March 8th is International Women's Day!
GENDER EQUALITY TODAY FOR A SUSTAINABLE TOMORROW
International Women's Day is a global phenomenon designed to raise awareness of gender inequalities and encourage people to take action to #breakthebias in order create a world free of discrimination, bias and stereotypes.
It is about celebrating a world that is inclusive, diverse and equitable, where women are treated equally and their achievements are celebrated.
Today we want to celebrate IWD by putting a spotlight on women's achievements and sharing our gratitude for the inspirational, strong and talented women we are lucky enough to work alongside and collaborate with everyday.
We have worked with so many incredible women since MBC was established, and want to share our interview with MBC mermaid and ocean photographer Aimee!
We hope you enjoy reading about her ocean adventures and learn a bit about what it's like like living the dream life of swimming with Whale Sharks in Exmouth for a living!
Meet Ocean Photographer of The Year
Where are you from and where are you currently living?
I am from Nelson in New Zealand and moved to Australia when I was 20. I have spent the last 10 years living in Exmouth WA.
What do you do and how do you usually spend your days? (Yes, we want to know all the things, you multi-talent!)
At this time of year I am working on the Whale Shark Boats 5/6 days a week as the photographer. In my spare time I also like to try and get out to the water as much as possible for a snorkel or a surf. Taking photos is something that I am really loving, mostly underwater but over the last few years I have also been doing some brand photography, It is fun working with different people and meeting new clever people like yourself. Taking photos of my friends and seeing how good it makes them feel is amazing. My other hobbies include sewing and kick boxing.
How do you make this life work for you? How did you get here?
Everything has felt quite natural for me and not pushed. I have always loved the ocean and sea creatures for as long as I can remember, When I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do. When I first moved to Australia I lived on the Gold coast and started learning how to surf and dive and I just straight away knew I would be revolving my life around those things. One of my best friends came to WA a few years before me and said I needed to move here because it has all the things I love so I just made it happen.
Tell us about your relationship with the ocean...
Growing up in Nelson New Zealand we had the ocean right out the front of our family home, my brother and I use to go down to the rock pools nearly everyday and were always exploring there, we also use to do sea swims every week so I think that has helped with my confidence in the water. Our best family Friends had a boat and use to take me out all the time so I am really grateful to have had a childhood that I got too spend a lot of time in or near the ocean.
Like most other kids I grew up watching Sir David Attenborough's documentaries and I remember being so fascinated by whales and Killer whales and the obsession never went away (wolves of the sea, great old doco and worth a watch). Now I pinch myself everyday that I get to see and swim with all these amazing animals as a job. Its crazy!
What are you passionate about?
I am Passionate about the protection of the ocean, earth and all the critters that live in it. I do eat fish but only when my partner or friends catch it and I know where it has come from, I try not to eat to much and we try to use as little plastic as we can! I hate seeing trawlers and big commercial fishing boats.
I am also very passionate about marine mammals kept in captivity, I hate it and it makes my blood boil. there is no reason for them to be kept like that. I hope that one day it all ends and in the mean time I am hoping to help with the Dolphin project one day <3
Most memorable marine encounter
Hmmm this is hard one because most of my encounters will stay with me forever but if I had to pick one fav it would be the time I was out with the local whale researcher John and film crew from Silver Back and we were watching our local family of killer whales hunt a humpback whale calf, their hunt was successful and afterwards near sunset the big male Augie pushed the dead calf up towards us on the edge of the boat like an offering. It was crazy and photos I tried to get could never do it justice!
What are your dreams for the future?
I'm hoping to start travelling again now the borders have opened!
What is your favourite MBC piece?