The Defendants

The Rising Tide 7 are people from all walks of life volunteering their time because of their concern about climate change and our future. The two women and five men include two primary school teachers, a social worker, an honours student, a horticulturalist, an environmentalist and a science student. Here are a couple of profiles of the people facing the victims compensation claim. Both defendants can be contacted for media enquiries.

Matt Breen is a social worker for a local neighbourhood centre where he coordinates a youth drop-in service and school suspension program. Whilst studying Matt worked for two disability support services, assisting people with acquired brain injuries. Prior to his university studies, Matt worked for six years as a tradesperson for a small-scale joinery business.

Matt became involved in environmental work a year ago after learning about the seriousness of global warming and the serious lack of action by government to address it. He says that he can’t ignore global warming any longer, as the well-being of people is dependent on the well-being of the planet. Matt is calling for urgent government leadership on coal and climate change.

Carly Phillips is a school teacher in her mid-20’s who lives in Newcastle. She believes that if we all stand together we can make a difference. She has a passion for environmental and social justice and has been involved with a diversity of community groups including the NSW Rural Fire Service, trade unions, environment groups and Rising Tide Newcastle. In between work and study she enjoys keeping active in the great outdoors with family and friends.
She wants to see a shift away from the coal industry due to its negative effects on the climate, the health of local people, water quality, farming and horse-breeding industries in the Hunter. Carly believes that together we can move away from coal to create a just, modern and sustainable renewables industry in the Hunter, while creating green jobs.

Shaun Douglas is a primary school teacher, actor, musician and student. Shaun is not a member of Rising Tide although supports the fundamental principles of the group. Shaun became involved with this particular protest action because ze wants the negative health and environmental impacts of coal mining, coal exports and coal-fired power stations to stop. Get ready for a cliché statement… Our children are the guardians of our future, the future of our planet (our home), the future of our society and our smaller communities. It makes sense to Shaun that Port Waratah Coal Services are concerned about the safety of protests like this, because they don’t know us. Shaun says: “I am not a reckless person. I am concerned with the health and safety of this planet and its inhabitants, and will stand up for what I believe in.”

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