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Interview with Hayden from Coolangatta, Queensland

We're proud to share our recent interview with Hayden, a member of Outdoors People for Climate Action. We asked him about his relationship to the outdoors, his career in outdoor education, his opinions about the climate crisis and what he does in his own life to make a difference. Here's what he has to say.


Who are you and where do you live?

Hayden, 27 and living the dream, I am based on the beach at Coolangatta and working in the rainforests of northern NSW/SE QLD (or I was until COVID locked us all inside).

How long have you worked in the outdoors, doing what and where? What are your favourite outdoor activities and places?

I have been working in Outdoor Ed since 2015 but chasing adventure since I was in diapers. I am currently Staff Development Coordinator at Outward Bound Australia; this gives me an awesome opportunity to develop the human potential of a range of people while getting out and doing what I love. My major passion is simply to explore, this has led me to pursue in particularly; mountains, rock climbing, caving, canyoneering and waterfall chasing, as well as a love of sailing. I am a budding photographer and love to snap shots of the beautiful places I get to explore. Some of my favourite photos are from a recent hike from the North to the South of Jordan; the landscape, the people, the adventure was just unreal! I am super into all things culture and history and have been lucky enough to explore incredible places that blend the natural environment with incredible architecture and culture, the Ancient City of Petra, the Great Pyramids of Giza, witnessing the sunrise at Angkor Wat, and so many other life-changing experiences. I have also been fortunate enough to learn survival and bushcraft from many Ancient Wisdoms including traditional custodians of Australia, Orang-Asli in Malaysia, Bedouin of the Middle East, Nubians of Northern Africa, these experiences have continued to cultivate in me a deep respect for the natural world and our connection to it.

What concerns you about climate change?

Climate change is a big concern for me, the reality is there is only one planet Earth. There is a certain number of people on that planet, there is a certain amount of resources available to the planet, that aren't going to last forever. Currently the systems in place don’t acknowledge that reality and continue to be detrimental to both the people and the planet.

How will climate change impact your work, the places you love or your favourite activities?

As a lover of the natural world, I obviously want to continue to see the beautiful places I am blessed to operate in continue to exist as they have for Millenia. But it has gotten so much more than just protecting our green spaces or threatened species, it is to the point that irreversible changes have and are continuing to happen to the planet which affect all plants and animals on it - including us!

What do you do to address the climate crisis, in activism or to lower your impact? Is there anything more you would like to do in the future?

I have been on a journey to become a "Climatarian" over the last few years and I believe in sharing the things I've learned with others in non-confrontational ways to help people see the differences they can make in their own lives. Whether that is formally through sessions on outdoor ed programs or organically through conversation. From eating plant based, avoiding plastic, getting better at recycling, setting up a compost for food waste etc. I am nowhere near perfect, but to be conscious of my personal impact, I believe, does make a difference. I think it can be confronting and overwhelming, especially as you start to learn more about your footprint, and a lot of people choose the easier option, to remain in the dark. I think it’s important to remember it’s not black and white, that you aren't either part of the problem or living in an off grid cabin growing your own organic food, there is plenty of room in between and each decision you make every day adds up to meaningful change.

Moving forward I'd like to look beyond what I can do personally and be a more active voice in my community. Using the tools made available by Outdoors People for Climate action to make some real positive changes.


Thanks very much to Hayden for this interview with Outdoor People for Climate Action.

Keep you eyes peeled for more interviews coming soon. We're so excited to showcase our members, celebrating the people of the outdoor community and the faces of climate action in the outdoors.

We'd love to do an interview with you! All members are encouraged to answer the above questions, rustle up a few pictures of you doing what you love and get in touch!

As always let us know what you think. Are there any additional questions we should have asked?

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