Activist Spotlight: Meet Zachary Brook-Bennett, Ocean-Inspired Artist and Surfrider Ambassador
We are excited to introduce another Surfrider Ambassador for our Activist Spotlight! Meet Zachary Brook-Bennett, an artist that makes ocean-inspired designs that combine his Indigenous and surf cultures.
What are your major accomplishments & career highlights?
- Graduating from The University of Wollongong with a degree in PDHPE Teaching.
- Post graduating starting Saltwater Dreamtime, where I took my passion for art and combined my Indigenous culture along with my surf culture and love for the ocean.
- Some of the clients/brands I have worked with in the short amount of time from starting Saltwater Dreamtime are: Accor Hotels, Afends, Tag Huer, Harley Davidson and people such as Chris Hemsworth, Tony Hawk, Patty Mills and many more.
What will you do in 2017 to make a positive impact?
Create awareness about looking after our oceans and water ways through my art with the people I meet and chat with. Educating people about the importance of recycling, looking after our environment and being aware of our surroundings is something I wish to address throughout the year.
What does the ocean mean to you and why should it be protected?
As a proud Torres Strait Islander man the ocean means so much to me on so many different levels. Torres Strait Islander people are known as Saltwater people, who have, for thousands of years, lived on the coast of the ocean and used the ocean for food, activities and so much more. As a keen surfer, having a clean and healthy ocean is vital not only for me being out in the water, but for all the animals which call the sea home. Protecting our oceans is extremely important because if we don’t we will lose such a beautiful place.
The most amazing place I've travelled to is…
Hawaii, I have been lucky enough to visit that beautiful part of the world many times now. It is so rich in culture, surfing and living off the land and is a place which keeps calling me back. The climate is great all year round with waves that are easy to find no matter where you are.
Why do you think people should get involved with Surfrider?
I believe people should get involved with Surfrider for the same reason I did, to educate themselves more and to then pass that knowledge onto others to create a positive change, through creating awareness about our oceans and water ways.