Tell us about your environmental work?
I’m President of Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast and heavily involved in their Rise Above Plastics campaign. I am also one of the founders of Boomerang Bags – a collaborative community initiative which will reduce the use of plastic bags.
What drew you to environmental activism?
I grew up spending a lot of time outdoors, and after finishing school studied environmental science and conservation, which really brought to light all of the issues we are currently facing. Nature gives us so much, not only by catering to our physical needs but in bringing us joy, awareness, secluded moments, energy and experience. It keeps us alive! We are all part of the same system and it’s our responsibility to respect and look after it.
What do you think the Gold Coast’s greatest environmental asset is?
I think what makes the Gold Coast so special is the diversity of natural environments – pristine coastline, great surf, creeks and estuaries, bush and hinterland, all right at the doorstep of its’ urban landscapes.
While you’re fighting hard for environmental protection there are so many eco horror stories in the media. How do you keep positive when the road ahead seems sorocky?
It can definitely get overwhelming at times – the planet is facing many environmental and social challenges, which can sometimes make you want to throw in the towel. I think it helps to be realistic about what you can achieve – stay focused on trying to make a difference in your own life and local community, that’s where it starts, and take comfort in knowing that big change starts from the bottom up.
What do you think is the best thing about being a young woman on the GC?
The GC offers a unique blend of affordability and lifestyle when compared to many other Australian cities, resulting in a large demographic of young people and families who bring a sense of adventure, energy, creativity and open-mindedness. Being a relatively new city I think it presents a real opportunity for young people to carve their own path and shape its future.
Photo courtesy Lamp Photography.