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OCEAN LOVERS TALKS

2025 Program Coming Soon

SAVING THE OCEAN WITH SCIENCE

  Our Ocean Lovers Talks is a feature event of the Ocean Lovers Festival  focused on solutions from the ocean and ways we can better protect our ocean, with FREE inspirational talks by leaders and luminaries, scientists, innovators and adventurers.
Festival-goers can literally turn-up in their swimmers to hear from the change makers and future proofers sharing hopeful and inspiring views for the future.

2024 PROGRAM

Ocean Lovers Talks

SATURDAY 

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SEAFOOD - EATING WITH A CONSCIENCE

Saturday 11 - 11.30 am

Speakers: Mat Goddard, Dr Adrian Gutteridge

How is science and innovation helping us navigate the complexities of sustainable seafood and can you as the consumer help create positive change? Get some guidance from the experts.
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SURVIVING THE BEACH

Saturday  11:45 am - 12:15 pm

Panel: Steven Pearce, Felicity MacArther

The beach is at the heart of Australian culture and millions of us relish its beauty. But, before you hit the sand, join us to talk about how you and your loved ones can stay safe on Australia's beaches this year.
 
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RESTORING SYDNEY HARBOUR

Saturday 12:30 - 1:00 pm

Speaker: Assoc Prof. Ziggy Marzinelli, Mitchell Brennan, Dr Paco Martinez-Baena, Professor Melanie Bishop

A Blueprint for Global Seascape Restoration! 
Find
out about about this exciting world first approach to seascape restoration. Project Restore focuses not only on individual habitats but also on fostering connections between habitats. This innovative approach aims to provide a blueprint for future seascape restoration globally.
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CAN OUR REEFS SAVE THEMSELVES?

Saturday 1:15 - 1:45 pm

Panel: Dr. Elliot Scanes, Dr Emma Camp, Dr Cheng  Chen

Hear from leading researchers as they discuss the survival strategies and evolutionary traits that help reefs survive during ongoing climate change and rapid heating events, and conversely, how science and conservation need to intervene to help protect them.

 
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SOLUTIONS TO ENDING PLASTIC POLLUTION

Saturday 2:15 - 2:45 pm

Panel: Lottie Dalziel, Naomi Tarszisz, Sondra Beram, James Dorney


From practical tips to innovative solutions and the power of advocacy and collective action. Join us to gain valuable insights and inspiration on reducing the use of plastics allowing you to be a greater part of the solution.
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SAVING OUR FRIENDS OF THE SEA 

Saturday 3:30 - 4:00pm

Panel: Hannah Tait, Laura Simmons, Associate Prof. Rachael Gray

So much is impacting our much loved (megafauna) marine creatures – sharks, dolphins seals, sea lions and
 turtles. Come away enlightened by all the positive actions being done to help preserve their environments and numbers.

 
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JEWELS OF THE SOUTHERN OCEAN

Saturday 11:30-11:45 am

Speaker: Tim Jarvis

Campaigning to protect Australia’s subantarctic Islands. Hear Tim Jarvis talk about working on the campaigns to protect Australia’s subantarctic islands and lessons learnt from his multiple journeys.

 
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GOING WITH THE FLOW - EXPLORATION FROM THE RIVERS TO THE OPEN OCEAN 

Saturday 12:15 -12:30 pm

Speaker: Tristan Salles

Earth’s surface is the living skin of our planet and connects the physical, chemical and biological systems. University of Sydney researcher Salles has explored from the rivers to the ocean
 to shed new light on how the systems, over hundreds of millions of years, drove diversification of marine life.

 
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VR SHIPWRECK DIVES

Saturday 1:00 - 1:15 pm

Speaker: James Hunter

Dive in to an innovative talk with Australian National Maritime Museum Archeologist James Hunter to hear how he is using Virtual Reality to invite the public to explore shipwrecks and discover their mysteries.

 
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THE 101 ON THE 30 BY 30

Saturday 1:45 - 2:00 pm

Speaker: Jason Peers

Why do we need marine protection, where are we with the 30 by 30 target, and where should our efforts be focused? These are all questions being answered by founder of Marinas Guardian, fighting for the interests of the ocean.
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SAVING THE GREY NURSE SHARK
 
Saturday 2:45 - 3:15 pm

Panel: Valerie Taylor, Prof. Adam Stow, Capt. Gordon Scott, Sarah Han-De-Beaux

Join us to discuss this growing multidisciplinary community science project building towards Valerie Taylor's "String of Pearls" - a chain of connected Marine Sanctuaries to bring lasting protection to migration, resting and breeding  environments for the critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark.

SUNDAY PROGRAM

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SHARK NETS: WHAT'S NEXT?
 
Sunday 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Panel: Dr Chris Pepin-Neff, Lawrence Chlebeck, Steven Pearce, Hannah Tait

Hosted by ABC's Natasha Mitchell, our panel of experts, campaigners and innovators will unravel the highly contested debate on shark nets, false assumptions, impacts and what are the alternatives available now. Discussion will include science, policy, alternatives and eco barriers plus some campaigner perspectives.
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ALGAE GOLD

Sunday 12:15 - 12:45 pm


Panel: Dr. Alex Thomson, Dr. Pia Winberg, Dr. Michael Askew

Is algae the new gold? ​ABC's Natasha Mitchell talks to researchers and innovators to find out what makes algae so valuable. Heralded as a key ingredient for a sustainable planet, 
it’s being used for everything from animal feed to reduce methane, beer manufacturing to reduce CO2, bio-fuel, clothing and plastic substitutes to food
 and supplements.
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HIGH SEAS, DEEP SEAS

Sunday 1:00 - 1:30 pm


Panel:  Sea Shepherd Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Matthieu Rytz, A/Prof. Aline Jaekel

Are the high seas the Wild West? ABC's Natasha Mitchell joins our panel of experts to discuss who owns the seas, who can exploit them, and how they are governed as the world sits at a crossroads of exploitation and preservation for future generations.

 
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SEE SOLUTIONS

Sunday 1:45 - 2:00 pm


Speakers: Nik Robinson, Harry Robinson

Good Citizens is on a mission to ‘Untrash the planet®’ by turning a discarded single-use plastic bottle into 100% recycled eyewear frames in Sydney. Harry and Nik will share insights and anecdotes from the gut wrenching ‘almost lose everything moments’ to the highs of meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss recycling in Australia.

 
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ANCIENT WISDOM, MODERN SCIENCE

Sunday 2:45 - 3:15 pm


Panel: Dr Mitch Gibbs, Kataya Barrett, Sarah Gorst

Hear about traditional and contemporary Indigenous ocean governance working with modern science to benefit the health of our ocean.
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ONE TREE ISLAND 50 YEARS AND INTO THE FUTURE

Sunday 3:45 - 4:00 pm


Speaker: Prof. Ana Vila Concejo

Understanding the relationship between coral health and wave dissipation through ground-breaking research, come join the golden celebration of One Tree Island, the GBR Research Station proudly owned by the University of Sydney for the past 50 years.
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DEMYSTIFYING SUSTAINABLE FOOD
 
Sunday 12:00 pm - 12:15 pm


Speaker: Alex Webb

Communications expert, Alex Webb, gets to the bottom of the many myths and claims surrounding sustainable seafood such as that all big boats are bad, that imported seafood is inferior and some species are more sustainable than others.
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FISH PODS AND MORE - THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE A NEW HOME

Sunday 12:45 - 1:00 pm


Speaker: Professor David Booth

Join Professor David Booth to discover how artificial fish pods and new coral habitats can boost fish biodiversity in Sydney.
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SCHOOLGIRL PIONEERS: THE CINNAMON COVE STORY

Sunday 1:30 - 1:45 pm


Speakers:  Liv and Myla

Australia’s own schoolgirl conservation champions Myla and Liv making green business a success and how they won Shark Tank before they turned 15.
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FISHTANK PRESENTATION

Sunday  2:00 - 2:30 pm

Presenter: Dr. Vanessa Pirotta

$10,000 in prize money will be awarded to the 3 winning ideas presented by the 10 finalists from our inaugural FishTank. This student led  competition is searching for young eco innovators with bright ideas to help the ocean.
Prizes to be awarded IMC Foundation
Federal Member for Wentworth, Allegra Spender, Shadow Environment Minister, Kellie Sloane.
 
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WHAT ARE WHALES TELLING US?

Sunday 3:15 - 3:45 pm


Panel: Dr. Vanessa Pirotta, Dr Olaf Meynecke

Are whales in trouble? What are these majestic creatures telling us and how can we help them?  
This panel will share how researchers are deciphering whales bodies and their biology and share what this tells us about their health and wellbeing and how we can hear and support them.
Proudly Supported By 
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