OY this could be you!

Are you (or do you know someone who is):

  • 14 - 18 years old?
  • Passionate about the ocean and all things marine?
  • Passionate about having your voice heard with respect to inheriting a healthier planet and ensuring a sustainable future?
  • Always thinking about creative solutions to big challenges and not scared to have a go at implementing them?
  • Located near SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium or can access these places easily ?

If this is you (or someone you know) we want to hear from you (them).

We are looking for 20 inspired and inspiring youth from each of the cities above (Melbourne, Sydney, Mooloolaba), to take part in our capacity building program.

As an Ocean Youth Ambassador we will inspire you with the beauty of the underwater world through SEA LIFE aquaria and nature-based experiences, whilst we provide you with the tools you need to help you make a positive difference for our oceans.

As part of the Ocean Youth program you’ll learn from the experts how to use social media to build your profile, how to campaign to save the places and animals you love, how to fundraise so you can support the causes you think are important, how to use various media (video, audio, writing, blogs) to tell your story, plus so much more!

This initiative will build your skills to become leaders and changemakers within your communities. It will give you space to engage on issues that threaten the future of the planet, to be heard, and to influence positive changes to save our oceans. You’ll also get to meet loads of like-minded passionate people who share your vision for a more sustainable future.

Click here to apply.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

The Ocean Youth Team.

01/10/2015 00:00

Annabelle wins AMP grant

Having snorkelled alongside injured sea turtles and swum with stingrays and sharks, 12-year-old Annabelle is determined to protect threatened marine life. She is on a mission to educate others about ocean conservation, especially shark protection, through her Ocean Youth Ambassador role with the Sea Life Trust.

Annabelle is using her AMP Tomorrow Fund grant to buy her own wetsuit, snorkelling gear and underwater camera so she can share more conservation adventures with her school mates and the community: “I hope this will be the first of many steps I will take towards saving our marine creatures – particularly sharks – and our oceans.”

Annabelle participated in the pilot year of Ocean Youth in 2015. Starting the year as a shy yet passionate advocate for sharks, Annabelle finished with a bang, having presented an all school assembly on the importance of ocean conservation, winning the AMP grant and being interviewed by ABC's Adam Spencer!

We're proud of you Annabelle!

03/05/2016 00:00

Seas of Change

Seas of Change is a non-profit organisation founded by Sydney Ocean Youth Alumni, Steph. This amazing young changemaker has a vision for Seas of Change – to bring environmental and animal conservation issues to the forefront whilst focussing on empowering other young people.
Earlier in the year, Steph ran an amazing fundraiser that managed to raise just under $1000 to be donated to a variety of conservation programs and causes.
If you are passionate about our oceans (particularly plastic pollution, sea turtles, dugongs, and sea grass – their current focus areas), want to get involved, or learn more about Steph and be inspired to make change, then be sure to check out Seas of Change by following the links below:

Website: www.seasofchange.com.au
Instagram: @seasofchange_au


05/11/2018 23:43

BeHappy Bags!

We are in love with this new initiative from one of our Ocean Youth Melbourne Alumni; Lucy! BeHappy Bags is an online store selling ethically produced reusable tote bags made from 100% cotton – with 20% of the proceeds from every sale going to conservation organisations like The SEALIFE Trust. For ocean lovers they sell a great range of designs including Little Penguins, Grey Nurse Sharks, and Lionfish and these unique images will be a great addition to your reusable kit for Plastic Free July!
With more and more businesses jumping on board the single use plastic free bandwagon, it’s a great time to support local initiatives like BeHappy Bags and make sure you are never caught short on your next trip to the supermarket.

Be sure to check them out by following the links below:

Website: www.behappy-bags.com
Instagram: @behappy.bags

05/11/2018 23:56

How Arya's changing the world

Arya Shinde, 15, was one of our first Ocean Youth Ambassadors in the inaugural Sydney program. Her love of the ocean and having fun in it was what drove her to us. But it's what she's learned along the way has been the kicker. Until Arya participated in several beach debris surveys she was unaware of how big a problem plastic pollution was on our beaches and in our oceans. What's more this plastic pollution is having a devastating impact upon ocean wildlife. Two rescue turtles in Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary are both suffereing from the impadts of ingesting plastic party balloons. 

Do you want to snorkel with sharks, go on a seahorse treasure hunt, do some housekeeping In Little penguin habitat or plant an underater tree? Would like to take your journey as a change maker to the next level? Then join us for Ocean Youth 2016. For just under $60 a day you'll be boating, kayaking, snorkelling, whale watching , animal rescuing and so much more. Apply here today.

07/12/2015 00:00

Maggie's Making A Massive Difference

From article in Sunshine Coast Daily 7th Feb:

MAGGIE McArthur, 12, was not afraid to get her hands dirty at the Beach to Sea Clean-up.

She is a Sea Life Ocean Youth Turtle Ambassador - one of 25 kids in a program that involves mentoring by environmental groups and participating in a variety of activities such as reef checks, diving, swimming with whales and turtle care.

Maggie cares a lot about the environment and wants to protect turtle habitat on the Sunshine Coast.

"There is a site just where I live that's threatened by development and I'm keen to protect it," she said.

"I've really enjoyed the activities I've participated in with this group and it's motivated me to work harder to protect the turtles."

Youth ambassador co-ordinator Vicki Brown described Maggie as an outstanding ambassador - someone who was very driven and passionate about protecting the environment.

"Maggie writes notes to her neighbours reminding them to recycle and providing them with updates on the nests and hatchlings in her local area," Vicki said.

"She is so conscious about recycling, she even asks the neighbours to share and pass on her letters so duplicating the notice doesn't created more rubbish.

"She's a great ambassador and she's going to make a real difference."

Maggie was selected as a guest speaker at yesterday's beach clean-up and her speech was well received by the audience.

You can check out Maggie's change.org page at http://bit.ly/bokarinaturtles

08/02/2016 00:00

Caitlin wants to clean up the reef

Hi, my name is Caitlin and I was a part of the alumni Ocean Youth Ambassador Program at  Melbourne. My time involved with the program was amazing and I learnt many skills and made contacts that have helped me get to where I am today. The one thing that I learnt whilst at Ocean Youth and has stuck with me was that ‘youth have the power to change the world’.
During the Ocean Youth program I started my campaign called ‘Pump It, Don’t Dump It’ which is aiming to bring pump out stations to the Whitsundays.
The Whitsundays are an archipelago surrounded by vibrant reefs and have an extensive array of marine life. It is a gorgeous area of the Great Barrier Reef and amazing to explore by boat. However, here is a question not asked by many, if you are on a boat for days on end, what do you do with all the sewage?
Well, it is dumped over the side.
Ok, it’s not as filthy as it sounds, all the sewage is macerated (turned to sludge) and then has a treatment applied to it within the boat’s holding tank, before being dumped into the ocean. Ok, it is as filthy as it sounds.
There’s a few problems with this. Ultimately, it is unknown if and what type of treatment holding tank the boat has and where the sewage is being dumped. This creates problems legally, hygienically and environmentally.

There are rules and regulations as to where the sewage can be dumped however it is difficult to govern. Moreover, for smaller boats that only have a Porta Pottie, the only legal option for them is to find a toilet on an island for the sewage to be flushed down. So, again isn’t very healthy for the human and natural environment.
There is an easy solution that can lessen the impact on the ocean and surrounding reef and combat all of the above problems: pump out stations.

Pump out stations are a machine that suck out the sewage from the boat’s holding tank. It is then taken to a sewage treatment plant and the sewage is treated and disposed of correctly. There are two pump out stations in the vicinity of the Whitsundays, one at the Airlie Beach Marina and the other at Laguna Quays Marina, approximately 80km from each other; an impossible distance away from the prime cruising grounds. Furthermore, there are no pumping stations around the islands meaning that the only option for boats is for the sewage to go straight over the side. The Whitsundays needs pump out stations urgently and all the yachties that I have spoken to are happy to have a place to discharge sewage that is not on the reef.

‘Pump It, Don’t Dump It’ aims to bring these machines to the Whitsundays. This will ultimately be more environmentally friendly, hygienic and be beneficial to the tourism industry.
However, I need help convincing the Queensland Government. Please join ‘Pump It, Don’t Dump It’, sign the petition and have your voice heard. Together, we will bring pump out stations to the Whitsundays.



14/06/2016 00:00

Engaging aquarium visitors

School holidays brought some special opportunities for Sydney Ocean Youth Ambassadors to engage with aquarium visitors on how they can make a positive impact for our oceans. The OY team spoke with hundreds of visitors in the aquarium's peak period, school holidays, on the issue of plastic pollution and what each of us can do to reduce our plastic footprints. They also asked for signatures to ban the plastic bag in the lagging states of Victoria, NSW and WA. There was a really positive response from both the public and the mentoring Guest Experience team on having the students help them in sharing such important information.

Well done team!

If you're interested in participating in Ocean Youth 2018 be sure to fill out an application under 'The Program' tab.

14/07/2017 00:00

12 year old saving dugongs

"Hi, my name is Stephanie and I am 12yrs old. All of my life I have wanted to do something to give back to the animals in our world. When I was 10yrs old, my father explained to me that I could start a web page to raise money for an endangered animal. It then became clear to me that this is exactly what I planned on doing. So here I am now helping to fund the dugongs so that the generations after us can enjoy these graceful animals, just like we do now."

Stephanie, founder of www.savethedugongs.com.au

Want to be a change maker like Stephanie? Then Ocean Youth wants you. Apply today.

16/10/2015 00:00

Maggie's report of Tangalooma

Tanglooma island was amazing, and the wrecks were absolutely fabulous. We were lucky enough to snorkel around the wrecks and get close up to all the fish and animals. This was my first time ever snorkeling, and I know now I will never be able to stop again. The reefs were in great condition, and were hiding some of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen, such as a moray eel and an anemone fish.Some kids saw things like Wobbegongs, stonefish and turtles.
We snorkeled for quite a while, just like all the other  people who had come to see the magnificent wrecks and reefs. The water was amazing, but by the end of it, we all had salty wrinkled mouths and sore aching bodies, but I could have stayed in the water for much longer.


I will never forget the things I saw there, and I  am very much looking forward to the next OY adventure.

16/10/2015 00:00

On wings of waste. Amazing!

Jeremy Rowsell, Australian Pilot, has used plastic pollution to fuel a flight all the way from Austalia to England!

Imagine if all that plastic you step over in the street and parks could be used a fuel to power cars, boats and planes?

This an exciting concept and Jeremy has shown it is a reality.  Even David Attenborough's excited.

You can find out more about this amazing project 'On Wings of Waste' here.

18/10/2015 00:00

Beach clean for World Turtle Day

Our most recent OY Sydney workshop had a turtle theme as part of World Turtle Day so we took participants to Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary to meet staff that care for rescued turtles. They had a chance to meet the most recent rescue, a young Green turtle called Tilly, before carrying out a mock rescue & rehab scenario of their own.

The second part of the workshop took us all outside to do a beach clean followed by analysing the data. The students took great interest in what they were finding with two participants even pulling up a member of the public for tossing their cigarette butt on the ground!

OY Ambassadors were then encouraged to start thinking about everyday solutions to ocean problems that they can implement in their everyday lives. We can't wait to see what they come up with!

If you're a high school aged student based in Sydney, Melbourne or Sunshine Coast you can register your interest in participating in the program for 2018 here.


19/07/2017 00:00

Pharrell's battle is on!

In a new video game, Pharrell Williams challenges you to help clean up the ocean.

Pharrell has an ongoing partnership with G-Star RAW to help raise awareness about ocean pollution, as well as push forward efforts to clean it up. While the clothing maker created a collection that uses fibers made from recovered ocean plastic, the musician has lent his star-power to the issue.

The latest project from that collaboration is a video game you can play on your mobile devices, with free download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. It’s called “Battle for Big Blue,” and features a plastic-collecting octopus. The goal is to collect as much plastic as possible while avoiding various marine adversaries, and is set to a soundtrack by Pharrell.

Read the full article here.

19/10/2015 00:00

Why do we need you(th)?

Ocean Youth is a capacity building program for high school aged students to build a global community of future leaders and change makers who embrace, encompass and influence ocean conservation and sustainable resource management.

Approximately 30% of the world’s population is under the age of 18.

Why do we need Ocean Youth?

The core objective of Ocean Youth is to ensure the principles of ocean conservation and sustainable use of its precious resources are embedded at all levels of decision making now and into the future, whether it be by governments, industry or community globally. Building the capacity of young people, our future leaders and a significant component of our communities, is critical to implementing the solutions needed to halt the decline in our planet’s health.

Our young people are going to face immense environmental problems as a result of our actions today and yesterday. We want to put them on the front foot to tackle these challenges head on.

28/01/2015 00:00

About the program

Ocean Youth (OY) is about building tomorrow’s leaders and change makers to conserve and protect our oceans.

The face to face program is aimed at high school aged students and delivered over a calendar year through SEA LIFE aquaria. OY gives participants the opportunity to learn valuable skills and knowledge that are transportable into any workplace. We see it as a capacity building program for young people who are passionate about conservation, sustainability and creating or adopting innovative solutions to some of the big issues. Currently the Ocean Youth program is delivered in Sydney, Melbourne and Mooloolaba but we're looking to expand, so watch this space!

A range of experiences including animal keeper and guest experience sessions are offered as well as opportuniteis to participate in field trips and nature based experiences with partners of the SEA LIFE Trust ANZ. You'll also be instrumental in helping us co-ordinate events and influence your communities to adopt postivie behaviour change. There'll be opportunities to participate in other aquarium activities including animal rehab and releases, marketing & PR opportunities and community conservation campaign creation and implementation.

Most importantly, you'll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people who care as much about our oceans and wildlife as you. We want to work with Solutionaries and Oceanpreneurs who want to shift the dial on the state of the planet and have fun along the way.

But wait....


*What is a Solutionary?


As the name suggests, these are individuals who are aware of the issues our planet faces, understand their roles within that and are confident in changing their own behaviour and implementing positive solutions to tackle these issues within their communities (school, family, social network or beyond). 

*What is an Oceanpreneur?
Oceanpreneurs are creative, innovative, business minded individuals who develop commercially viable solutions for the market that make our oceans and the planet a healthier, safer and more beautiful place.

Some people are happy to make individual changes and influence their communities to help our planet (Solutionary) whilst others want to transform the marketplace with their innovative, planet friendly products and services (Oceanpreneur).
Forming groups with peers, both on and offline, who share your particular passion or interest area, you’ll collaborate to create a shared vision for healthier oceans and design a project/campaign plan that will take us there.
Whether it’s banning plastic bags in your nearest supermarket, getting your family to use reusables, or organising a regular clean up in your school, whatever it may be, this is your chance to unleash the solutionary/oceanpreneur within.
Marketing, communication, event co-ordination, project planning, and public speaking are some of the skills that you’ll pick up in this phase and will help thrust you into being a change maker extraordinaire.
The world is your oyster!


The cost of the program is $250 for the year and includes:

12 months' entry to your nearest SEA LIFE
*20% off SEA LIFE products including Shark Dive Xtreme, Reef Snorkel, iFLY Zipline, Sydney Tower Eye. The more you do the more you save. (*subject to space availabiilty).

Discounts on partner products where and when available.

Not included:
There'll be a range of nature-based field trips and experiences on offer throughout the year. Costs associated to participate in these trips are NOT included in program cost.
Uniform costs (T-shirt and cap) are additional to the program cost at a price of $20 each. They can be ordered at the commencement of the program.


Participants must be between the ages of 13 & 18 to participate in the face to face program. You can apply online.


All is not lost.
If you're not in the above locations you can still be part of our movement. In fact we've got youth from Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, Canada, USA, American Samoa and other parts of Oz who are part of our growing movement. It's super exciting!

Access to the Ocean Youth online platform is free and will give you full access to networking with like-minded people from all over the world as well as our growing bank of resources. It's as easy as 1,2,3.

1. Create your profile here.

2. Start finding others who care about the same things as you.

3. Change the world, for the better!

28/01/2015 00:00