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Ocean Lovers Festival Returns to Bondi

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Ocean Lovers Festival Returns to Bondi
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Annual Ocean Lovers Festival Returns to Bondi to Celebrate Ocean Treasure

Can seaweed save humanity? What’s next if no shark nets? Are whales talking to us? Some big questions and brilliant answers will be shared when the annual Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival returns to Bondi on March 23 and 24 with a jam-packed program of events and experts to discuss the ocean, artists to celebrate their love of it and heaps of ocean-friendly activities – free for the public.

The program at Bondi Pavilion and surrounds offers markets, music, art, workshops, and activities plus two full days of talks anyone can rock up to for some science in your swimmers.

Festival founder Anita Kolni said, “we are injecting lots of entertainment and fun activities alongside the important discussions with science, innovation and solutions being shared with the public throughout the festival to increase awareness and inspire action to support a healthy ocean.”

Ocean 1

“We know our Sydney community love the ocean and want it to thrive, including all the precious species it is home to, so the festival is truly an accessible and fun way to find out a bit more, connect with actions and ideas that are helping the ocean and celebrate with fellow ocean lovers through art and music,” she said.

The fourth annual weekend festival will be preceded by two packed days of school excursions and showcase events for hundreds of students to attend on March 21 and 22, made possible with the support of the IMC Foundation, Inspiring Australia, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and The University of Sydney.  

A partnership with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and the NSW Department of Environment at the festival will showcase Project Restore – a blockbuster program to rewild and repair the biodiversity and seascapes within Sydney Harbour.

Ocean 2

The Ocean Lovers Talks in the pavilion (free bookings), will cover topics ranging from coral reefs to sharks and other giants of the sea like dugongs and whales, exploring the wonders of algae, hearing about what is happening on the high and deep seas that is so important to the planet, understand how to eat seafood with a conscience, and find out about the real impact of shark nets and their alternatives!

Adults and kids workshops range from freediving and hypnotics to art classes and origami whales.

The popular Big Bondi Beach Clean with Take 3 will return, as well as a free sunrise yoga and meditation session on the beach and a Sand Sculpture competition with prize money from Blue World. Interactive art projects to take you under the surface and into wonder will be on display with ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ by Underwater Earth and the ‘Ocean Sentinels’ from the Museum of Underwater Art,  a student waste-art exhibition Litterarty, plus a performance art show ‘Tidal Traces’ with DJ sets by Nicholas Wilkinson and Claudia Leonard as well as Beach Couture art from Marina Debris.

Ocean 3

“Festival goers will be enlightened and inspired by this year’s remarkable program, which brings to life the wonder and significance of our ocean, the impact we can have and hope for the ocean’s future. There’s something for everyone to enjoy,” Anita said.

Volvo Managing Director Stephen Connor said, “It is a privilege to be partnered with the Ocean Lovers Festival as the Festival’s aims are closely aligned with that of Volvo Cars. Sustainability has been at the heart of our values since our inception in 1927 and is central to our company’s purpose. We appreciate that as a car company we have been a part of the impact on our environment but our commitment to becoming a sustainable company is well on its way and our 2040 carbon neutral target is essential for not only our future success but for the future of us all.”

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Waverley Mayor, Cr Paula Masselos said it is important for Council to support the Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival given its key focus on raising awareness about climate change through information and entertainment.

“Waverley Council was one of the first local government organisations in Australia to declare a target of net zero carbon emissions for our community by 2035 and this festival is helping increase awareness of simple ways to help respond to climate change,” Mayor Masselos said.

“We must do whatever we can to help protect our home by the sea including the health of our oceans and waterways, wildlife corridors and native flora and fauna.”

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“We invite all Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival participants to sign up to Waverley Council’s Net Zero Alliance to help us achieve our community net zero target and make sustainability second nature.”

The festival is presented by Volvo Car Australia as naming rights partner and charity partner IMC Foundation with major partners Waverley Council and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. The not-for-profit festival partner is Underwater Earth. Supporting partners are Blue World, MA Financial, Inspiring Australia, Ocean Protect, University of Sydney, Australian National Maritime Museum, The Hidden Sea and Stone & Wood.

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Festival highlights:

  • 20 March – Paint & Splash art event ticketed.
  • 20 March – Blue Solutions Summit at ANMM ticketed.
  • 21 March – Sea Science Student Expo here.
  • 21 March – Climate Action: What’s brilliant and what’s bullshit – Bondi Pavilion 5.30pm.
  • 21 – 24 – art exhibitions ‘Tidal Traces’ music and interactive art show, Out of Sight, Out of Mind interactive photographic exhibition, Litterarty student art exhibition, Beach Couture: A Haute Mess by Marina Debris and Ocean Sentinels from the  Museum of Underwater Art.
  • 22 March – School excursions here
  • 23 March – Sunrise Yoga on the beach with Rare Studio Bondi, free booking.
  • 23 March – Big Bondi Beach Clean with Take 3 for the Sea, free booking.
  • 23 March – Valerie Taylor’s Grey Nurse Shark Census
  • 23 March – Films: The Power of Activism | Macquarie Island: Australia’s Jewel in the Southern Ocean
  • 23 – 24 March – Ocean Lovers Talks in the High Tide Room – free bookings.
  • 23 – 24 March – Live music on the Sunshine Stage and markets.
  • 23 – 24 March  – free kids activities in the Pavilion courtyard and adult workshops
  • 24 March – Marine Sand Sculpture competition on the beach – register for prizes.

Visit the website for more details and the full Festival program as it’s unveiled.

About Ocean Lovers Festival

The Ocean Lovers Festival was born in Bondi in 2019. The festival is a place to ‘Sea Change‘ in a multi-channel showcase of entertainment to highlight ocean protection and innovative solutions, as well as celebrate the ocean through ideas, art, music, film, science and actions.

About Volvo

From the very outset Volvo Cars has always been about people who care about the world we live in. We have made it our mission to make life easier, better, and safer for everyone. For a better future. We want to provide you with the freedom to move in a personal, sustainable, and safe way. Our alignment with the Ocean Lovers Festival is evident from our rich historical ties to our passion for people and the environment.

In 1959 Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin introduced the three-point safety belts into the series production of PV 544 and we decided to waive our patent rights so everybody could benefit. To date, it’s estimated that over one million lives have been saved by the three-point safety belt.

We articulated our first environmental declaration in 1972 at the UN’s first Environment Conference in Stockholm. Our CEO at the time, Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, acknowledged that our products had a negative environmental impact and stated that we were determined to do something about it. We introduced our three-way catalytic converter with the Lambda sensor in 1976, it was an environmental breakthrough and reduced harmful emissions by up to 90 per cent.

About IMC Foundation

IMC Trading is a leading global trading firm with technology at its heart. At IMC we believe that businesses and those who work for them should contribute towards a better society. Therefore, we give our time, talent, and money to enrich the lives of people in the communities where we live and work, with a particular focus on education. Through our Foundation, we donate for impact, supporting charities and organisations that share our commitment to helping young people develop to their fullest potential.

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Picture of Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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