Please share a little bit about who you are and what you do in your regular life?
This made me laugh - what is regular? I’m 29, but I’ve lived in 4 decades, two millennia, 13 towns, 6 countries, 20 houses, 4 pubs, 2 tents and a sea container. There are a thousand stories just in all that, but I'll try and stay on track! I host a breakfast radio show for Spirit Radio in Western Australia which broadcasts (and I'm completely biased) to the most beautiful and untouched wild places of Australia. I get to combine my passion for music and WA into a role where it is my job to wake people up and put them in a good mood to start their day. I am a self confessed ocean addict and love to spend my time on, in, near or under the waves. Whether it's SUPing, scuba diving, snorkeling or swimming, I can never get enough. I’ve recently learnt to free dive and kite surf - now to practice!
At what point did you begin to learn about the issue of sustainability in every area of daily life?
I was working with a sea turtle conservation organization in Greece called Archelon when I was 20. Admittedly I first joined because living in a tent on a beach in Greece sounded (and was) amazing. But after gathering scientific data through nesting surveys and educating tourists about the nesting beaches and our impact on their environment, it became a changing point in my life. Being surrounded by people who were studying marine biology and conservation opened me up to conversations and situations that I'd never encountered before.
Nothing hit me as hard as when I was on a night survey, army crawling my way up the beach behind a nesting Loggerhead, and I saw a piece of rope hanging out of her mouth all the way through her body and out her cloaca where she was laying eggs from. She had swallowed it. I saw plastic bag, after plastic bottle, after cigarette butt on the shores of the nesting beaches every day and I finally put the connection together. What I put in the bin doesn't go away. It ends up in the ocean that I love.
Have you embraced any changes that help you personally leave a smaller ecological footprint?
It has been a slow process that has grown since then. When I started on radio I got in contact with Alice Forrest who is a Conservation Biologist I met during my time in Greece. Despite never being in the same place, we had stayed in touch. I asked her to do a weekly segment with me about getting rid of single use plastic. So while I was using my new platform, I took the opportunity to learn about the simple changes that we can all make to reduce our single use plastic. I have stopped using the big 4, plastic shopping bags, disposable coffee cups, straws and plastic bottles, I have been slowly finding beauty products with less or no packaging, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I guess more than anything I woke up to the fact that I can't treat anything as disposable.
Every single piece of plastic that has ever been made exists somewhere on our planet. When I buy something or use something, I question if there is a natural alternative or if I really need to buy it at all. I don't get it right every time and sometimes I forget to order my drink without a straw or get caught out on a hot day with no water; but just because it gets hard doesn't mean I'll give up. It really gives me hope when I see the popularity of the war on waste movement that has picked up over the last 18 months or so. When people get disheartened and feel helpless that they don’t feel they are doing enough, trust me you are. Even just thinking about it and being conscious of your decisions is huge. The message is simple. Just do something, anything, and it will help. So even if it's just increasing the amount of vegetarian meals you cook or going to the op shop first to find a new outfit, it all ads up!
How did you meet Zuhal and what led you to become involved with EFWA 2018?
I contacted Zuhal to come on my radio show to tell my listeners about the first EFWA in 2017. She had recently done a media launch at the Dowerin Field Days which is in the heart of the Wheatbelt and farming country in WA. There aren't exactly many internationally acclaimed fashion labels paying tribute to the primary producers and I thought it was a great story! Plus I was excited to see a WA designer leading the way in Eco fashion in Australia.
What was it about EFWA's mission that drew you to offer your talents in support of this international event?
When Zuhal came in to share her story with me in 2017 I was completely enchanted. I have to be honest here and say the fashion industry has never been something I connected with for various reasons. But when I learnt that Zuhal was a vet, a scientist, a teacher and an animal conservationist, and that she uses fashion now as a language to communicate her important sustainability message, I thought this is something I can get behind! The fashion world is so glamorous and alien for me, but Zuhal's intentions and spirit make it feel real.
As a part of the EFWA 2017 team, what role or roles will you be filling?
I am delighted to be on board as the MC as well as the Australian Ambassador for the event.
Any last words or a favourite quote on sustainability?
I've never been very interested in space exploration. The stars are fascinating, but my home is our blue planet. The ocean in its vast, mysterious entirety brings me more pure joy than I can express with words. We simply cannot exist without it. When I'm diving with a reef shark, or dancing with a manta ray, I can look them in the eye and know I am doing my best to protect their home.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - The Lorax