JUNE 8TH from 8:30am to 5:00pm ACST
Ambassadors and Guardians of the Oceans

The Leadership of Ambassadors and Guardians of the Oceans will address, the Blue Water Summit 2023 specifically on our two global challenges – that our Climate and our Oceans are indivisibly linked; and that plastic is the villain for healthy oceans.

These issues will be explored by individuals, drawn locally and from across the world, who show amassing leadership in articulating a need for respect – a respect for the Oceans, demonstrated by action.  These Ambassadors and Guardians are film makers and philosophers, academics and activists, and individuals whose lives are linked to the Oceans.

The Blue Water Summit 2023 will welcome their narratives and share the inspiration derived from these stories.



PRESENTED BY Blue Water Australia Summit

Program Outline 2023

  • Opening Address and Welcome to Country
  • A Global Network of Ocean Carers
    • Stories from Individuals for whom the ocean is life
    • Organisations which can activate citizens
  • Our Climate and our Ocean are mutually inclusive
    • Large-scale ocean circulation and its influence on regional & global climate
    • Ocean health is our health – seagrass beds and the accelerating efforts to harness and store more carbon dioxide
  • Planet vs Plastic
    • Addressing the GPGP- great pacific garbage patch and other waste dumps
    • Circulate economy is a rescue economy – working both sides of the problem


9:00 am Opening Address followed by Welcome to Country

  • Introduction: William Ehmcke, Blue Water Institute
  • Key note: Dr Sue Close, Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, Sth Australia


10:00 am Ocean Ambassadors – Stories from Individuals for whom the ocean is life

  • Capt Peter Hammarstedt, Sea Shephard, West Africa region
  • Sarah Ward, Dalian Marine University Underwater and maritime cultural heritage

  • Andrew Stevenson, Director of “Where the Whales Sing”


11:00 am Ocean health is our Health: seagrass beds and the accelerating efforts to restore natural habitat

  • Sea Grass Restoration : Dr Alice Jones Senior Lecturer in Resilience Ecology, Future Coasts Lab, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of SET, ANU
  • KI Oyster Reef Restoration Project: Alex Comino, Coasts Project Officer

  • Reef Life Survey : Jamie Hicks, Marine Ecologist, Marine Science, Science and Information branch, Strategy, Science and Corporate Services

12:00 pm Large-scale ocean circulation and its influence on regional & global climate

  • Matthew England, Scientia Professor of Ocean & Climate Dynamics, University of New South Wales

12:30 pm Lunch break

01:00 pm Marine education program launch

  • Shelley Paull PhD, Marine Coordinator, National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia


1:30 pm Addressing the GPGP- great pacific garbage patch and other waste dumps

  • Ben Lecomte: In 2019 Ben swam through the highest concentration of ocean plastic in the world, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, recording data for science.
  • Babet De Groot , PhD Candidate in Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, researching the global governance of marine plastic pollution, including the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee

  • Geena Harnisch, ANZPAC Plastics Pact Program Coordinator at Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO)

2:30 pm Circulate economy is a rescue economy – working both sides of the problem

  • Doug Woodring, Founder Ocean Recovery Organisation
  • Joao Sousa, Senior Programme Developer, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)


3:30 pm Ocean Ambassadors – Stories from Individuals for whom the ocean is life

  • Heidi Tait (CEO & Founder), Tangaroa Blue Foundation, an Australia-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris.

  • Lisa Blair – Sails the World, who in 2017 became the first woman to sail solo around Antarctica. Author Facing Fear  an inspiring true story.

4:30 pm Closing Remarks

  • TBC Aaron James. Professor of Philosophy, University of California, and publisher of ‘Surfing with Sarte’

Currently panellists are being invited through an expression of interest in participating in Blue Water Summit 2023


JUNE 8TH from 8:30am til 5:00pm ACST

Program Outline 2023

The Blue Water Australia Summit will stream up to 8 hours broadcast of discussion gathering from environmental thought leaders, ocean advocates, storytellers, with a focus on the Great Southern Oceans.

The Blue Water Australia Summit is designed to encourage our global family to think broadly about the ongoing effects on our ocean’s population, climate change — and how changes within the Southern Ocean have far reaching impacts worldwide. Our Oceans operate as a single interconnected organism and what impacts locally affects globally.


PRESENTED BY Blue Water Australia Summit

“Bringing a voice to our Oceans and Waters”


8:30 am Welcome to the Blue Water Summit

Traditional Ceremony – Welcome to Country

Opening Remarks and acknowledgement of partnerships

9:00 am Discovery and Recovery

The Age of Discovery and Recovery of Antarctica

Taking a retrospective view of the first 20 years (1901 to 1922) of Antarctic exploration and research and coinciding in 2022with the 100 year anniversary of the Explorer Shackleton’s death.

Speakers Include:

Tim Jarvis, Adventurer 

Peter Maddern, Publisher 

Mike Libecki, National Geographic Explorer


10:00 am Establishing Marine Parks for Restoration

To achieve parity with land set aside for conservation, the area of marine parks needs to double ocean-wide, accommodating for both current uses and future sustainability needs. And to protect specialist breeding grounds there is an immediate necessity to further the establishing of new, plus extending of existing, Marine Protection Areas (MPA) in the Antarctic waters.

Speakers Include:

Lyn Goldsworthy, AM – PhD Candidate and long-time Antarctic and high seas activist, IMAS

Tim Jarvis, Adventurer 

11:00 am  From Hunter to Harvest

A Hungry World likes Fish too Much

How is fishing and specifically sustainable fisheries together with evolving Aquacultures, in their many forms and locations, transforming opportunities to feed a hungry world?

Speakers Include:

Dr Kate Rodda, Program Leader, Aquaculture Environment Program, PIR 

Derek Walker, Chairman, KutiCo

Matthew Blyth, Director ‘Australian Wild Prawn’

12:00 pm Regenerative Wealth for the Oceans

An introduction with explanations of the new boundaries for the emerging Blue Economies – from harvesting tidal areas to extraction and synthesising new-age materials from marine life.

Speakers Include:

Rob Lewis; Marine Scientist

Dr. Pia Winberg, Chief Scientist, Phycohealth

Jilly Middleton, Lead Marine Campaigner, Environment Tasmania

1:00 pm Musical interlude / Lunch

Heather Lander, Cellist, performing Humpback Harmony

1:45 pm A Cure for Ocean Blindness and Improving Ocean Literacy

Tools and Technologies to See and Hear the Ocean

When we see the ocean, especially at sunset, all looks at peace. For our knowledge of the oceans to expand and be more meaningful, we need to ‘look’ below the surface, engaging with C21st tech to remove our blindness.

Speakers Include:

Alan Noble, Philanthropist, AusOcean

Dan Monceaux, Danimations

Dr Prue Francis, Deakin University


2:45 pm Citizen Science to the Rescue

The oceans cover over twice that of land on earth and are no way as accessible. And yet for something so vast, our base knowledge is poor, and we are not schooled in Ocean Literacy.  Yet citizen science is on the raise, recruiting thousands of researchers armed with passion and social media, to collaborate with stakeholders and to support new answers to old questions.

Speakers Include:

Gretta Pecl, Marine ecologist, REDMAP

Jane Bamford, Artist

Tony & Phyll Bartram, KI Dolphin Watch

3:45 pm First Nation Sea-stories

Lesson from Traditional ways

First Nation dwellers used and valued the sea, and future success will benefit from gaining an understanding of forgotten skills and Aboriginal knowledge, lore, and customs for greater community engagement with Our Oceans

Speakers Include:

Mickey O’Brien; Cultural advisor

4:45 pm  Closing Remarks / future direction

William Ehmcke, Co-founder, Blue Water Institute


FOR the Blue Water Australia Summit 2022

9:00   Discovery and Recovery : The Age of Discovery and Recovery of Antarctica

Tim Jarvis, Adventurer

Tim Jarvis, Adventurer

Peter Maddern, Publisher

Mike Libecki, Explorer

Lynda Goldsworthy

Antarctic Conservation Policy, IMAS University of Tasmania 


11:00   From Hunter to Harvest:  A Hungry World likes Fish too Much

Dr Kate Rodda, Program Leader

Aquaculture Environment Program

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Derek Walker, Ngarrindjeri leader

Indigenous Land and Sea Corp


Matthew Blyth

Director  ‘Australian Wild Prawn’ 

Rob Lewis, Marine Scientist

cience Without Bounds

Jilly Middleton

Lead Marine campaigner, Environment Tasmania

Musical interlude ‘Humpback Harmony’

Performed by Heather Lander, Cello

A Cure for Ocean Blindness and Improving Ocean Literacy:  Tools and Technologies to See and Hear the Ocean

Alan Noble, Philanthropist

Dan Monceaux, Danimations

Dr Prue Francis

Senior Lecturer in Marine Science, Deakin University Marine Science Centre

Gretta Pecl, Marine ecologist

Jane Bamford, Artist

Tony Bartram, KI Dolphin Watch

First Nation Sea-stories

Mickey O’Brien; Cultural advisor


PRESENTED BY Blue Water Australia Summit

8:00 am Welcome to the Blue Water Summit – Greg Reitman 

8:15 am Indigenous Elder Ceremony 

Performance by: Jewell Praying Wolf James & Sit Ki Kadem, Lummi Nation

8:30 am Opening Remarks – Dr. Wallace Nichols

8:45 am Keynote Amir Dossal, President Global Partnerships

9:00 am Innovation to Packaging: A World Beyond Plastic
Moderator: Lina Constantinovici, Founder, Innovation 4.4

Panellists: Joao Sousa, IUCN, Susan Koehler, CMO, Footprint, Kevin Quandt, VP, Supply Chain & Sustainability, Sweetgreen

10:00 am Global Intervention: Ending Plastic Pollution

Moderator: Kelly Gallagher, Producer, Jammin’ Planet Productions

Panellists: Tim Grabiel, EIA Int’l, Larke Williams, US State Dept, Erin Simon, Head, Plastic Waste + Business, WWF, Melissa Wang, Scientist, Green Peace Int’l 

11:00 am What It Makes to be Oceans Hero

Moderator: Daisy Kendrick, Ocean Generation

Panellists: David Rothschild, The Lost Explorer, Captain Oonya Layolle, Oceans activist, Andrea Crosta, Sea of Shadows, Jo Ruxton, Ocean Generation 

12:00 pm The Future of Antarctica & Protection of the Southern Ocean 
Moderator: Ashlan Cousteau, Journalist & Explorer 
Panellists: Phillipe Cousteau, TV Host, Author, Cassandra Brook, Professor, Environmental Studies, University, Colorado University, John Weller, critically acclaimed Antarctica writer, photographer, and filmmaker 

1:00 pm Regenerating Wealth for the Oceans
Moderator: Christopher Salata, ICV
Panellists: Andrea Neal, Bring Back the Blue, Aaron Berger, Innovation 4.4, Millicent Pitts, Ocean Exchange

2:00 pm Ocean Coastline Health & A Changing Climate

Introduction: United Nations Secretary – General Special Envoy to the Ocean Ambassador Peter Thomson 

Moderator: Jessie Turner, International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification 
Panellists: Dr. Justine Kimball, California Ocean Protection Council, Mr. Espen Ronnberg, Climate Change Advisor, SPREP, Dr Michael Acquafredda, NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, Mr. Matias Alcalde, Director, Chile California Council, Garth Nagel, US Navy, Senior Planner

Music Break 15 minutes- Garth Stevenson, Musical Performance, Whale Sounds

3:15 pm Sacred Story of the Oceans
Moderator: Shivani St. George, UN NGO representative 
Panellists: Kalani Souza, Olohana Foundation, Puna Dawson, Hawaiian Elder, Tessa Theresa, Water Steward

4:15 pm Films for Social Change
Moderator: Greg Reitman
Panellists: Sally Aitken, Filmmaker, Tina Dalton, Producer, Valerie Taylor, Underwater Photographer

5:00 pm Closing Remarks / Awards Ceremony



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The theme of the Blue Water Film Festival .is about our “Blue Planet”; the festival purpose is to encourage attendees to think broadly about how climate change affects planet Earth and deeply about the universal concerns and actions needed to bring us into balance.



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Blue Water Institute
15 Whaddon Road
Brooklyn Park, SA 5032

Blue Water Institute is a non-profit organization committed to the preservation of the planet and the need to nurture the next generation of environmental filmmakers. The Institute is driven by its environmental programs that discover, innovate and support the next generation of environmental filmmakers and thought leaders from all over the world.