History

The early yellow sign campaign ‘Show Our Colours’, grew from the ashes of the unprecedented fires that wreaked havoc on the NSW South Coast in January 2020.  South Coast residents, many of them farmers, took to painting their front gates yellow and emblazoning them with the words “We want climate action”.  The Australian Conservation Foundation ran with the campaign. It went viral. 

Founding member of CANsign and Show Our Colours campaigner Jack Egan and his partner lost their home in North Rosedale on New Year’s Eve.  It was the final straw for Jack as well as for dairy farmer Rob Miller of Milton whose farm was decimated by the Currowan fire.

“Families and communities across rural and regional Australia are living through wave after wave of extreme weather events. My family has been on the land for a long time. We know what we’re seeing, and we’re not alone. The climate is not just changing, it is breaking down. I’m taking a stand and I’m asking you to do the same alongside me.”

The CANgate concept sprang from the realisation that a lot more people would also want to ‘Show their Colours’ in solidarity.   What was needed was readily available, pre-made, stand-out yellow Climate Action Now signage. 

 

Jed from Gundaroo
Jed from Gundaroo

Started in February 2020 by Jack and long time friend Jed Johnson from Gundaroo, the CANgate group successfully piloted the design, printing, sale and distribution of over 100 signs now displayed on farm fences, front fences and main street shopfronts in Gundaroo, Murrumbateman and Collector near Canberra, and around Milton, Broulee and Moruya on the NSW south coast. 

 And the signs are popping up everywhere. The Honourable Kristy McBain MP, former Bega Valley Mayor and now Federal MP for Eden-Monaro, has a sign!

Jack’s story has turned him into an international media phenomenon.  In November the Australian National Museum visited North Rosedale to collect his aluminium tinny, partially melted by the New Year’s Eve inferno and now also painted yellow, to exhibit at the museum.  

In October 2020 we changed our name from ‘CANgate to ‘CANsign’to better reflect what we do. At the same time we’ve become a not-for-profit incorporated organisation, positioning ourselves to amplify the climate ‘call to action’ through signs appearing on every street across the community and across the nation.