The Little Editor Matilda says climate change matters to young children too

CLIMATE change is a big deal for primary school pupils too, The Little Issue‘s influential editor Matilda Goodbourn says.

While high schoolers might tend to dominate more media attention when it comes to climate concern, Matilda said primary schoolers were also determined to make change and keen for others to take note. This was so much so that Matilda dedicated her third edition of The Little Issue glossy magazine to climate change – her first themed edition.

The nine-year-old has important people taking note of her publication. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison personally responded to a letter fellow Emmaus Catholic Primary pupils that featured in the magazine’s first edition last year.

Prime Minister Morrison encouraged the girls to continue pursuing what they were most passionate about and to speak up, to debate, with others while respectfully listening to others’ opinions. You can read his reply in issue number two.

Climate change is a topic Matilda has been keen to delve right into. Matilda even asked her principal Jo-Anne Bond for a day’s leave to attend a climate change rally in Melbourne this year and was surprised when given not only complete approval but the suggestion such an could be an excursion for the whole school another time.

“Climate is the first real theme for the magazine. In our school, I’d say about half the kids know about it and most are in the top form,” Matilda said. “I want the magazine to help give ideas what they can do.”

Climate is the first real theme for the magazine. In our school, I’d say about half the kids know about it…I want the magazine to help give ideas what they can do.

Matilda, The Little Issue editor

This was Matilda’s reasoning behind creating The Little Issue last year. Matilda saw someone selling The Big Issue on a Ballarat street and, as an avid reader, asked her mum for a copy. When her mum explained somethings were not always for children to read, Matilda saw a gap in the market.

The Little Issue is both about giving children a voice and raising awareness on important issues. Launched via the school’s justice program, all money raised helps homeless and vulnerable people in the community – just like The Big Issue.

This landed Matilda a big exclusive interview with The Big Issue‘s editor Amy Hetherington last summer.

“She’s a lot like me. She’s older, of course, but passionate about the same things,” Matilda said. “I was always going to do a second issue of The Little Issue but this inspired me to keep going.”

Matilda said it was cool to explore The Big Issue‘s underground offices in Melbourne. While Matilda prefers to work above ground, in daylight at school, she appreciated all the elements that go into making an issue. There are learnings Matilda has taken back to adapt to her magazine.

From the outset, Matilda with the help of teacher Jo O’Kelly oversees the whole publication as she learns demands about the media industry from scratch, including which articles and submissions to print.

The Little Issue has raised about $700, after printing costs, from three issues for Ballarat Soup Bus. Her next issue, due out next year, is shaping up to focus on animal extinction and what children can do to make a difference.

Matilda is also hoping for more contributors and hopes a questionnaire in her latest edition will encourage readers to interview their grandparents.

And on the letter from Prime Minister Morrison: “I was there when the girls found it. People from the office brought it down to the classroom. It was really cool, even for me because I didn’t write it”.

Emmaus principal Jo-Anne Bond was impressed with Matilda’s dedication, attention to detail and willingness to learn to show young people could stand up and make a difference in their community.

To submit to The Little Issue or to enquire about a digital copy, email

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