Nicole Nash grew up on the Bellarine Peninsula near Geelong in Victoria. From a young age she snorkelled the kelp forests and sponge gardens around Port Phillip Bay, witnessing seals and sea life suffering from plastic waste. Even at a young age Nicole had a passion for the environment, getting involved in beach clean ups whenever she could.
Studying to become a marine biologist in Cairns, Nicole fell in love with the Great Barrier Reef and worked on the reef tour boats to support her passion. Witnessing the volume of single-use plastic waste from tourism industry was distressing — she knew something had to change. As one woman, Nicole set out to remove plastic straws from the Great Barrier Reef, by lobbying the Queensland government and hundreds of local restaurants, cafes and bars.
With the Last Straw program on the Great Barrier Reef, Nicole has stopped over 4-million straws from ending up in our reef waters and has signed up 375 venues to her Last Straw program. What an incredible achievement.