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The Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival taps into Australians love of their ocean lifestyle with the largest dedicated ocean science and cultural celebration in Australia. Through a festival of Ideas, Art + Music and Actions, we set out to inspire and engage the community on ocean issues and provide hope by showcasing solutions and innovation that are improving the health of the ocean. Our accessible and interactive festival invites all-ages to dive into an informative and relaxed entertainment-rich environment, that harnesses the power of innovation, science, technology, art and entertainment to accelerate positive change for our blue planet. 


  To share hope, solutions and action for the ocean. We want to turn ripples of action into waves of change! 


To use the power of entertainment, art and science to connect people and engage them in behaviour that positively impacts our ocean

Dr Vanessa Pirotta
Marine Scientist/Science Communicator

Dr Vanessa Pirotta is a marine biologist, woman in STEM and science communicator. Vanessa has recently completed her PhD at Macquarie University, Sydney. Her research focuses on identifying conservation gaps for cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). Vanessa’s most well-known research involves the use of emerging technologies such as drones for whale conservation. 

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Arlian Ecker
Plastic Free Boy

Australian student Arlian Ecker is on a global mission to save the ocean from plastic pollution.  Since 2017, Arlian, known as 'Plastic Free Boy', has united 890 000 students in schools by sharing his inspiring and educational documentary 'Plastic Alarm' in schools internationally, showcasing the problems and solutions of plastic pollution, with action packed lesson plans leading them to become change makers themselves.

Matty Smith
Ocean Photographer

Matty Smith is a UK born and bred underwater photographer who is now based in Australia. Matty fell in love with the Pacific Ocean and has now made it his permanent playground. Matty is an Ocean Geographic Magazine Master Photographer and contributor, as well as an ambassador for Nikon Australia & Aquatica Digital Water Housings. Most recently Matty was a finalist in multiple categories for the 2021 Ocean Photography Awards.

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Lizzie Welborn

Lizzie Welborn is a 22 year old professional Surf Ironwoman and environmentalist from Sydney, Australia. She was one of the most accomplished young athletes that surf sport has ever seen. Lizzie qualified for her first professional series when she was just 16, making her one of the youngest competitors to ever qualify. 

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Maev Kerri Fitzpatrick
Swimming  & Surfing

A swimmer and surfer from Sydney, Australia, Maev Kerri has travelled the world swimming channels, marathons and races. Years of surfing and a long racing career led Maev into marathon and distance swimming.  Maev is a Climate Reality Leader with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, advocating for the strengthening of health systems to address the health risks of climate change.

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John Dahlsen
Environmental Artist

Dr. John Dahlsen, a contemporary environmental artist and author who studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and won Australia’s oldest art award, the Wynne Prize, at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2000. In 2004 his art represented Australia at the Athens Olympics. His environmental art examines the passage of time in the landscape and the place of humankind within it.

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Lisa Blair

Lisa Blair is an Australian adventurer, author, and multi world-record-holding sailor. She holds the record for the first woman to solo circumnavigate Antarctica, with one stop, a feat she is about to undertake again later this year. She also holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest solo, nonstop and unassisted circumnavigation of Australia. Lisa is a fierce supporter of climate action with her boat aptly named ‘Climate Action Now’.

Federico Infantino

Federico first stepped foot on a windsurfier in 1998, age 8. His first competition was in the Aloha class 2003, entering in the National Team. After a few years of competing Fede left the International competitive windsurfing scene and blasted into the most extreme discipline in the sport - Wave riding.  After a couple of World Tour competitions he started 2012 with an amazing result: 1° place in the International contest :Fuerte Wave Classic. 

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Jarod Green
Environmental Filmmaker

Jarod Green is an Australian film director, screenwriter and animator most notable for his work on the short film Beached Whale and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation television series Beached Az. Together with actor Nicholas Boshier, Green is also the creator of the online fictional character Trent from Punchy.

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Melanie Webb

Melanie Webb is a doctor and former Olympic windsurfer, one of the first recipients of a Ben Lexcen Sports Scholarship. She was selected to represent Australia at the 1984 LA Olympics in the Olympic Boardsailing Exhibition. Melanie placed fourth overall. She then returned home and completed her HSC. Melanie has won 9 state titles, 7 national wave sailing events and titles, 15 national titles and 6 world titles. . She continues to be involved with the sport, holding coaching positions with state and national windsurfing teams.

Keith Musto
Great Britain

Franklyn Keith Musto OBE is a British sailor and businessman. He competed at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and won a silver medal in the Flying Dutchman class. After the Olympics he set up a sailmaking business, Musto & Hyde, along with Eddie Hyde in Rayleigh, Essex. Eventually he concentrated solely on sailing and outdoor clothing with his company Musto Clothing.

Bob Wilmot

Bobby first took out his own Manly Junior aged 5. He won a State Championship at 8, in the Flying Ant class, beating 15-year olds. He won every National Windsurfer Championship from 1977 to 1984, including six World Championships and a Bronze Medal at the Los Angeles Olympics.

In the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea he skippered the Soling crew. His successes in major world match racing regattas were great preparation for joining the America's Cup defence syndicate in 1987. Bobby steered Ragamuffin to her Sydney to Hobart line honours victory in 1984, and Brindabella to her line honours win in 1997, but was happy just to finish in 1998's storm-tossed race as co-helmsman of Brindabella.

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