Tom Wheeler

Surfer/Engineer, Bunbury, WA

Published 5th October 2021

Everyday my love for the ocean grows.

I am a keen surfer who loves nothing more than catching waves. It is where I feel most at home, comfortable and at peace.

My climate story started when I was on a surfing trip in Sumatra with my girlfriend (now wife). Local people told me how during the 2005 Tsunami Australians were some of the first people on the ground providing fresh drinking water through desalination. At that moment, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to help.

Everyday, people around the world are facing the impacts of climate change as a direct result from our inaction on this global problem.

Back home I started an Environmental Engineering degree. Only at this point did I realise the direct impact climate change is having on our planet, that this is not a problem of the future, it is a problem now.

During my degree, I completed an internship in Indonesia working on a Solar Powered Desalination unit that used the energy from the sun to turn ocean water into fresh drinking water for the community.

Soon after, I became the President of Surfrider Foundation Australia — Perth Chapter, a not-for-profit organisation working to protect our oceans, waves and beaches.

"We hear it all the time, we are facing a climate emergency and we must act now."

Tom Wheeler

Surfer/Engineer, Bunbury, WA

Every action we take has a direct impact on the planet.

While the recent climate change reports are extremely alarming there is still time to act, each one of us has the potential to make significant change. There are many solutions being implemented right now to help protect our planet.

I am working on a recycled water treatment plant that will treat a city’s wastewater to a standard that can be used for irrigation. This will protect our depleting groundwater and maintain green spaces for the community. Solutions for clean water will become more and more important as our climate changes. This is just one example of action being taken. There are people all over the world fighting the good fight.

I care about climate action because our future depends on it. I want my children to not only live in a safe climate with safe drinking water, fresh air and nourishing food, but to also experience the wonders of the oceans, coral reefs and forests just as I have.

Let’s work together to change our future. The planet needs us.

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