Moving Oceans in action.

Ocean Plastics 

Ocean plastics have become pervasive in imagery promoting environmental activism. Single use plastics are a particular target of individual change. Bans on plastic bags and straws is now common in many countries, and there is growing awareness of microplastics from fashion. Women are making even more intimate changes and have started the “environmenstrual” movement towards #plasticfreeperiods. This project examines this movement in practice and online, exploring the roles of diverse young women in climate justice.  

Crowds, Localism and Newcomers 

Participation in ocean lifestyle sports and beach cultures is growing. The role of oceans and ‘blue spaces’ in human health and wellbeing is well known, and more people are taking up sports that immerse them in water, or even simply coastal atmospheres. The growth in crowds is leading to tensions over who has authority over cultures in the water, on the beach, and in policy and management practices. This project engages in the cultural politics of surfing and ocean swimming, within the broader context of settler-colonial and multicultural communities. 

Living with Sharks 

Ethics of how we treat animals are key in environmental movements. While it is common for activism protecting dolphins from tuna fishing nets, the nesting sites of turtles, and seabirds and whales from ocean plastics, the protection of sharks is more challenging. In Australia, shark nets and drumlines are in place along the east coast as a measure to protect swimmers and surfers from attacks. But these measures have multi-species impacts on sharks, rays, dolphins, whales, birds and many others. This project examines the ethics of killing animals in order to feel safe in our ocean lifestyle sports. 


Beaches, coasts and oceans are common themes and settings through Australian literature. Moving Oceans continues to develop existing projects with AustLit, Australia’s online literary bibliography. The two projects – Waves of Fiction and Wild Swimming – focus on literary representations of ocean lifestyle sports in fiction, poetry, memoir and essays. You can access these collections through AustLit subscribers, which includes many libraries, including the National Library of Australia.  

%d bloggers like this: