It is my mission to help ensure the Pacific does not end up like the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, over-fished and over-polluted.

At 16, I decided to become a marine biologist. This came as a surprise to my teachers as I lived in Queenstown. However, I attended the University of Otago and completed a BSc in Zoology. While assisting MSc and PhD students with animal collections in Stewart Island and Milford Sound (with the snow line just above the waterline) I made the decision to move North to complete my MSc! I completed this with honours in marine science while working as a marine educator at the Leigh campus for the University of Auckland. From teaching over the last quarter of a century, I have learnt that one’s love and respect for the ocean comes at an early age and essentially, the more time spent in the water the better the chance of having respect for it. Now that I live on an off-shore island, in an area classed as rurally isolated, I have decided to become a qualified swim teacher for all ages while specialising in infants and pre-schoolers, as a precursor to getting more local kids snorkelling. Thank you to the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation for making it possible for the little people on Great Barrier Island to receive formal swim lessons thereby increasing their confidence in and near the water! Over time, my goal is to have passionate kids of the Barrier loving their marine environment so much that they’ll want to protect it.

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