Pursuit: Environmental Law
My name is Parrys Raines (aka Climate Girl) and I am an environmental educator, writer/blogger, film maker and international public speaker. I have been a Youth Ambassador for WWF, Earth Hour, Cool Australia and an Ocean Champion for Living Ocean.
I am a three time Australian Representative to UNEP, I was a team member of the Plastiki Expedition and a Partner and Australian Representative for the International Youth Accord on Biodiversity. I enjoy influencing positive long term changes that benefit people, animals and the planet. My ambition is to become an Environmental Lawyer and work with the best in the field of law. I wish to establish my own Law firm and to advise/consult governments and businesses in all aspects of environmental law.
When did you start?
I have had two defining moments where I have learnt how humans are having a negative impact on our planet. The first was when I was about six years old, I was at the beach and questioned why I had to wear sunscreen. I was told that the planet was changing and we needed to protect our skin. The second moment was when I was ice climbing in New Zealand when I was 11. I noticed a red line in the ice and I was told it was red dust from central Australia that had blown across the South Pacific. I learnt about impact and how our actions impact on people and places elsewhere but because we don't see what our actions have contributed to, we are unaware of the problems we have caused. In 2009 when I was 14 years old I launched my environmental education website Climate Girl. I did this as I felt young people needed simple, factual information about the environmental impacts facing my generation. I hoped to inspire young people to care more about our planet by taking action.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
Three time key note speaker for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Norway, South Korea and Java. In 2010 my proposal to have single use plastic bottle water bottle banned at school was accepted (see film on my website). All aspects of my proposal were accepted and we were the first school in Australia to provide new stainless steel drinking bottles for the school community. I have also helped two other schools undertake similar projects. I was invited to give a talk at the Green School in Bali which is the most sustainable school in the world. Team member of the Plastiki Expedition. Launching my website (www.climategirl.com.au) Also, winning gold and bronze medals for Australia in rock climbing at the Oceania Rock Climbing Championships.
What is your dream?
My ambition is to become a world leader in Environmental Law and an environmental entrepreneur. I plan to use my law degree and environment knowledge to develop Climate Girl into world class sustainable business. The primary focus is to educate young people, to inspire and motivate them to take action locally on sustainable issues that ultimately benefits the communities they live in. Benefits gained from these sustainable actions will ensure a healthy planet, healthy people and a sustainable future.
Who or what have inspired you?
I have travelled extensively through my environmental work. I have seen the planets natural capital being misused and not replaced. I have seen shrinking glaciers, I have seen vast amounts of precious rainforest cut down, I have seen animals that are on the brink of extinction and I have seen extreme poverty. I have heard first hand from children I have met from around the world about issues they are facing everyday due to environmental impacts. Their stories are what inspires me to pursue a career as an environmental lawyer. I also get inspiration from people who are motivated to bring about positive change to our world.
Who's your hero?
Adventure: Amelia Earhart Animal Rights: Paul Watson Arts and Entertainment: Cate Blanchett Education: Sir Ken Robinson Entrepreneur: Steve Jobs Environment: David Suzuki Environmental Law: Polly Higgins Human Rights: Nelson Mandela Politics: Julia Gillard Science: Charles Darwin Sport: Layne Beachley
Any other special talents?
My record for juggling a soccer ball is 216.
I love all sorts of music.
To Kill a Mocking Bird.
For Christmas I got a book by Bryce Courtenay titled "A Recipe for Dreaming" which Bryce Courtenay inspires us to become dreamers and questioners, creators of lives that are rich and rewarding.
Favourite TV Show?
Suits, The Good Wife and The Block.
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
The grant will go a long way in helping me towards the costs of my law degree and developing my Climate Girl brand further.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
My motto is "Habits made today will help life tomorrow"