Advocating for the Sunshine Coast

SCEC's Ambassadors


Professor Ian Lowe

Professor Ian Lowe AO is former Head of School of Science and currently Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Griffith University in Brisbane. He is also an adjunct Professor at Sunshine Coast University and Flinders University.

The author of 20 books and more than 500 other publications, Professor Lowe’s contributions to environmental science have won him a Centenary Medal, the Eureka Prize for promotion of Science, the Prime Minister’s Environment Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, the Queensland Premier’s Millennium Award for Excellence in Science, and the University of NSW Alumni Award for Achievement in Science. Professor Lowe was named Humanist of the Year in 1988 and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2001.

He has also been a referee for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change and attended the Geneva and Kyoto Conferences of the parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change and was also a member of the delegation to the 1999 UNESCO World Conference on Science.

Youth Ambassadors

Taylor Ladd-Hudson

My name is Taylor Ladd-Hudson, I’m 15 years old and live in Sunrise Beach. I'm a freediver, snorkeler, scuba diver, Patrol member for Noosa Surf Life-saving Club, and local surfer but most of all I'm a shark conservationist and environmentalist. I love spending all my free time in the water, snorkelling, swimming, and surfing alongside wildlife. I grew up surrounded by wildlife, but it wasn’t until late 2019 that I experienced my first ever wild shark encounter it was only a little baby blacktip reef shark, but I instantly fell in love with this misunderstood apex predator.

I remember it swimming off peacefully into the distance and that’s when I realised, they weren’t the mindless killers I grew up believing they were. Shortly after that first encounter, I discovered the threats sharks are facing and how their numbers are declining at a rapid rate. I learnt that if we want to continue to enjoy the ocean, we must protect the species that ensure the health and balance of the ecosystem. I discovered in late 2020 what shark nets and drumlines were doing in my backyard and how they weren’t just affecting sharks but also all marine life in the area.

I now work for multiple different organisations including Sea Shepherd Australia as their youth representative, focusing on their shark campaign as well as Envoy Foundation, Surfrider, and all my local wildlife rescue groups such as Coolum Coast Care and Wildlife Noosa (I particularly enjoy sea turtle rescues!). I attend a lot of public speaking events including Australian events, and especially enjoy youth forums. I have discovered how well-educated kids are on environmental problems! It’s exciting and fills me with a lot of hope for our future when talking to kids! I have been invited to the State Parliament multiple times to talk to people in power about positive, modern alternatives that can replace shark nets and drumlines. I also manage the Humpback Whale entanglements in the shark nets along the Sunshine Coast, filming original content and managing media. I also use social media platforms to spread my message to a broader community.

Find more about my activites on via Instagram 

Spencer Hitchen

Meet Spencer Hitchen, a 13-year-old dynamo on a mission to safeguard the majestic Glossy Black-Cockatoos from the brink of extinction. His journey began with the inception of Save Sunrise Glossies, dedicated to protecting the local Wallum ecosystem. Six years into his ecological crusade, Spencer has gathered an impressive 84,000 signatures on his petition, to preserve this precious habitat.

In a world where many kids are consumed by video games and social media, Spencer stands out as a young guardian of nature. Armed with a camera and unwavering passion, he utilizes his photography and keen observations to convey the vital importance of protecting habitats and nature's wonders. Through this lens, he crafts a compelling narrative, enlightening others on the critical significance of preserving ecosystems for threatened species and the generations yet to come.

Spencer is not content with mere signatures and photographs, he takes the stage, captivating audiences with talks about the urgency of conservation. He has created the Save Sunrise Glossies 2023 and 2024 calendars, blending art and advocacy to showcase the breathtaking beauty of biodiversity.

As if that weren't enough, Spencer initiated the World Stand UP 4 Nature Day on September 9, 2023, a global platform showcasing the amazing people around the world who are standing up for our planet's last wild places.

Spencer's journey is a testament to the extraordinary impact a single individual, no matter their age, can have on the world. Spencer states that “together as a collective, we can all make a difference”. With Spencer at the helm, the magic of our planet has an unstoppable advocate, ensuring that its wonders endure for the future generations to come.

You can follow Spencer’s work at @savesunriseglossies Instagram and Facebook and sign up for updates on his work at his website