Environmentally conscious Australians have been given the opportunity to be crowned Australia's very own Erin Brockovich in a competition run by the Environmental Justice Society (EJS).
Entrants in the Environmental Crusader Competition, which was launched last month by international environmental crusader and human rights activist Erin Brockovich, must make a short video about a local environmental issue of their choice and upload it to the EJS website in order to win.
The EJS's executive secretary and crusader competition judge, Rebecca Jancauskas, said the competition is a new and exciting way for people to voice their concerns and help protect Australia's environment.
"The EJS encourages all environmentally conscious Australians to showcase an issue close to their heart and their home by entering this competition," she said.
"We are appealing to those who believe the health of their local environmental is being compromised to film the evidence and enter." The winning entrant will be crowned "Australia's Erin Brockovich" and will receive a trip for two to Los Angeles to meet the real Erin Brockovich.
As the official patron of the EJS, the real Erin Brockovich has joined forces with experts from WWF Australia, the National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology, Doctors for the Environment, Environmental Defenders Office, and Shine Lawyers to further the cause of environmental protection in Australia.
"I want to find my Australian equivalent," Brockovich said at last month's EJS launch in Brisbane.
"This country is at the beginning of a period of huge growth that will continue for decades to come and it's all driven by the resources in the ground. The EJS is an Australian-first organisation that acts as a guardian of people's rights to a safe and healthy environment. We want to preserve Australia's pristine beaches, waterways, rainforests and wilderness for generations to come."
Brockovich added that Australia has a chance to avoid many of the environmental problems plaguing communities in the United States, but this will depend on people taking responsibility for voicing concerns when they have them.
"Ultimately, I'd love to see all Australians take the responsibility of acting as custodians of the magnificent natural environment you have in your country," she said. "It's unique, and it needs to be taken care of in the best way possible."