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.
The most successful For the Love of the Reef team so far is the amazing Manly Sea Life Sanctuary team, who have already surpassed their original fundraising goal of $1,000 and are well on their way to hitting $2,000 raised! So we at the AYCC, decided to reach out to them and see why they will be giving up something they love come May 18th, to raise funds for the Great Barrier Reef.
The ‘For the Love of the Reef’ challenge has now officially been launched! And while it isn’t yet May 18th, hundreds of individuals and teams across the nation are already fundraising outstanding amounts for the love of the Reef! Look how excited they are:
Here's what the team is saying:
“We’ve decided to take this challenge because we are well aware of just how real a threat climate change is to the Great Barrier Reef. Coral reefs are incredibly fragile ecosystems, and dredging so close to an environment like the GBR would have disastrous results. An organisation like the Australian Youth Climate Coalition who is doing everything in their power to stop this deserves our support!
Our team name sums up who we are in a nutshell. We are a bunch of colleagues at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. We are dive instructors, tour guides, aspiring vet nurses, doctors, aquarists and all round ocean lovers. Whilst we all play different parts at work, we are united by a drive to protect the ocean and help conserve it for our kids, their kids and all the generations to come.” - the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary Team
Everyone loves the Great Barrier Reef, which is why the AYCC is asking Australians across the country to go without something that they love - coffee, chocolate, or beer - from May 18th-31st to raise funds and awareness to fight a coal port expansion project proposed just 50km from the Whitsunday Islands.
"When you’re a kid, everything you see is a brand new experience and everything astounds you. As you begin to grow up, you begin to lose that feeling of wonder. When I first scuba dived at the Great Barrier Reef, I again had that feeling of amazement, wonder and absolute freedom. I love the reef for giving me this feeling, and for its incredible abundance of marine life, colours and coral." - Harriet Spark, Shark Dive Instructor
"Coming in to Oz from overseas I've never been to the Great Barrier Reef, but I'm looking forward to when my opportunity comes. During my travels I've been to places supposedly renowned for natural beauty only to arrive and be gutted by the devastation of pollution. These experiences, along with the passion of the team around me at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, leave me convinced that we need to secure the future of the reef" - Dan Henderson, Operations Manager
"My love for the reef started, like most people, when I realised it's fascinating beauty. Now my love has evolved as I realised that the reef has inspired me to live a better, more sustainable life. There is so much beauty in this world worth living for and we need to make sure it's all there for our children to discover. I studied corals on the Great Barrier Reef for many years and now I dedicate my life to saving it from the impacts of climate change so that future generations will be able to discover the beauty of the reef." - Dr. Alicia Lloyd, Senior Aquarist" I love the reef because nowhere is more colourful, more diverse, more surprising or more beautiful" - Kasey Turner, Aquarist and Tour Guide"I love the reef because it is home to so many beautiful creatures. I want the generations to come to witness what a magnificent natural wonder it is." - Rhiannon Percival, Shark Dive Instructor"I love the GBR for its complexity, and for the amazing wildlife that it brings." - Amelia Poole, Early childhood teacher (an inspiration creator for the future generations!)
Even Myrtle the Turtle who calls the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary home, is doing her part to help the team raise awareness and funds to protect the Great Barrier Reef, by giving up coffee from May 18th - 31st! You go, Myrtle!
- Myrtle the fundraising turtle!
Thank you again Manly Sea Life Sanctuary Team for all of your fundraising efforts, and inspiring work! We can’t wait to see what you get up to next! For more information on how to join the challenge and help raise funds for the Reef and our climate, go to fortheloveof.org.au