PATAGONIA: PROTECT AUSTRALIA'S OCEAN FOR GOOD
Harbord Hotel recently became the stage for an extraordinary event fuelled by the shared desire to safeguard our oceans. Partnering with Patagonia Australia, the venue was transformed into a hub of activism, inspiring discussions, and an eager call to fortify Australia’s commitment to preserving our precious oceans and marine ecosystems.
At the forefront of this movement stood Host, Dave Rastovich, a luminary free surfer and an unwavering voice against threats posed to our oceans. Rastovich, co-founder of Surfers for Cetaceans, alongside his family, champions sustainability, residing close to the waters of regional New South Wales.
The night was joined by incredible speakers including:
Lauren L. Hill is a surfer, writer, mother, podcaster, activist, and surf ambassador. She is the co-host of the Waterpeople podcast, the author of She Surf: The Rise of Female Surfing and the filmmaker behind The Physics of Noseriding (2022).
Lauren writes for a variety of publications, ranging from academic to mainstream media in the US, Europe, and Australia.She has appeared in award-winning documentary films including Bella Vita (2013), and Transparent Sea Voyage (2013), Beyond the Surface (2014), The Heart & The Sea (2015), The Church of the Open Sky (2018).
Belinda ‘Bindy’ Baggs’ is a passionate all-around surfer, best known for her graceful and technically accomplished longboard style.
Her career highlights include becoming the Australian Professional Longboard Circuit Champion in 2000, and placing third in the Women’s World Longboard Championship in Costa Rica that same year. She was the first female surfer to grace the cover of ‘Surfers Journal’ and has featured in surf films, including ‘Never Town’ (2018), ‘The Reef Beneath’ (2018), and ‘South Fish’ (2019).
In 2019, Bindy visited the Heron Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef and following this formative trip, she co-founded the not-for-profit group Surfers for Climate.
Tishiko King is a proud Kulkalaig woman from the Island of Masig and Badugal of Themu Clan in the Torres Strait Islands. As a saltwater woman and marine biologist, she feels a deep connection and sense of belonging to the ocean. Her island home and community is on the frontlines of climate impacts, and she is a staunch advocate for systemic reform for a just and equitable future for First Nations people.
Tish participated in the COP28 UAE, COP27 Sharm El Sheik and the UN COP26 Glasgow in her role Campaigns Director for Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network and as a representative for Our Islands Our Home. She has worked with several prominent NGOs and charities and will deliver the keynote address of the evening.
Nathan is a surfer, photographer, filmmaker, and sea gazer from the North Coast of New South Wales.He has been making films for over 15 years, and garnered awards including Best Feature Film (San Diego Surf Film Festival), Best Feature Film (Berlin Surf Film Festival), and Best Cinematography (Florida Surf Film Festival). His photographs are regularly published in international surfing magazines and he was included in Surfing World Magazine’s ‘Fifty Most Intriguing People In Surfing.’
Dr Simon Bradshaw
Dr Simon Bradshaw is a researcher on climate science and impacts at the Climate Council. A writer and campaigner for climate action, he was formerly the Climate Change Advocacy Lead at Oxfam Australia. Simon’s research and advocacy has taken him to the Torres Strait Islands, Tibet, India, throughout the Pacific, and to international climate negotiations.
Amidst the buzz of films, live music, and conversations, the resounding message echoed loud and clear—the time to protect our oceans is now. Despite Australia’s historical leadership in ocean conservation, unsettling developments in recent years have seen the reduction of protections for marine ecosystems, exposing vast areas to potentially detrimental industrial activities. This pivotal shift.signifies the urgent need for collective action.