About This Week’s Guest

Rebecca Olive

Welcome to Saltwater Library. A podcast about human-ocean health and wellbeing. Episodes explore the work of researchers, scientists, activists, and other people who are working to take better care of the coast and oceans they love.

This week on Saltwater Library we introduce the podcast, the motivation for making it, and what listeners can expect through this season.

Discussed in this Episode

  • Recreational ocean sports
  • Human-ocean health and wellbeing
  • Moving Oceans
  • Production team
  • Funding
  • Introduction to Episode 1: Indigenous Ecological Knowledges with Stephen Schnierer

Episode Transcript

[00:00:03] Rebecca Olive: Hello, and welcome to Saltwater Library, a podcast about relationships to coast and oceans.

[00:00:25] Rebecca Olive: The Saltwater Library team acknowledges the Jaggera and Turrbal people as the traditional owners of that the lands and waterways, where this podcast is produced, we acknowledge that elders and ancestors, their young people, and recognize their sovereignty was never ceded.

[00:00:52] Rebecca Olive: I’m Rebecca Olive and I research ocean sports and physical activities, like swimming surfing and sailing. I’m interested in how these sports shape our relationships to coast and oceans, in who has access to these sports, and how more people can get involved.

[00:01:09] Rebecca Olive: Saltwater Library shares the work of different people I’ve met through my research. In each episode I’ll be talking with swimmers, surfers, researchers, scientists, and activists, all people who are working to take better care of the coast and oceans that they love.

[00:01:27] Rebecca Olive: Our conversations are focused on human relationships to saltwater places and we explore ecological, social, cultural, historical, economic ,and spiritual aspects of these relationships. There are discussions about First Nations peoples’ sovereignty and contemporary coastal management, about shorebirds, Shakespeare, consumption practices, social media influencing, pollution, citizen science, and the ways that all of these things intersect.

[00:01:55] Rebecca Olive: The common thread across all these topics is the role of sports and physical activities in how we come to learn about coasts and oceans, and how we become activated to take better care of them, just as we feel they take care of us. These conversations with people I’ve learned from who’ve challenged my thinking and pushed me to examine my own behaviour and attitudes. This is a podcast about recognizing the role of human cultures and histories in creating barriers to how we can take better care of coasts and oceans, and the actions that we can take to change those barriers.

[00:02:37] Rebecca Olive: The recordings take place in lots of different places and during different lockdowns so the sound quality isn’t always perfect at my end or at my guest’s. Lockdown shaped a lot of the possibilities for when and how we could talk so I’ve taken on board lessons from swimming and surfing and I’ve approached the project by accepting the recording conditions that were an offer. So any bad sound quality is totally on me. But my goal was never to cut the world away and to find silent cocoons and instead you’re going to hear birds and tables happening and leaf blowers woven through our conversations.

[00:03:12] Rebecca Olive: Saltwater Library is produced by Hannah Reardon-Smith, with music by cyberBanshee and art and design by Amelia Hine. Their creative talents and insights have made this so much better than I could have on my own and I’ve been really lucky to work with them. The podcast is funded by the Australian Research Council and The University of Queensland, and it’s part of a bigger project called Moving Oceans, you can find out more about this at movingoceans.com.

[00:03:39] Rebecca Olive: In the coming episodes you’ll hear ideas and provocations about our relationships to the coast and oceans we live with. Each conversation, for me, has revealed different ways that people are part of coastal and ocean ecologies and how our health and wellbeing is interconnected with those geographies, climates and multi species communities.

[00:04:04] Rebecca Olive: For the first episode, I was lucky to speak with Stephen Schenierer is a researcher and state and federal government advisor that advocates for indigenous cultural fishing rights. Steve argues that we must centre Indigenous and First Nations people’s cultures and practices in how we think about coastal and ocean conservation and care.

[00:04:24] Rebecca Olive: In Australia, like many places the ongoing impacts of settler colonization are key to making sense of why we approach coastal conservation in the ways that we do and how we can change current ways of managing codes to be more ethical and locally responsive. Stephen provides insights into thinking ecologically about people places communities and cultures, and how including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s cultural practices as part of how we preserve places challenges the ongoing effects of Australia’s foundations in the myth of terra nullius.

[00:04:59] Rebecca Olive: So you can keep an ear out for Steven’s insights about cultural fishing, marine parks, surfing communities, relationships to place and more. Until then, thank you to everyone who’s been part of the season, and I hope you enjoy the conversations as much as I have.

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  1. Mike May 5, 2022 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Nice work Dr O.

    • Rebecca Olive May 5, 2022 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Thank you!

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Previous Episodes

  • Coastal professionals
    with Naomi Edwards
  • Native sovereignty & environmental activism
    with Dina Gilio-Whitaker
  • Shorebirds
    with Eric Woehler