March 8th is International Women's Day!
GENDER EQUALITY TODAY FOR A SUSTAINABLE TOMORROW
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 Ocea Collective was established, and want to share our interview with Ocea mermaid and founder of the amazing Sea Gals community - Tara!
We hope you enjoy reading about what inspired her to create her amazing community & run regular events for ocean loving women throughout Australia.
Meet Ocean Lover & Founder of Sea Gals - Tara
I am from Perth, WA. Born and bred. Still living here but my heart is starting to crave more of the world. We will see where time takes us.
What do you do and how do you usually spend your days?
I do a bit here and there, I am currently on my journey to become a counsellor, so I will be starting my masters in May. For work, I do a bit of content creation, but mostly just your average casual work to fund life and aspiring dreams! Most days I am either doing Sea Gals work, one of my two casual jobs, or spending time with friends, my partner and family. I somehow fit the beach in there somewhere!
How do you make this life work for you? How did you get here?
Honestly, I’ve come to learn that you don’t have to fit the mould of 9-5 work and give in to hustle culture. I am trying to break that mundane cycle, and work to live, not live to work. That’s why Sea Gals has been so amazing, it’s given me a purpose I didn’t even know I needed, and a whole other aspect of my life I can’t imagine without now. To get to where I am now, I completed my Bachelor of Psychology and took a gap year in 2022, which led to Sea Gals - and I couldn’t be happier that I chose to enjoy life last year rather than grind away again at university or a full time job. That’s what your 20’s are for right? I am lucky enough to also have such a supportive partner, family, and team, so I am able to go on holidays and know that Sea Gals is being taken care of.
Tell us about how Sea Gals was created
Sea Gals was never a plan. I never sat down one day and tried to come up with a plan to create a community. I honestly had never been to the beach for the sunrise, so I went randomly one day and posted it on my TikTok account in February 2022. It gained a bit of attention and I received so many comments from people wanting to go to the beach for sunrise but either kept flaking out on themselves or had no one to go with. So I thought you know what? What could possibly go wrong? I’ll just invite them all to the beach and see who turns up! Out of the 93 people that expressed their interest in coming, only 5 people came. We posted another video on my TikTok, which gained more views and created this snowball effect - more and more people turned up each time we did an ocean dip and boom, Sea Gals was born.
What’s your favourite thing about your events?
My favourite thing about Sea Gals events is when I watch everyone run into the water. People usually have the biggest grins, they’re laughing, squealing, or pulling funny faces trying not to stack it. Just seeing the joy on peoples faces, gives me the indication they are having a good time - and that they understand waking up early was worth it for this. Running into the water with other women is so much fun, and can be empowering. So seeing that in front of my face, will never get old.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day to me means appreciation to women, for what we do, what we’ve been through, our similarities and our differences. At Sea Gals events, I remind everyone that they are all there for similar reasons, but are all individual. I think that’s what’s so interesting, is that everyone has their own story and their own reason for attending an event. Hearing women’s stories about why they attend can sometimes be so moving, I feel privileged that they feel comfortable telling me. I think International Women’s Day should be a reminder of what women go through on a day to day basis, whether that’s being a mother, a friend, a sister, an aunty, a step-mum, a grandmother, a grand daughter, a CEO, a midwife, a girlfriend, a wife…any role a women takes should be celebrated.
What are you passionate about?
I am really passionate about women's stories and mental health. Mental health is a popular topic at the moment, and sometimes it can get lost in some mundane mental health stigmas and the usual spiel. But really, the mental health movement is about finding pockets of happiness, prevention, and help for those who need that help, and getting people to understand that mental health isn’t more common because it’s a trend, it’s because we are talking about it more than we ever have, and people are now having the confidence to ask for help. I think that’s a big misconception. That’s why I love Sea Gals, whilst we are not a mental health organisation, we are a pocket of happiness that people can add into their day to connect with themselves, others, and nature. It could be that activity that you push yourself to do if you are struggling socially, or it could be the outside task your psychologist has set for you. Sea Gals will always be my passion.
What’s your most memorable marine encounter?
My most memorable marine encounter was in Bali when I was a teenager, I got to be a part of the turtle cultivation project and set free a baby turtle into the ocean. I named him Chandler - and Chandler if you’re out there, I’m proud you made it.
I also really loved hanging out with otters in Japan in January this year. I got to feed and hold an otter, and it was probably the cutest marine animal interaction I’ve ever had. I will never forget the feeling of the otters paws taking food out of my hand.
What are your dreams for the future?
My dreams for the future is to open my own counselling practice in the future, and hopefully connect that with Sea Gals one day. I would love for Sea Gals to become worldwide and be known by itself - so women know there is an activity and community that they can be a part of, no matter where they are in the world (they may need a coastline but you get my drift). As long as I can help women in a mental health capacity for my job in the clinic and in the ocean, I’ll be a happy gal.
What is your favourite Ocea piece?
My favourite Ocea piece that I own is my large blue opal ring, but my favourite piece I’ve had my eyes on for a while is the silver raw aquamarine ring. I have honestly fallen in love with all the Ocea Collective pieces, and one day hope to be decked out in all things Ocea.