I was born and raised in rural South Australia by my amazing parents Brett and Tracey, with my brother Jedd, spending the first 15 years of my life based on a property on the Fleurieu Peninsula, while also spending many weekends and all my holidays down at Marion Bay, Yorke Peninsula.
My love for the ocean started at a young age. We would spend every free second at the beach, learning to surf at the age of 4, and eventually competing and travelling, inspired me to explore Eyre Peninsula and beyond with my family and friends.
After deciding to stop surfing competitively at age 18, I went Flinders University, finishing a three-year degree in Marine Biology, and travelling to Indonesia, Japan, and Tonga. I wanted to work directly with marine life, which is what brought me to Port Lincoln. The amazing coastline, the marine life, the surf, and my wonderful partner Tyron, is what made me call this home.
After spending a season working with the great crew at Adventure Bay Charters, I travelled to Hawaii, then Fiji, with Tyron, where I gained further diving qualifications, volunteer experience in whale research, surfed some great waves and experienced some amazing places.
Last year I obtained my coxwains and also my Dive Master qualifications, to further improve my skills, and also to better my resume.
Although being based here, and loving it, I always come and go for work or other opportunities. Along with my work with animals, I also have a background in film, social media, and acting.
In 2016, I travelled to the US to work with Oceana and Discovery Channel on a project raising awareness about the shark finning industry and the decline of sharks globally, for Shark Week. Throughout June, July and August in 2016, I volunteered for two months with Ecocean Whale Shark Research, in Exmouth, Western Australia. Here I helped to drive the research boat, assisted in photo collection for identification research, and learnt about other research methods such as acoustic and satellite tagging. This ended in working on a tourism boat in the area, as a whale shark guide, and a humpback whale swim guide, which were both amazing roles. I also travelled to Lake Tahoe for the launch of the GoPro Hero 5, which was amazing.
Later 2016 saw some unfortunate events involving us losing our beloved pup Balu, an adventurous and caring Border Collie cross, which inspired me to found Balu Blue Foundation.
The foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with a purpose of environmental and wildlife education, and conservation. Our mission is to create awareness and inspire protection of the natural environment and its wildlife, through experience and education, while contributing to existing projects with parallel purposes.
Our mission involves primary research on wildlife species, rescue of native wildlife, and restoring destroyed habitats. We aim to educate and inspire sustainable and ethical living, that minimises our harm to the oceans, animals, and our planet as a whole.
Our first event will be in collaboration with SALT Festival, in April. Working on setting this organisation up, taking care of our beautiful rescue joey Bunji, and also surfing, is what I have been up to in the last few months.
We are looking forward to a happy, healthy, and sustainable 2017.