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This Is Northern New South Wales

Positive Change, Youth Conference

Karl Goodsell is 27 years old and currently studying Marine Biology at Southern Cross University. In June of 2011 he founded Positive Change for Marine Life (PCFML), a Byron Bay based marine conservation organisation. PCFML are focused on creating long-term profitable change in regards to marine conservation issues worldwide by working with communities rather than against them. Their slogan is, “Paving the path to change through understanding, education and respect”. Since their formation they have been working on dolphin hunting, nuclear solutions for coastal communities and turtle rescue and rehabilitation in Japan, shark fin fisheries, coal seam gas and mining/dredging operations within the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, marine debris in northern NSW and a shark ‘fin free’ restaurant campaign in Brisbane.

Karl has recently been selected for ‘The 6th Annual World Youth Conference’ and ‘The United Nations Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this June. He will present on The Great Barrier Reef and the current and potential threats that it faces from ocean acidification, climate change, careless tourism, overfishing and mining. Karl will also present on similar threats that other reef ecosystems around Australia face, including the Kimberley’s in Western Australia and how governments, businesses and communities need to work together to ensure the protection and conservation of these areas of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). From over 4,000 applicants only 350 delegates from around the world were selected to participate in the World Youth Conference and he is one of only few from that conference that will also have an opportunity to speak at the Rio+20. Karl is honoured to be one of the delegates representing Australia and the future of our marine environment.

“I’ve been obsessed with the water since before I can remember. When I was little I used to spend hours in the ocean, diving down deep and holding my breath for as long as I could. I was intrigued by the world that exists beneath its surface, it made me forget about the so called ‘real world’ and all of its mundane responsibilities. Being in that silent, magical place felt more like home than the suburbs of Sydney where I grew up and I guess it’s the closest experience that I’d had to complete disconnection from thought, what Buddhists call ‘mindfulness’. Nothing has changed and I still feel most connected to the natural world when I’m beneath the surface of the ocean. For me that is what the saying “live life” is about, being part of nature and connecting with it. I’m honoured that I have the opportunity to present on the future of the worlds ocean ecosystems and how we can work together to ensure they are protected forever at such historical events that are long overdue. I have the opportunity to educate and inspire people on something that has been such an inspiration to me and has shaped my life and that’s extremely fulfilling” explains Karl.

The World Youth Congress series is recognized as the leading international platform focused on youth and sustainable development. It brings together the most proactive young leaders from all around the world who are actively changing their communities and provides them with a life-changing experience that will inspire and empower them. Karl and other delegates will engage with global decision makers and development professionals to explore ways in which they can work more effectively together to achieve a sustainable future. The conference will also influence the outcomes of the Rio+20 Summit, in which world leaders will come together to discuss Sustainable Development Goals for the future of our planet.

“For me these conferences provide hope for humanity and planet earth. We are finally starting to realise that we need to look after the environment and each other to not only ensure the survival of our species, but also to live happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives. There is a long road ahead, however as future leaders we have the ability to initiate positive change and inspire our generation and the generations to come that the benefits of social equality and environmental preservation far outweigh that of an economy that really isn’t working”.

PCFML currently have over 1000 members as well as 7 people on the board of directors including entrepreneurs, marine scientists, filmmakers, environmental lawyers and a number of other extremely talented and inspiring young people. In the ten months that PCFML have been established they already have major sponsorship from businesses such as Lush Cosmetics, Common Ground Australia, GoSea Kayaks and a number of others. PCFML have presented at the International Conference on Sustainability for Small Island Communities in Airlie Beach, QLD, the International Conference for Animal Welfare in Melbourne, VIC and the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World in Yokohama, Japan. PCFML have also organized and been benefactors at a number of fundraising events in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia and some of these events, such as ‘The Endless Sunrise’ have been sponsored by some major businesses such as Nikon.

The Common Ground Community Support Fund sponsored Karl with $1000 towards the flights to Rio de Janeiro but he requires a little more to  cover the remaining $1,600 of his return airfare.

If you’d like to help Karl and the vital work that he and Positive Change for Marine Life are undertaking, you can make a donation directly to the organisation.

Positive Change for Marine Life Inc.
Commonwealth Bank BSB: 06 2514
Account no: 1038 8024.

For more on the 6th World Youth Conference please check out the website here:  for information on the United Nations Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development:

For more on Positive Change for Marine Life please visit their website here or visit the Facebook page ‘Positive Change for Marine Life’.