As a pro-surfer, artist and super-keen marine conservationist, I have an incredibly busy lifestyle – and wouldn’t change it for the world! Earlier this year I surfed the biggest wave of my life (and the biggest ever surfed by an Australian female) and now I’m working on a project with Venus about a topic I feel really passionate about – so far 2015 has been an awesome year.
As the Australian ambassador for the Venus UseYourAND campaign, I’m sharing my own personal experiences about how I’ve overcome challenges and embraced my passion for surfing, art and the environment – all without being limited to one ‘label’!
The question I get asked more than any other is ‘do you consider yourself a surfer or an artist?’ but I don’t necessarily regard myself as one or the other and it’s a question I still struggle to answer at times! The truth is I’m a surfer AND an artist. I’m an artist AND a surfer. Thankfully tying one or both of these things back to conservation and environmental awareness is easy for people to understand. The ocean and its creatures are great sources of inspiration for me, both as a surfer and artist and I just love being able to combine all three passions.
If by being involved with the Venus UseYourAND campaign I can help inspire other women on their journey, that’s great! I even made a little video (directed at my younger self) which you can look at here
One of the reasons I wanted to get involved in this campaign is because the frustration of being labelled is definitely something I’ve experienced. Surfing tends to be a male dominated sport and being a female, in the spotlight, brings with it certain expectations. When I was younger I did really well in competitions so people in the industry expect me to keep doing well and to keep loving the competitive aspect of surfing. When I started surfing bigger waves, everyone started asking me if that was what I was going to focus on. Was I going to turn my back on it all? What next? Was I giving up competition? But I don’t see the need to be so black and white, just do this or just do that. I believe we owe it to ourselves to try and break down stereotypes and be as great as we can be! (Even if it means we fail sometimes or it turns out we don’t like something!)
I’m excited about inspiring more girls and women to use their AND. An AND is a passion, interest or skill that helps define who we are and makes us unique. My ANDs are my surfing, my art and passion for marine conservation – I make sure I always find time outside of my pro-surfing schedule to fit these in!