Whether you’re catching waves this summer or getting royally barrelled by them, it’s safe to say that the surf at our beaches has not disappointed. Whilst out in the ‘big blue’ or along its shoreline, you may have crossed paths with Bondi local Tim Silverwood.
A keen surfer and co-founder of not-for-profit organisation TAKE 3, Silverwood is a passionate advocate for protecting our oceans and environment from human impacts, such as plastic pollution. His tireless efforts as an ‘Ocean Guardian’ have recently been recognised in ‘Blue’, an acclaimed documentary about the plight of our marine environment.
We caught up with him in the lead up to the free February screening at the Surf’s Up event in Bondi.
What was your first ever surfing experience like?
“I grew up on the Central Coast of NSW and rode a bodyboard for my first 10 years of 'ocean play'. Now I ride all manner of craft including short boards, long boards, finless and bodysurfing. I love it! At times it can be terrifying but most of the time I'm out there seeking the simple pleasures that come from riding moving pulses of aquatic energy. It's the best!”
Where is your favourite surf spot of all time?
“I love the point breaks of Northern NSW. Once you get past Port Macquarie the iconic southern headlands start to emerge and they continue all the way to the Queensland border and beyond. I'm a natural footer so love sliding along right handers.”
At what point in your life did you start to notice plastic pollution as an issue?
“Traveling to Indonesia in my twenties was when I first witnessed massive levels of plastic pollution first hand. I've seen plastic pollution from the Himalayas to the depths of the sea - it's everywhere! Without a healthy ocean there is no healthy 'us' so we all have a vested interest in keeping our planet free from plastic pollution.“
You were just recently featured in an ocean documentary film “Blue”. What was your favourite part about filming?
“My favourite part of the film was meeting the other Ocean Guardians. The film circles around a range of individuals who are passionately working to protect our oceans including: 'SharkGirl' Maddison Stewart, freediver Lucas Handley, researcher Dr Jennifer Lavers, iconic conservationist Valerie Taylor and others. They are all so inspiring in their own way. It was a pleasure to work with the team too: Director Karina Holden and Impact Producer Sarah Beard are both amazing human beings!”
When people see this film, what do you want them to take away from it?
“That despite the incredible damage we have already caused our oceans it's not too late. There has never been a more important time than now to change the way we treat our oceans and environment. Don't sit around waiting for someone else to fix these problems, it's up to each of us to be the change. We are the people we've been waiting for.”
Take 3 and other local community organisations work in collaboration with Waverley Council to help make litter prevention and plastic-free living second nature.