My name is Billy and I am a volunteer with the AYCC in Victoria. I first heard about the AYCC through a friend during a discussion we were having about potential volunteer opportunities. She recommended them highly, and with climate change being something I already had an interest in, I was soon signing my first petitions and then expressed an interest to volunteer.
For the Love Of now has over 1000 participants! Not everyone is sticking to the traditional script of chocolate, beer, coffee or 4 degrees however! To mark our latest milestone we thought we’d profile Michael Hinz, who isn’t just going without chocolate, he’s going without the power of speech! We caught up with Michael to find out more...
Why are you participating in For the Love Of the Reef?
I am participating because it is something I can actively do to help combat climate change. The reef is a world heritage area and should be treated like one - I want future generations to be able to enjoy the reef just as much as we can.
You're doing something a little different to others as part of your fundraising challenge - can you tell us a bit more about that?
My challenge consists of me going two weeks without speaking. An idea that was inspired by James Aspey, a man who went silent for a whole year to raise awareness of animal abuse and promote a vegan lifestyle. It was a very powerful way of communicating what he stood for, and I believe that is exactly what we need.
How are you going to communicate with people over the two weeks?
I think I'll get a little notepad or something - that or I might give interpretive dancing a shot. I can fortunately still use my phone to text people if necessary, but as part of my challenge I will try to avoid doing so as much as possible.
You can't speak for those two weeks - can you tweet? Are you allowed to sing?
I'm allowed to use social media messages to communicate with other people, but (for the safety of everyone around me) I am not going to be doing any singing.
What do you think is going to be the most difficult moment over the two weeks?
Anyone who knows me as a person knows that I love to joke, I like being noisy and most of all I love lame puns. The lamer the better. I fear that the biggest difficulty will be to not crack a terrible one liner when I get a chance - which is why I've chosen to also donate one dollar for every chance that I miss making one.
What would be your Reef spirit animal?
My Reef spirit animal would have to be the turtle. I don't know why, but they are just so chill and lovable! Like nothing's gonna get to them - they might be a bit slow on land but who cares, they've got all the time in the world.
What would your message be to other young Australians?
"You're not the last people to walk this earth, so make sure you leave it in good condition."
Thanks very much Michael, and good luck!
To donate to Michael, head to his profile: https://fortheloveof.org.au/#/michaelhinz