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Changemaker- Tim Silverwood

7 June 2013 at 6:07 pm
Staff Reporter
Tim Silverwood is the co-founder of Take 3. He calls himself a reluctant environmentalist - a passionate surfer committed to working towards practical solutions to prevent plastic pollution in our oceans. We profile him this week in our Changemakers Column.

Staff Reporter | 7 June 2013 at 6:07 pm


Changemaker- Tim Silverwood
7 June 2013 at 6:07 pm


Tim Silverwood calls himself a reluctant environmentalist.

The passionate surfer is committed to working towards practical solutions to prevent plastic pollution in our oceans and ensure better management or resources as the pressure humans have placed on the environment become increasingly evident.

Tim is co-founder and Vice President of Take 3, Director at ReChusable, campaign strategist with the Boomerang Alliance, co-founder of Circular Economy Australia and works with various groups on waste reduction initiatives.

This week we profile Tim in Changemakers- a weekly column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.

What are you currently working on in the organisation?
Take 3 is currently working on expanding its educational resources to include interactive online videos and tutorials that can be completed by schools, businesses, families and community groups all around the world. We’ve had immense success with our face to face program that has seen over 50,000 students and community members educated but are naturally challenged when it comes to visiting EVERYONE who would like us to! We’re launching a new crowd-funding project soon with the aim to raise $50,000 to make it a reality. We are also seeking funding to expand our projects targeting surf life saving clubs and key recreational groups including surfers and fishers.

What drew you to the Not for Profit sector?
After studying environmental management at university I graduated with incredible enthusiasm to change the world and fix some of the environmental problems I’d learnt about. I soon learnt that Government departments were fraught with bureaucracy and the public sector wasn’t all too keen on actually changing anything, merely diverting attention to appease paying stakeholders. The Not for Profit sector was the perfect platform to actually get out there and do something.

How long have you been working in the Not for Profit sector?
Six years.

What is the best thing about working in the Not for Profit sector?
Working in the NFP sector is like being in a secret club. When you meet someone else who works in a NFP there is a knowing nod and a smile, you know that the person you are meeting is genuinely interested in generated positive change, regardless of financial reward.

It’s a real shame that it is this way, it would be wonderful if there was similar financial reward for the ‘devoted’ change makers as for the top workers in the corporate world but we all know this is much further away than we’d like it to be. I hope others in the NFP sector have learnt to embrace a new type of currency, that of positive affirmations. Seems bizarre, but given you can’t put a price on feelings of gratitude and satisfaction with your role during your short stint on earth then it makes sense to be rich in the things that matter.

What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
The best part of my job is definitely the work we do with schools. It’s incredibly rewarding to visit a school for a presentation and workshop and watch this amazing journey the students go on. They start out as a blank canvas in their understanding of the pressures facing the ocean and within an hour they are excitedly ready to be part of the solution. Watching teenagers at such an impressionable age enthusiastically picking up rubbish from the playground when hours earlier they may have contributed to the problem or at least been shy to act in front of their peers makes me realise the power of our message. We spend a lot of time with students developing ideas for positive solutions they can implement in school and it constantly amazes me how intuitive and smart young people are. It gives me complete faith we can turn major problems around with the right leadership.

About Take 3
Take 3 is a Not for Profit organisation formed in 2009 that asks everyone to simply take three pieces of rubbish with them when they leave the beach, waterway or…anywhere. The simple Take 3 action aims to inspire a new generation to understand the impacts of plastic pollution on the world’s oceans and wildlife and to embrace simple solutions. Take 3 works with a range of stakeholders to educate the broader community on this serious environmental issue and shape a cleaner future.

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