top of page
Swimmer North Bondi (C) Underwater  Earth _ Christophe Bailhache.jpg



© Underwater Earth/XL Catlin Seaview Survey/Christophe Bailhache


Hope Spot Champions

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.35.11 pm.png

Anita Kolni

Anita is a passionate, dynamic and

outcome oriented Eco-preneur,

and connector.  She is the Founder of the Ocean Lovers Festival, an annual celebration of Ideas, Art+Music and Actions for the ocean.


Anita created the festival with a vision to bring awareness and action for the ocean to the widest possible audience, showcasing global alliances and local best practice to drive community support, business innovation and collaborations for clean seas and restored eco-systems.

Carolyn Grant

Carolyn is fellow Founder of the Ocean Lovers Festival. She has spent three decades building and promoting major events primarily in Sydney, and is  passionate about the ocean and the environment.

Through a multi-channel campaign of festival events and year-round engagement, the team are on a mission to share and inspire hope for the ocean, turning ripples of action into waves of change.


Lorna Parry

Lorna Parry is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the charity, Underwater Earth.  She has 20+ years of communications experience specialising in social change campaigns. She assisted the planning and execution of the XL Catlin Seaview Survey; documenting the third global coral bleaching event which became the subject of the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral and the 50 Reefs initiative. She developed the Out of Sight, Out of Mind interactive touring gallery event.

Hope Spot Partners

Add a subheading_edited.png

Underwater Earth’s charitable mission is to reveal the ocean to the world using creative storytelling combined with innovative, immersive technology to educate and inspire positive action. We use technology accessible in the home and classroom, and at exhibitions and events. We are the team behind 10 years of underwater Google Street View; the ‘XL Catlin Seaview Survey’, an extensive multi-year scientific survey of coral reefs around the globe; the announcement, revealing and following of ‘The Third Global Coral Bleaching Event’ which in turn, became the subject of a major award-winning Netflix documentary 'Chasing Coral'; the creation of a number of award-winning underwater Virtual Reality films, and most recently our interactive touring gallery exhibition, ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’.


The Ocean Lovers Festival is a celebration of Ideas, Art+Music and Actions, showcasing some of the latest innovations, science, state-of-the-art technology and cool ideas for helping the ocean.

The Festival's mission is to create ripples of action that turn into waves of change to positively impact the ocean. It showcases successful marine projects restoring the coastal ecology, hero’s ocean innovating entrepreneurs and gives a platform to government initiatives, ocean champions, marine scientists and community groups.

This fun festival takes a laid-back Australian approach to ‘science in your swimmers’, inviting all ages to dive into some serious stuff in a relaxed entertainment-rich environment with music, art and film wrapped around science showcases, talks and engaging ocean activities.  


Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue is uniting a global coalition to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots. Under Dr. Earle’s leadership, the Mission Blue team implements communications campaigns that elevate Hope Spots to the world stage through documentaries, social media, traditional media and innovative tools like Google Earth. Mission Blue embarks on regular oceanic expeditions that shed light on these vital ecosystems and build support for their protection. Mission Blue also supports the work of conservation NGOs around the world that share the mission of building public support for ocean protection. The Mission Blue alliance includes more than 200 respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations.

Content Collaborators

Christophe Bailhache

Christophe Bailhache is an underwater photographer, cinematographer, VR film director and Co-Founder of Underwater Earth. His respected work, associated with successful marine conservation work, allows him to be granted access to some of the most preserved and unique areas in the world and he recognises Sydney Coast with all its amazing marine life as special and worthy of protection.



Talia Greis

Talia Greis is an underwater photographer based in Sydney Australia. She spends most of her time scuba diving the local gems that are scattered along NSW's thriving coastline. 

Capturing the ocean's beauty has become the main focus of her photographic journey. She feels it is vital for people to become educated and protective of our marine ecosystems.



Brett Lobwein

Brett Lobwein is a passionate and environmentally-minded ocean photographer based in Kurnell, Sydney, Australia. Having grown up on the waterways of the Port Hacking River, his love and passion for the stunning Sydney coast grew day by day. Now Brett wants to ensure everything is done to protect this stunning part of our blue planet.




Nicolas & Lena Remy

Nicolas and Lena Remy are multi-awarded and widely published underwater photographers. They relocated from France to Sydney in 2017 because they believe it boasts the most diverse and easily accessible marine life in any metropolis worldwide. 

Nicolas teaches underwater photography. Visit their website to find out more.



Gergo Ruigli

Gergo Rugli is a Sydney-based ocean photographer. He has been fascinated by the ocean since his childhood despite growing up in a landlocked country. He visits the sea every day, watching the sunsets and sunrises and immersing himself in the underwater world of Sydney’s coastline. He endeavours to evoke his deep connection with the ocean in his photography by capturing its beauty and marvel in pursuit of encouraging people to protect this natural wonder for many generations to come. 




Matty Smith

Matty Smith is a UK-born and bred underwater photographer now based in NSW Australia. After emigrating down under in 2007, Matty fell in love with the Pacific Ocean and made it his permanent playground. He uses his photography to show people the treasures in our ocean, how fragile they are and the importance of protecting them.



Harriet Spark

Harriet (Grumpy Turtle Creative) is a photographer and filmmaker who lives up the road from one of the Sydney Coast Hope Spot's most treasured places; the Cabbage Tree Bay Marine Sanctuary. She starts her day by swimming in the bay as often as possible, and she still marvels at how much life calls this protected no-take zone — in the middle of one of the world's busiest cities — home. Cabbage Tree Bay reminds us of how wonderful and vital protecting our ocean is and that we need more protected underwater places around Sydney and Australia.



Vanessa Torres Macho

Vanessa is a Sydney-based UW photographer who regularly freedives, scuba dives and explores some of the deeper wrecks around Sydney's coast with her camera. She has been lucky enough to document the wide variety of marine life and is also very aware of the precarious situation some of these species are facing. Her hope is that the protection of the ocean is made a priority for all."



John Turnbull

John Turnbull (Marine Explorer) grew up in Sydney and was always fascinated by its spectacular coastline. Today he gets to explore and study it up close, underwater. Every dive brings something new and surprising; He is constantly amazed at the colour and diversity of Sydney's local marine communities.




bottom of page