Life in 2015 can be pretty exhausting. With all the terrible Kris Jenner birthday songs, the dismantlement of One Direction and our nation’s leader changing every five minutes – there’s a lot going on and there’s a lot to digest. We think everyone would benefit from taking a second to remind ourselves that modern society isn’t all fire/brimstone/provocative wardrobe malfunctions. As luck would have it, CommBank think the same thing, and have done so for a while. Seeing as they help Australia celebrate remarkable people with the Australian of the Year awards, they thought they’d remind us that #2015lyfe isn’t all that bad. The Australian of the Day campaign was created to honour everyday Australians doing remarkable things. To find them, CommBank sent out eight young photographers to give them some much-deserved limelight. Tasmania’s up next and these unsung heroes should restore your faith in humanity.
THE ART OF RUBBISH COLLECTING ISN’T HARD TO MASTER IF YOU’RE THIS GUY
Since Matthew started running the South West Marine Debris Clean Up program, he’s collected over 250,000 pieces of rubbish with the aim of making Tasmania/the world a cleaner place, which is exactly why he’s CommBank’s Australian of the Day #176.
How can a person be so certain that he’s collected over 250,000 items? Well, Matthew’s itemised every piece he’s picked up (each to their own.)
“We’ve found a lot of strange things over the years – a fully rigged yacht mast, a US firefighters helmet, a life raft. We find lots of other crazy stuff – articles of clothing, lots of toys, bits of Leggo. We found an Easter egg a couple of years ago which was still intact, so that was pretty cool.”
The South West Marine Debris Clean Up program isn’t a regular debris clean up program, it’s a cool debris clean up program.
“In a nutshell, I coordinate rubbish clean up down on the isolated beaches in the Tasmanian wilderness World Heritage Area. They’re the most remote beaches in Australia – there’s no roads in there, you can only go there by boat, helicopter or a five to six day walk.”
MEET THE ANIMAL-SAVING BOSS WITH EVERYONE’S DREAM JOB
They’re so frickin cute, GUH. We’re pretty envious that Petra Harris gets to work with adorable animals like this all day.
As you may have ascertained, Petra
“I’ve been an animal nut since I could walk. As long as I can remember, I have had this need to help animals.”
She’s been involved with the RSPCA as a volunteer since she was 14. WHAT GOOD WERE YOU DOING FOR SOCIETY AT-LARGE WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, HUH?
Petra understood that helping wildlife was her noise after she’d been volunteering for a few years – prompting her to take a job at Bonorong Park. This wildlife sanctuary allows joe-blows to come view Tasmanian-specific wildlife. It has an emphasis on ~grassroots~ education and conducts guided/wonderfully informative tours. Equal parts animal lover and ambitious, Petra worked her way up to Sanctuary Manager by the time she was 23. #SLAY.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.
She also coordinates Tasmania’s only 24-hour wildlife rescue service – an organisation that took around 8,000 calls state-wide last year.
“There’s nothing in the world I care about more than helping save animals.”
Good hustle gal-pal.