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Matilda & Kurt: Andamooka Yacht Club

ROAR: We are so excited to introduce you to Matilda and Kurt! They are on an awesome adventure out in South Australia! 

Kurt has recently completed his Masters of Architecture at The University of Melbourne with First Class Honours. He has had extensive experience in the building industry and all aspects of project development from design, documentation through to construction. Kurt developed his interest in community based projects when participating in a community driven design and construct project in a small outback Indigenous Community in NT. 

Matilda completed her double degree of International Studies and Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications at UTS in 2013. She worked in Sydney as a designer and tour guide taking design and fashion tours for a publishing company in Surry Hills. 

ROAR: Tell us about your exciting project!

M&K: Currently we are building a space in Andamooka that will be the community hub for the locals and people of the Far North Region (and the only cafe in Andamooka.) Our business plan has three main elements; a cafe, a display of young and local metal-smiths displaying the local opal, and a designed map guide to the local area.

We will have some recycled bikes and a map guide to give people the opportunity to ride around the town and experience the landscape and main points of interest. The space will be designed as a contemporary mesh of cafe culture, raw materials and outback lifestyle, using as many recycled and up-cycled items as possible. The initiative aims to support outback tourism and provide local knowledge of the area.

ROAR: The name Andamooka Yacht club sounds intriguing for being out in the country?!

M&K: The business name is an ironic play on the outback location of Andamooka, created to capture people’s interest. The names relevance also comes from the historical lakes that surround; Lake Torrens and Lake Eyre, now existing as dry land.

ROAR: How did you end up in the outback South Australia?

M&K: We first came to this part of Australia to visit family, and we just couldn’t believe the freedom of being in a place so geographically isolated. After visiting a few times to bring friends back to experience the area, we decided to make the move. We hired a relocation 6 birth camper van and drove all our belongings across from Sydney. It was epic to have a whole week to drive 3000km and experience all the little outback towns between. There’s so much of Australia that Australians haven’t had the opportunity to experience.

ROAR: What makes Andamooka so special?

M&K: Since moving to Andamooka we’ve met many colourful characters, the people in the town are so awesome, theres a lot of history here and most people have stories to tell about what it was like in the early days. Being one of the original mining towns theres so many different cultures here, which makes it really interesting. Last week we got a lesson from our neighbour on traditional German bread making. 

One of the first few times we visited Andamooka we got chatting to some of the local opal miners, and hatched the idea to team up with some metal-smiths to create young contemporary opal jewellery. At the moment most opal jewellery is really traditional and we think theres an opportunity to create a new market for the stones, based around more simplistic youthful pieces. We saw this start to take shape when friends visited Andamooka with us and fell in love with opal, when they had previously thought it was unappealing. Once you spend some time with the miners and see the earth where the stones come and how its mined from you have a more appreciation for what it is and how it was formed. There's even dinosaurs bones out here that have been opalised, as this was a prehistoric ocean.. its wild picking up a shell in the middle of the desert. 

We’re aiming for an opening party in the beginning of August!

 Follow the Adventure: Insta is @andamookayachtclub and website is andamookayachtclub.com

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Nat & Dan: Clean Coast Collective

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Nat & Dan: Clean Coast Collective


ROAR: How did Clean Coast Collective come to life and who are the founders?

N&D: Clean Coast Collective (CCC) emerged after a number of trips into remote sections of the NSW South coast. We hiked into these locations to find secluded waves, escape the crowds and to feel fully immersed in the coastline. However we began noticing that the further we hiked the more rubbish we found. 

So we started researching the issue and discovered that all this rubbish is called 'marine debris', that it's everywhere and that it's threatening to destroy everything we love about the ocean. We were shocked and one rainy coastal evening we decided we could no longer continue enjoying everything we love about the coastline without giving something back. 

ROAR: That's an awesome way to look at it! What's your purpose and passion with CCC and how can people get involved?

N&D: We have two main purposes with CCC, firstly educate all surfers and beachgoers to the enormity of trash and pollution in our oceans, and secondly to show people that creating a difference and working towards a solution can be really simple. We want to show people that you can live a life that includes removing rubbish from our beaches and reducing waste and plastics in our lives, while still enjoying the coastal lifestyle we all love.  

Fellow salty folk can get in touch with us on instagram (@cleancoastcollective), on Facebook, or on our website (www.cleancoastcollective.org) to find out about upcoming events and projects. Along with blog posts on our clean ups and ways to reduce plastics in your everyday life, our website also includes a directory of all clean up groups we have engaged with across Australia. Visitors can go to the directory and use the interactive map to find their closest clean up crew to lend a hand! 

ROAR: We love your website and can't wait to get some shirts!! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and your recent adventure.

N&D: After a few months of doing beach clean ups on various beaches on the south coast, we decided that we needed to see how bad things were around the entire Australian coastline, we needed to raise awareness about marine debris on a larger scale, and we needed to support all the amazing people who have been working on this issue for years. The Trash Surfari campaign was born and we took off on an epic six month journey around the entire Australian coastline. 

The journey was an incredible eye opener. Not only did we learn all about our beautiful country and its rich diversity, but we were also blown away by the impact of marine debris on every part of the Australian coastline. Every single beach we visited, no matter how pristine it appeared on first glance, was impacted in some way by marine debris and plastic pollution. On urban beaches we would find litter left behind by beachgoers, and on more remote beaches we would find plastic remnants, micro plastics and large debris, such as oil drums, commercial fishing equipment and fridges! 

ROAR: What an epic adventure! I think most people would be amazed to know isolated beaches still have rubbish on them and how big the issue actually is! How important do you think collaborating with like minded people for a cause is and why?

N&D: Collaboration for us is really important. Since founding CCC we have come to appreciate the power of surrounding ourselves with positive and likeminded people. There is such a great energy that emerges when a group of positive people come together by chance and can share their passions with other likeminded and motivating individuals. We are incredibly impressed and inspired by people that we have met who are following their own path and making their dreams come true, no matter what they are.  
We want to use CCC as a way to collaborate with passionate people and promote their projects. Through our online presence we promote small grassroots groups keeping their strip of their coastline clean - groups that may just be an informal group of friends that meet once a month. Through this we hope to gain these groups more exposure and hopefully encourage others in the area to lend a hand at their events and clean ups. We also collaborate with coastal businesses and artists who, in some way, are promoting cleaner oceans and reduced plastics through their business and art. 

ROAR: What are some exciting programs happening this year?

N&D: Last year we were fortunate to run a very successful crowdfunding campaign through the ING Dreamstarter Program. With these funds we are able to run our 2015 project, the Trash Tribe. The idea for the Trash Tribe project emerged after visiting beaches in remote Cape York during our journey. These beaches, some of Australia's most beautiful and most remote, are incredibly impacted by marine debris. Local rangers spoke to us about heading out to a beach and cleaning up over two tonnes of rubbish, to just return the following week to see that more had floated in. Cape York is an incredible example of just how much rubbish is out in our oceans. 
The Trash Tribe project will take 10 creative, passionate and influential young Australians up to Cape York in July this year to undertake an epic beach clean up over 5 days. In past years, our partner organisation for the clean up, Tangaroa Blue, has removed between 3.5 to 5.5 tonnes of marine debris off a single Cape York beach - all washed ashore from shipping lanes and neighbouring countries. 
For any salties out there interested in applying to be one of the 10 Trash Tribe members, we are accepting applications until midnight 31 March - get in quick to join this epic adventure! 
 

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Liz Clark: Ocean Adventurer

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Liz Clark: Ocean Adventurer

Sunset session. Photo by Bali Strickland.

Sunset session. Photo by Bali Strickland.

We get so inspired about sharing adventurous lifestyles and people's passionate stories and Liz Clark is definitely one of these people. She is truly living her dreams and is one of the most exciting and interesting people that we follow. She has given everything for her passion, to live an alternative lifestyle and spread her message. She "is a professional free surfer, writer, environmental activist, adventurer, photographer, Patagonia Ambassador, and Truth seeker, who has captained her 40ft sailboat, Swell, over 18,000 miles on a surfing expedition in the Pacific since 2005" (personal blog). Read on to hear how Liz was able to achieve her goals and live a truly passionate life. You can follow her stories on her Liz Clark and The Voyage of Swell website 

Your life seems to be revolved around the ocean through living and exploring on a boat and surfing all around the world. How did this lifestyle get instilled in you?
 
I grew up in and on the water, sailing with my family in Southern California. We spent all our family vacations and weekends sailing to the local Islands off the coast. When I was 9 years old we (my mom, dad, brother, and little sister) set off for most of a year aboard our 50-ft sailboat to cruise the coast of Mexico. It was on that voyage that I really fell in love with the lifestyle of traveling abroad by sea. Then in my teens we moved near the beach and I fell in love with surfing. Toward the end of my time at the University of Santa Barbara, California, my father let me live on his sailboat in the harbor there and I took friends out to some spots inaccessible by land and realized how my passion for surfing and my sailing background could come together to create something really amazing! 
 
Can you share how you started your amazing blog and came across swell?
 
Well, let’s start with Swell. In 2002, I was having a tough time in many aspects of my life, but mainly because I had been with a boyfriend who convinced me that I was incapable of living out my dream of sailing around the world. Not long after leaving him, I serendipitously crossed paths with a retired professor friend, Barry Schuyler, from my university in Santa Barbara, California. He was looking for someone to sail his boat around the world!? He was nearly eighty years old at the time and didn’t need the money to sell the boat and wanted to help someone realize his own unrealized life-long dream of an extended sailing adventure. So I was in the right place at the right time to say the least. We worked for two years together preparing Swell for the voyage, and became dear friends. 
 
So in fact, the blog was born out of a desire to share my experiences with, Barry, who happily awaited news from me at sea from his home in Santa Barbara. In fact, so many people helped me to get the voyage going, and so many people were crossing their fingers that I would succeed, that I felt the desire to keep them all informed of my adventures. Plus, after realizing how much went into the preparation for a voyage like mine, I realized how fortunate I was to be living what I’m living, so the blog was a way to give back and share the experiences with others. It gained readership little by little, and although Barry passed away in 2011, I continue to be passionate about my blog and sharing the insights and lifestyle that his generosity and vision originally helped manifest in my life. 
 
What are some highlights of living on the sea?
 
Waking up to the different faces of the sea every morning.  Living so close to nature in general. Freedom. There is nothing like the freedom of living on the sea. You get yourself where you want to go, on your own, and have the time to commune with yourself and the Source along the way. Bathing in the sea. Brushing my teeth under the stars. Meeting interesting people. And being close to the surf!
 
What have been some challenges along the way?
 
Innumerable challenges. Learning how to sail the boat safely, learning how to use all the equipment, and how to do the constant repairs of all sorts. Learning to deal with bad weather, and learning how to adapt, be flexible when obstacles arise. Learning how to slow down and not force things. Learning new languages, learning to be alone…the challenges never end, but when you are doing what you love, they are always possible to overcome.
 
Who has supported and inspired you in your amazing life?
 
I’ve had so much loving support from family and friends. My father has always been especially supportive of helping me reach my often lofty dreams and goals. From a very young age he saw my determination to do this voyage and he helped me learn what I needed to learn and instill confidence in me that I could do anything I wanted. He believed in me so much that it made me believe in myself. And Barry and Jean Schuyler, and the innumerable people in Santa Barbara who helped me get those dock lines untied eventually and on my way to the high seas with the safe and tricked out sea chariot that Swell is… And Patagonia, the eco-friendly clothing company, who has been my main support and sponsor since I set off from California in 2006. Their commitment to my project has been critical to keeping the dream afloat. Now I’m teamed up with other supportive brands that represent similar values and interests like Zeal Optics, who make eco-friendly sunglasses, and Mizu waterbottles, who make stainless waterbottles in an effort to reduce plastic waste, and Leatherman tools, a socially-responsible company who support independent, alternative lifestyles like mine…Plus a truly endless list of other friends, fans, and companies that enjoy the blog or appreciate what I do and support me with love, donations, products, encouragement, advice, emails, care packages, etc. I’m truly blessed!!
 
Inspiration. I take my greatest dose of daily inspiration directly from Nature. It is what makes me feel closest to Divinity/God/Jah/the Source, the Universe, the Great Spirit…whatever term you prefer. Also from others who have insisted or insist on living their dreams and passions, and ordinary people who do good for the good of good. For those who fight for their Truth. And from all the great saints and truth seekers now and throughout time—the Buddha, the Christ, Rumi, Babaji, Einstein, Amma, Guru Dev, Yogananda, Saint Mother Teresa, Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Bob Marley…to name a few…
 
What are some exciting things happening in the future for you?
 
Well, I am working on a book about my voyage, concentrated on the personal inner journey and transformation that I have experienced. The main theme is why living your dreams and passions helps people find personal peace. I’d love to keep sailing around the world when I finish the book!! Still so many places to visit and things to learn!
 

What lies ahead. Photo by Liz Clark.

What lies ahead. Photo by Liz Clark.

Atoll sunset. Photo by Liz Clark.

Atoll sunset. Photo by Liz Clark.

Atoll dreaming. Photo by Ryan Hargrave.

Atoll dreaming. Photo by Ryan Hargrave.

At Sea. Photo by Bali Strickland.

At Sea. Photo by Bali Strickland.

Universal language of smiles. Photo by Liz Clark

Universal language of smiles. Photo by Liz Clark

Kiribati Lagoon sailing. Photo by Liz Clark.

Kiribati Lagoon sailing. Photo by Liz Clark.

Starlight Yoga. Photo by Domenic Mosqueira.

Starlight Yoga. Photo by Domenic Mosqueira.

Rebel under a rainbow hehe. Photo by Liz Clark.

Rebel under a rainbow hehe. Photo by Liz Clark.

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