Written by Jarryd Minahan

Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated with the natural world, the outdoors was my thing, camping with my dad in the high country of Victoria and fishing all around Phillip island, where I now live, was I think what started it all. I started surfing in my teens which ingrained my love for Mother Nature, surfing till dark and watching the short tailed shearwaters flying into there burrows in the dune systems on dusk to feed their chicks is incredible, but spending all this time in the water also opened my eyes up to how nature was being completely used and exploited. The more I surfed the more I saw plastic, in particular micro plastics, along the high tide line which the shearwaters mistake for food.

After moving to the coast permanently, I found myself obsessed with protecting and doing what ever I could to help the planet and I grew more and more concerned about the planet with the issue of climate change. I firstly got involved with Gippsland intrepid Landcare, then Phillip island Landcare and as the years went on, I ended up chair of Gippsland intrepid, Vice President of Phillip island Landcare and on the board of the Bass coast Landcare network, which is to put it lightly a lot of work on top of being a new dad and working full time.

I burn out regularly, the state of the world and politicians not doing enough really really gets to me, and I need to take breaks from everything which I’m learning how to do still.

When people think of conservationists they usually think of people like David Attenborough and scientists etc, but my experience is that volunteers with passion and drive are the most powerful conservationists out there.

For more of Jarryd, check out @minihands92 on Instagram