RMIT journalism student Johanna Keskitalo recently attended a cycling tour between Mirboo and Boolarra in country Victoria in the hopes of finding out why the areas nearby have become of focal point of an extended environmental campaign.

Keskitalo and her group were led by well-known Great Forest National Park advocate and cyclist Aidan Kempster.

On her motivations for writing the piece, Keskitalo says:

Amid the environmental crises and debate on the new coal mines in Australia, many people are left feeling powerless and pessimistic about the future. I find that a big part of the dissension regarding our natural resources and environmental protection comes down to disagreeing about the value of nature and its meaning to different groups of people.

I wanted to write an inspirational piece that also unravels what kind of meaning nature and especially the forests in Victoria, that are being logged at an alarming rate, hold for different people.

The essay focuses on Aidan Kempster, an environmental activist, who organises bike rides around the Victorian forests for anyone interested in order to take people out in nature and raise awareness for the Great Forest National Park campaign. I had a chance to join him on one of his trips and photograph the day.

Click through the gallery below to see the full photo essay.