'Don't be a sucker Campaign' coordinator - Byron Bay
When I was a baby I was put in water and apparently just knew what I was doing. My mum says I swam out of her arms and just paddled about, so I have always felt a strong connection with the ocean. From a pretty young age I have had a huge drive towards environmental conservation, and have been on a constant mission to get involved. At about 12 years old I painted my first surfboard and was straight away trying to plan (very naively) how I could sell surfboard art to raise funds for kids in India. This turned into a t-shirt brand idea a few years later, with the same fundraising concept, and the ideas just kept flowing. I travelled to South East Asia with my mum when I was younger, and seeing the levels of pollution and the inability to implement waste programs to help the situation, my drive to get involved became stronger.
As I became more and more educated on the impacts of plastics on the ocean, it really hit hard. For a few years now I have been committed to try and live free of single use plastics, and to encourage this in those around me. Travelling around Europe I saw the scale of plastic use, particularly within the hospitality industry, and how as a race we have gotten to a point where it is unquestionably our first choice. This really put things into a worldwide perspective for me and showed how much we need to address this habit. This passion for protecting the beautiful planet we live on has given me the dedication to get involved and make as much of a difference as I can. I am grateful to work with both PCFML and Australian Seabird Rescue, and to get out and involve the community in making long-term changes that benefit our ocean.