Taking on Shoalhaven City Council and speaking emotively about a subject they are passionate about is all part of the learning curve for a group of Ulladulla High School students.
When Takesa Frank, Jade Mudge and Lachlan Congram spoke at a recent council meeting they knew not everyone would agree with their views on climate change or support some of the protests they took part in.
However, they got their message and reasoning across in the end.
The students, at the meeting, put forward a deposition regarding climate change and why the community needs to take action.
Takesa said they talked about climate change and how it would influence people in the future.
A motion was also put forward to acknowledge the student's effort which created a bit of debate from the councillors.
It looked like the students would not be acknowledged, at first, but they went home with a victory under their belts.
Council will now acknowledge Shoalhaven students for their direct action/involvement in the Students Global Strike for Climate Action movement.
Jade said it was good to hear everyone's perspective on the issue and they did not take the parts of the process that was against them to heart.
"They (the councillors) all wanted to give their opinions on it and it was educational for us to hear what ways of protest actually get heard," she said.
Takesa said the process did not frustrate her as she was happy the topic got the councillors talking.
"I think it creates awareness because the point of going on strike or rallying is to get people's attention. Obviously, we are doing that because they were debating about it at their meeting and so I think we are getting out point across," she said.
Takesa said most of the councillors were supportive.
"I think most of them are on our side and do want to help us," Takesa said.
Some students have coped criticism because they took part in protests, like the one held in Nowra last Friday, instead of going to school.
Lachlan said he and many other students also try to raise awareness about the environment in their own time, including on the weekends.
"It's all about sacrifice really and at Ulladulla High School we sacrificed our lunchtime and we did a rally at lunchtime," he said.
"This showed we were caring about our education but also wanted to have our say on climate change as well and get our message across."
Lachlan said he would like to have seen what the students did at the rally in Nowra last Friday.
He said the argument that the students who attended the rally on Friday should have stayed in class didn't rate with him.
"It does not really affect us in the long run because once we reach the level of Year 12 you are applying for university and early entry. They ask what we have done in your community, they ask what we have accomplished, what extracurricular activities we have done and this is something we can talk about."
Jade did attend the rally on Friday.
"When we had the rally on Friday at Nowra we actually picked up rubbish along the way. We wanted to show that the youths were not there just to get out of school and that we are actively trying to make a difference," she said.
The students also organise beach clean up days and try to raise awareness on single-use plastics.
Lalchan said as a group the students had accomplished much.
One of their accomplishments, along with some other students, was setting up a Shoalhaven Youth Voice Group.
The group allows all Shoalhaven school students to take part in the debate and they had their first meeting last week.
Read More: Students take part in protest in Nowra