protestors.
While initially offended, Jess, who has been to six more protests since, is more determined than ever to speak up.
"We are not protesting because we hate authority or because we hate going to school," she said. "We are protesting because our futures are in danger from the growing threat of climate change.
"So, no matter how much I am told to shut up, I will not silence my voice."
Jess is also making positive change through a waste management system at her school.
So, no matter how much I am told to shut up, I will not silence my voice.Jess Hewett
"By implementing sustainable waste management techniques, like a paper recycling system and compositing, we are hoping to reduce our waste to landfill and minimise our impact on the environment," she said.
But above all the climate change activist wants to bridge the gap between young and old when it comes to protecting the environment.
"There is a lot of anxiety around the climate change movement, but there is also so much joy to be found if we look at the potential of what we can achieve together," she said.
"No matter your age, please do anything in your power to save the environment, and our future."