Meet the Ambassadors

Surfrider Australia's Ambassadors

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Barton Lynch

National Director, Patron, Head of Ambassadors Program and 1988 World Champion Surfer 

"As a person who has been given and gained so much from my relationship with the ocean, I feel a responsibility to do what I can to protect it and lead others to do the same thing. That is what the Surfrider Foundation Ambassadors program is all about.” - Barton Lynch

Natural ability, a sharp intellect and an irrepressible social conscience combine to make Barton one of the most formidable figures in surfing of the last three decades. Barton emerged from the beach-breaks of Manly with a flexible style and a fiercely competitive drive, which helped him achieve an impressive junior career with victories in the Pro Junior, the Triple J Junior and the Australian Professional Surfing Association (APSA) ratings.

He refined his competitive act into a near flawless, fluid routine of vertical manoeuvres that brought him immediate success on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world tour. He spent 13 consecutive years in the elite top 16 rated surfers, earning a reputation as a tactical competitor as well as a forthright and articulate spokesman for the sport.

His greatest competitive moment could not have been more perfectly scripted, as he surfed the perfect tubes of Hawaii’s famed Pipeline, to take out the 1988 Billabong Pro and the World Title. He retired from competition in March 1998, after 15 years on the ASP tour and a total of 17 WCT victories.

Barton has been involved with Surfrider for over 20 years.

Website: bartonlynch.com


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Mark Mathews

Big Wave Surfer

As one of the world’s most committed heavy-water surfers, there isn’t much out there Mark Mathews hasn’t done. He’s scouted, surfed and survived some dark and dangerous ocean. He helped pioneer the surfing of breaks like Cape Fear, Cyclops, Shipstern Bluff and more recently The Right in Western Australia. He’s scored a perfect 10 at Pipeline that still might be the best wave he’s ever caught. He’s made the invite list for 'The Eddie' in Hawaii and has been named the best big-wave rider in Australia three years running.

Marky is maybe the most high profile underground guy in surfing. Over the years he’s scored a brace of magazine covers and the showreel of his best clips is jaw dropping. He’s starred in his own award-winning feature film, Fighting Fear, alongside his TV series, The Crew. But while it’s unlikely that Mark’s surfing career will go belly-up from chronic underexposure anytime soon, it’s been built on a ferocious work ethic, a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to put his neck on the line.

Instagram/FB/Twitter: @markmathewssurf

Website: www.markmathews.com


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Winter Vincent

Surfer & Passionate Philanthropist

Winter is proud to be Surfrider Australia’s youngest Ambassador.

Winter is one of Australia’s rising surf stars and was the youngest participant in the AIS Talent Identification Program at the Hurley High Performance Surfing Centre in 2016.

In 2016 he added a second NSW State U12 boys Title and the Australian Open of Surfing U14 Title to his impressive list of results. Having completed his primary schooling as a popular school captain at Manly Village Public School on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Winter is travelling around the world in 2017 with his mum and sister, studying by distance and surfing some of the best waves on the planet.

“I’m in the surf every day. It is different every day - but some things don’t change. I always feel the sand under my feet and I always find plastic stuff in the surf. I ask myself - Why are we using so much plastic? How come so much ends up in the ocean? When are we going to get it OUT of the ocean? Kids like me care about the future because kids ARE the future. I know that kids can lead and inspire and take action. I’m standing with Surfrider and kids everywhere who want to make the ocean and beaches a better place.”

Instagram: @winter_v 

Facebook: @wintervincent 


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Pacha Light

Pro Surfer & Ocean Conservationist

Pacha Light (16) is a young professional surfer with a passion for the planet. 

Representing Australia at the ISA world junior surf competition in Portugal last year, Pacha is keen to combine competitive surfing with caring for the ocean that gives her so much joy!

Growing up in and exploring some of the worlds most precious and threatened ecosystems in an ‘activist’ family, has provided an awareness, experience and knowledge beyond her years. 

Pacha has been actively involved in a number of ocean protecting initiatives, including the successful bid for the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve. She is also the Youth Ambassador for the Seabin project and been active in Japan supporting ocean awareness projects and environmental campaigns. 

"As surfers we feel connected to the beautiful nature around us - the dolphins, turtles, whales and sharks and we are in awe of the ever changing beauty of the ocean itself. We want to get to know our backyard even better and invite other young surfers to join in - after all, we are the ones who will need to look after this place for the future." - Pacha 2017

Instagram: @pachalight  

Twitter: @lightpacha

Website: pachalina.wordpress.com


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Ozzie Wright

Surfer, Artist, Filmmaker & Musician

Ozzie Wright is an Australian professional surfer, artist, filmmaker and musician, known for his surfing innovation and punk rock style. He is sponsored by FCS Volcom and Santa Cruz surfboards. 

Ozzie has designed t-shirts for Surfrider Australia, including the 'Rainbow' and 'Plastic is Poision' tees. Get yours at: www.surfrider.org.au/store

Instagram: @ozzywrong


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Jack McCoy

Internationally-Recognised, Award-Winning Director, Producer & Cinematographer

Growing up in Hawaii, I saw my first surfing movie, Surfing Hollow Days by Bruce Brown and the entire experience left a strong impression on me that I've I've spent my life's work, more like play, sharing what I capture in still photos and film/video just like I learned with humility and respect from Bruce and the early pioneers of the genre.  In 1975 I made my 1st surfing film with then partner Dick Hoole titled TUBULAR SWELLS. I've had the privilege to work on over 25 short and feature films on surfing.

Website: www.jackmccoy.com


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Otis Carey

Pro Surfer & Artist

Bio coming soon.

Instagram: @otishopecarey

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Otis-Carey


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Zachary Brook-Bennett

Award-winning Artist, Ocean-Inspired Designs

Zac is Torres Strait Islander man born and raised in Dharawal Country (Wollongong). Zac uses traditional techniques on non-traditional media to create contemporary artworks that combine his Indigenous and surf cultures.

Growing up in Wollongong, I have always been surrounded by water and have always been involved with water-based activities. Being Torres Strait Islander has always played a vital role throughout my life, as it is ingrained within my cultural heritage and is often represented throughout many of my artworks and designs. I find and gather inspiration in the oceans, blue walls and sandy floors, often exploring different colour tones commonly associated with the sea throughout my works.

Instagram/FB: @saltwaterdreamtime

Website: www.saltwaterdreamtime.com


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Mulga the Artist

Sydney-based Artist, Freelance Illustrator & Poet

Mulga is Sydney based artist, Joel Moore, a man with unique style and inspiration. He creates unforgettable artworks of the things he loves to draw; bearded characters, gorillas, lions and magical creatures with laser beam eyes. Originally Mulga worked in finance, until he realised that making art was much more fun.

Having his first art show and launching his art career in early 2012 his creative portfolio to date is an impressive one with over 70 shows under his belt, winner of multiple art and design awards and his recent work with Coca Cola, Red Bull, MTV, Adidas, Microsoft, Toyota, Slurpee, Schweppes, Mambo, Paypal, Oporto and Virgin Mobile to name a few.

Mulga is also incredibly clever with words, creating poems that sit alongside his art, adding even more depth and intrigue to his already engaging work. He is currently celebrating the release of his 2nd book Mulga's Magical Musical Creatures, a children's picture book in between designing t shirts, painting murals and running the Mulga label.

Instagram: @mulgatheartist

Website: mulgatheartist.com.au


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Richie 'Vas' Vaculik

Mixed Martial Artist & Big Wave Surfer

Richie ‘Vas’ Vaculik isn’t scared of much.  He faces opponents as an elite Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter; charges 30ft walls of water as a big wave surfer and can handle TV makeup and studio lights in his role as a presenter on FOX Sports 3.

Growing up on Maroubra Beach, Richie was born into a strong surfing culture which would later become the subject of the award winning documentary Bra Boys: Blood is Thicker Than Water. It was the follow up doco Fighting Fear where Richie appeared alongside childhood friend and big wave surfer Mark Matthews to follow the tumultuous lives of the two world-class athletes facing against-all-odds personal challenges and how together, they came through stronger than ever. But there is one thing Richie is scared of! And that is the degradation of Australia’s coastline and the importance of protecting our oceans, waves and beaches through conservation, activism, research and education.

Instagram: @richievas

Facebook/Twitter: @richievaculik 


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Liv Phyland

Media Personality for Network 10, Surfer, Singer, Dancer & Ocean-lover

Whether she’s surfing, singing, or dancing like there's nobody watching, Liv Phyland has energy to burn.She’s a fresh, healthy face with a cheeky sense of humour and her genuine lust for life is addictive.

Liv’s television debut was in 2011,  when she became the host of ABC3’s flagship show ‘Studio3’. Since then she has appeared in her own show ‘Liv on the Edge’ and MC’d events such as ‘Fun4Kids’ festival, Cyber Safety Summit, The ARIAs red carpet and St Kilda Festival.

In 2015 Liv made the jump from ABC to hosting Eleven’s music show The Loop, alongside Scott Tweedie. She is an in-demand and exceptional public speaker, and has hosted numerous large scale events including Trop Jr 2015/2016, the ARIA Awards Red Carpet 2015 and ARIA Nominations Event 2016 amongst other things.

Liv recently completed her undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Nutrition, and is a certified health coach. She utilizes her knowledge and passion for health and wellbeing by hosting seminars and writing columns that benefit female teens. Liv is also an ambassador for Ride 2 School and The Starlight Foundation, which allow her to assist others in the wider community.

In her free time, Liv sings in a band, goes on surfing road-trips and learns the guitar. She is very outgoing, full of life and a natural beauty.

Instagram/Twitter: @livphyland


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Stella Crick

Freelance Ocean Photographer

I got involved with the Surfrider Foundation in 2012 when I was at a 'Paddle out' Rally on Sydney Harbour campaigning for the NSW Container Deposit Scheme. I am proud of my Indigenous heritage and have a deep connection to the land and water, therefore I feel very strongly about helping to protect it.

I am 22 years young and enjoy an active and healthy outdoors lifestyle by surfing both shortboards and longboards, SUP-ing, freediving, bushwalking and getting creative with both surf and underwater photography. Through capturing unique images of the coastal lifestyle, I hope to bring awareness of how special our marine ecosystems are, and how important it is to conserve and protect them.

Instagram: @stellacrick

Photography website: www.stellacrick.com


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Samson Coulter

Pro Surfer & star of new surfing movie, Breathe

Samson is an aspiring professional surfer and actor form the northern beaches of NSW. In 2017 he will represent Australia in the 2017 ISA world games held in Japan, compete in the professional junior series, the world qualifying series and star in the feature film, and ‘Breath’ directed by Simon Baker.

“The message that Surfrider communicates is simple but so important. Surfing in the ocean every day, I feel a strong responsibility to preserve it as best I can. Everyone can contribute by avoiding plastic goods and choosing biodegradable products that will not harm the ocean and its wildlife, collectively a small effort can make a huge difference so i'm stoked to be part of such a great organisation." - Samson Coulter, 2017

Instagram: @samson_coulter


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Tom Wegener

Surfer & Surfboard Shaper

Tom Wegener has been makign surfboards from a shed in Cooroy, QLD for 12 years and his surfboard business has gone through several transformations. In 2001, Tom was making custom foam surfboards, but he was dreaming o fmaking wood surfboards from paulownia. By 2003, Tom had made the transformation to hollow, wood surfboards that were sealed with fibreglass and by 2005, he was making hollow wood boards that were sealed with linseed oil. He named these plankton models. In 2009. Tom was named shaper of the year by Surfing Magazine.

Although Tom’s work has earned him a place among the world’s most influential surfboard shapers, he feels his biggest achievement was creating the green surfboard factory.  Normal surfboard factories have toxic chemicals and create an enormous amount of waste.  Tom’s factory has no toxic materials and creates almost no waste.  The wood chips and sawdust are mulched into his garden and orchard.  It is a really nice place to visit and to work.  Tom received the Sunshine Coast Living Smart Glossie award for his factory in 2012.

Instagram/FB: @tomwegenersurfboards

Website: www.tomwegenersurfboards.com


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Nici Andronicus

Professional Athlete & Ocean-lover

Bio coming soon.


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Julia Wheeler

Experienced Freediver & Ocean-lover

An adventurer at heart and experienced Freediver, holding a degree in Media and Communications, majoring in cultural studies and graduate of Australia’s most prestigious acting school, NIDA, Julia’s infectious enthusiasm and instant rapport has granted her access to people at their most intimate. Using natural light and movement, Julia is driven to meet people from all over the globe and document their life stories.

“I capture life through my eyes - a life where I have recently been given some fantastic opportunities to explore and find. I’m drawn to and inspired by people and feel compelled to document their culture, journey, vision, passion or self. 

I’m driven by meeting amazing people of all spectrums of every day life and I’m happy to put myself into anywhere anyone will allow me to go. I have been fortunate and have much more to explore and so much more to capture” — Julia Wheeler 2016

Instagram/FB: @iamjuliawheeler 

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Juliana Bahr-Thompson

Professional Ocean Lifeguard, PE Teacher, Environmentalist & Mermaid 

I'm Juliana a 28 year old professional ocean lifeguard, high school PE teacher, environmentalist, currently studying paramedics based in Bondi Australia. 

From a very young age I was aware of my footprint and surroundings, I commonly picked up rubbish in the parks I played in, the school yard and the beach. Later I discovered surfing and the surf culture, I was fascinated by surfers. They had a connection and understanding of the ocean that I wanted in on. 

It wasn't until I became a lifeguard that I developed my own passion and deeper understanding of the ocean. This understanding has grown over the years and now influences the way I live. 

In 2015 I Paddled 180km from Newcastle to Bondi to raise funds and awareness for Surfrider foundation, This paddle took 4 days to complete. I decided to raise the bar the following year and I Paddled 1000km from Newcastle to Noosa QLD. This paddle took 43 days to complete and I successfully raised over $30,000 for domestic violence and ocean conservation.  

These paddles have changed my life and my connection with the ocean forever, I'm lucky enough to have been able to connect with like minded souls and people who share my enthusiasm of the waves. The ocean provides me with not only a play ground and an income but it has proven its power in therapy and meditation. 

Instagram: @mermaid.witha.message

Twitter: @mermaidwithamsg