Liv for the Sea - Voices of Regen #1: Olivia Rose
By Jaari Heyes
“We have this innate connection within us to be in and by the water, because water is the life force of the planet - it's why you and I are here right now.”
At just 20 years old Olivia (Liv) Rose was quite literally thrown into the deep end while working at an eco resort on Haggerstone island off the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.
After “putting a spear in [her] hand” and being expected to supply guests with fresh fish as a part of the eco experience, it was evident to Liv that she had little time to learn how to hold her breath.
With a love for the ocean already instilled while growing up on the coastline of Nerm/Port Phillip Bay, it didn't take long for her to develop a deep connection with coral ecosystems while working on the island.
Returning home, Liv began studying Marine Biology in Warrnambool, where she then jumped at the opportunity of student exchange in Hawaii, O’ahu. Described by Liv as “paradise”, her attachment to Hawaii's seascapes intensified once discovering the reef’s “underwater playgrounds”. However, she also became conflicted by the impacts of the great garbage patch positioned above Hawaii.
“I was living the dream in Hawaii, freediving the purest most electric blue ocean, but I was also seeing first hand our impacts on the ocean.”
“The currents rip along the coast and litter the most incredible beaches with insane amounts of plastic.”
Finding it impossible to resist sharing her breathtaking experiences of the underwater world, Liv became a qualified freediving instructor, where her freediving Instagram page and business ‘Liv for the Sea’ started. Beginning as a platform to inspire people about the beauty and importance of the ocean, ‘Liv for the Sea’ was also a way to educate her freediving students on the devastating effects of plastic pollution.
“I couldn't walk these beaches without sharing [the plastic pollution] I was seeing. In this day and age with everyone being on social media, it’s the pictures and videos in our feed that inspires change,” says Liv.
“I have to remind myself that I can make a difference with my stories and images. It could create a ripple effect which goes into all elements of their life, like [being conscious] of plastic consumption and sustainable shopping choices.”
At 27 years young, Liv currently resides by Western Australia’s pristine Ningaloo Reef, living and working in Exmouth. Evolving and adapting Liv For The Sea, she is diving deeper into a teaching approach that has our Earth’s health at the core.
“The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, it all comes back to the sources of the environment.”
Find out more about Liv and her work at https://www.livforthesea.com/
Credit: photos supplied by Olivia Rose