Meet our Ambassador

Ashley Sinclair

Ashley Sinclair

Driven by a strong passion for environmental conservation and social studies, Ash spent her childhood in Noosa sailing, surfing and immersed in nature. Inspired by the beauty that surrounds her, she now channels this passion into action and her creative practices.

Ash recently published "Earth & Us" as part of her Year 12 independent study at Noosa Pengari Steiner School. Her book explored a range of locals on the front line of environmental conservation in our region - from young wildlife rescuers to experienced educators. In 2024 Ash will be bringing us the "Waste Warrior Diaries" and other blog features on our Plastic Free Champions and Events.

A soul wise beyond her years, we find hope in youth voices like Ash who know that the future is unwritten, and that we as individuals have the power to change the narrative.

Why are you passionate about the issue of plastics?
I am passionate about the issue of plastics and reducing the impact of our actions on the natural environment because of how I have come to see and understand the environmental crises occurring around the world. The large issue of plastics, especially single-use plastics, has many ongoing effects on the beautiful places we call home. It is detrimental to not only our local ecosystems, but the environment on a global level. From the oil industry to pollution, the impact of plastics is interconnected with many environmental issues.

What do you think are the biggest environmental concerns for your age group?
I believe that climate change is the most pressing environmental concern for the current and upcoming generations. The climate crisis is undeniably interconnected with countless other environmental concerns, as we see the natural environment changing at an unnatural rate. From warming weather and biodiversity loss to ocean acidification, the effects of climate change demonstrate the urgency of change as the way we have been treating the Earth is undeniably unsustainable.

Are you worried about the world you are inheriting from current generations?
Yes, definitely! As the upcoming environmental custodians, it is a huge responsibility to inherit the world as we know it, as it often feels like a ‘deal with this mess, it’s your problem now’ situation. The environmental crises we are facing create an overwhelming sense of eco-anxiety for not only myself, but for majority of the Australian population. It can often feel like we are helpless with the lack of youth political representation, and the way that the current and past generations have mistreated the Earth. Whilst I feel worried about the world we are inheriting from current generations; I also see the way our generation desires change to improve the state of the environment.

Can you tell us one rewarding experience you have had along your journey?
Having the opportunity to speak to the community about the journey of creating my first book was very rewarding. As an aspect of the class 12 projects at Noosa Pengari Steiner School, I presented my year-long independent project alongside my inspiring peers. This was extremely rewarding and surprisingly emotional as I came to realise on a new level that people truly care, listen, and are impacted by youth voices and the topics that I had researched and shared.

What is one of the most interesting experiences you have had on your journey?
Interviewing a range of people for my book was extremely interesting, as I had the opportunity to have conversations with people on the front line of local environmental conservation. From young wildlife rescuers to experienced environmental educators, the experience of interviewing and talking with so many unique people proved once again that everybody has a story. From each experience with a new person, I gained a wide range of perspectives, knowledge, hope, inspiration, and an understanding of their individual journey.

Do you have any heroes you aspire to?
I am inspired every day by the people that I have met in local environmental sustainability and advocacy spaces, making impactful change for a brighter future. On a wider scale, I am constantly inspired by the authenticity that my ‘heroes’ and role models demonstrate, from Maggie Zhou, Florence Given, and Jade Bowler, to the iconic Bob Brown and David Attenborough, and the list goes on. I suppose, amongst many, many other things, I aspire to stand up for what I love and believe in and express myself unapologetically. If that’s you, then you’re my hero too.

What does it mean to you to be a Plastic Free Noosa Ambassador?
I am extremely proud to be a Plastic Free Noosa Ambassador which allows me to bring passion and determination to the community, educating myself and others on environmental concerns. It means taking action and demonstrating the importance of reducing plastic usage in our community, and being part of an incredible team which provides countless opportunities to learn and create change as we work together for a plastic free future.

Are you excited about the future?
Whilst I often feel anxious or uncertain about the future, specifically about the state of the environment, I have an overwhelming feeling of hope and excitement. Juxtaposed to the feelings of doom and despair created by how humankind has treated the planet, I find hope in knowing that the future is unwritten, and we have the power to change the narrative.

Copies of Ash's book "Earth & Us" are currently available at Noosa & District Landcare's Hinter Hub in Pomona. You can follow Ash's journey via @dreamwithash and her website here.

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