Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant – Robert Louis Stevenson
This is a story about the citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, about those who spend their lives with her, about those who believe in her future.
I have been shouting about the Great Barrier Reef for as long as I can remember, about her beauty and bounty. It’s actually pretty surprising when people respond in such a big way. It makes you realise that there are people out there just like you, who aren’t scientists or scholars, just passionate souls who are filled with the urge to share the story of this place.
Late last year, a film crew found my own story of growing up on the reef and invited me to be a part of an upcoming project centered on exactly that – Citizen Science and the next generation of Reef Warriors, living and working on the Great Barrier Reef, really listening and learning from her. It’s a really exciting project for me to be involved with, because I feel I have an opportunity to truly express my place in this world. At this stage I cannot reveal the finer details of this film or exactly what it entails, but I can tell you – it is HUGE; and it’s message is true.
I know there has been endless talk about the Great Barrier Reef is the past few years, and the threats stacking up against it. Something people need to remember is that an outlook of “doom and gloom” does not inspire change, as it reinforces a belief that it is too late to make a difference. Try and remember what you have learned about media perception and about hidden agendas (funding). Positive, accurate information inspires change. There are threats, but there are also many, many people who are here, living and working on the reef today. Through the sharing of information, this film is attempting to inspire people to make their own decisions and reinstate a worldwide mindset of HOPE. This message not only applies to the Great Barrier Reef, but to every corner of the planet.
We are set to film on and off throughout 2017, attempting to capture the many changing seasons and pockets of wonder to be found on the GBR. I have never been involved with anything like this before, it is an absolute privilege to be able to watch and learn from these passionate and hardworking individuals making this happen from behind the scenes.
I guess I never took into account how challenging it would be, filming in and around the reef with such high-end equipment and everything else involved with setting up the scenes – the amount of time and thought involved and the ridiculous amounts of equipment required to assemble and disassemble. It’s good to see the difficulties and ultimately the rewards, because it reaffirms to me that this is the sort of thing I can see myself working towards in the future.
Having an opportunity to show off my home on Green Island and my family has been a very special part of this process. My mum is even going to have a place in the film alongside me. This is especially important to me, as my parents are the gatekeepers to my limitless world. Sometimes I feel as if I can never give back enough to my parents to thank them for everything they have given to me. I think that is why I throw myself so far into this world, to show them I will never take for granted, even for a second, the incredible life I have been blessed to live and my desire to learn and inspire through it.
My parents gave me an incredible gift the day they decided to raise their children on an Island in the Great Barrier Reef. Since the day I was born, I was destined to nurture an unbreakable connection to the GBR. She has given me everything I have – every opportunity, all my passions, endless inspiration, endless joy and satisfaction. I take photos and make videos of the reef because when I’m here, I still find it hard for me to wrap my head around it. I can hardly believe it’s possible for my eyes to see such wonder, for my soul to feel such joy. I see something different and learn something new every time I’m here. I need to find a way to express the things I’m feeling, to reaffirm that it’s all real. My photos and video have given me a tool to do that, to create a window in which people can peer into my life, to inspire others to come see this place for themselves and experience the same joy I feel each and every day.
I’ve had it easy, I know. It’s not always a walk in the park to get to the place where you are surrounded by everything you love. I’m not just talking about the Reef, i’m talking about whatever it is in life you’re passionate about, whichever walk of life you have chosen in your heart. Sometimes even finding what you’re passion is can be a struggle. I might not fully understand everything involved, but I’m here to tell you to fight forever for it, because when you reach that point – it’s worth it.
Throughout this entry are some photos I took during our first week of filming, and at the end of this month we will head to our next destination, I can’t wait… Very soon I will have an opportunity to share more about this exciting project we’re working on, so please stay tuned and stay inspired!