A 14-year-old Bribie Island local is getting her hands dirty in a bid to cleanup the island.
The Moreton Bay Region Young Citizen of the Year, Tegan Lather, the Queensland LNP State Member of Parliament for Pumicestone, Lisa France and the Environment Minister and Queensland LNP State Member of Parliament for Glass House, Andrew Powell all met on Bribie Island to launch Tegan’s latest campaign.
This campaign is aimed at cleaning up Bribie Island of the rubbish dumped on the beaches and surrounding areas. And not only does she have the support of politicians, Healthy Waterways are giving her continued support and Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation have also come onboard.
Tegan is undertaking the cleanup campaign under her own not-for-profit charity, Wildlife Emergency, through which she has set a target of raising $100,000 before completing high school. And at just 14 years-of-age, Tegan has already raised $76,500.
While Tegan’s charity efforts to-date have been more focused on Australian wildlife, she says it is because of what she has learnt in relation to wildlife rescue that cleaning up Bribie Island has become so important to her.
“Without actually knowing things about the environment we probably wouldn’t have second-glanced at the rubbish that was on the beach,” Tegan said in an exclusive video interview with Bridge to Bribie Island.
“But now that we know what it really does to everything and we’ve seen the animals go into the hospitals.., like first hand with rubbish in their stomachs and they’re slowly dying because of it, it really is a wakeup call.”
Mr Powell said that Tegan’s cleanup project would also record the type of rubbish being found so something could be done about it getting there in the first place.
“It’s not just about collecting the rubbish, but it’s about working out what it is (the rubbish) and where it potentially came from,” Mr Powell said.
“Part of the thing we’ve got to do, is track it back, find out where the rubbish is coming from, who’s putting it in the water and how we can change their behaviour and start seeing a cleaner beach.., cleaner waterways and a cleaner Pumicestone Passage.”
Ms France echoed Mr Powell’s sentiments and encouraged people to get involved with Tegan’s campaign.
“It is wonderful that Tegan and all of her supporters and everyone in our community gets down the beach, they pick up rubbish when they see it, put it in the bin and encourage everyone to be doing the same thing,” Ms France said.
You can join Tegan on Sunday the 11th of May from 8.30am until 9.30am cleaning up the Bribie Island beach. She has selected from Shirley Creek to Williams Creek at Bongaree, which includes the jetty, boat ramp and parks.
Volunteers are asked to wear “Hawaiian Shirts” to make the morning fun and make sure the activity is very visible. Don’t worry if you don’t have a shirt, as Tegan has spares at the Wildlife Emergency marquee.
If you would like to learn more please go to www.wildlifeemergency.com.au or email Tegan at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 0407 003 315.