Roxy Rogan is a 24-year-old Australian who has amazingly founded the conservation enterprise Wild Education. Her mission is to educate, empower and explore. Roxy believes that one person can make a difference and that change starts through awareness. Her biggest achievement so far has been producing two award winning documentaries about the plight of the orangutan species and starting the projects sustainable apparel brand, Wild Apparel Australia. Roxy has kindly answered some questions for us on what inspired her to create such an incredible project
What made you work in conservation? What was your inspiration?
I volunteered and also worked in South Africa in a conservation eco-lodge when I was 18, this really sparked my passion for conservation and the desire to work with the environment. It was when I returned home from South Africa to Australia that the desire to make an impact only grew stronger.
What steps led you to where you are today?
Many moments have led to me being where I am today, one of the biggest ones was making the decision to leave university. I was 19, starting to create my business, studying full time in a degree that I didn't like and working as a waitress on the weekends! If I hadn't made that move to leave university, I wouldn't have gone on to make my films or even possibly created Wild at all! It was a very unorthodox decision at the time to leave university, but I got straight into learning as much as I could in the field and on the job.
What is your favourite aspect of your job?
I think my favourite aspect of my job is knowing that I'm making a difference to the planet. Something also very rewarding is when people reach out and say how I've helped them or inspired them to make change in any way, it's always reassuring to know you are making an impact.
What was your proudest moment as a conservationist so far?
My proudest moment was making my second film ‘Keepers Of The Forest’. I took on more responsibilities and roles during the making of this film and to see it be screened across the world and to have helped raise awareness about orangutans and their habitat, was a very proud moment for me as both a conservationist and a new film-maker.
What gives you hope for the future of conservation?
What gives me hope is the shift in consciousness that is occurring across the planet. People's mindset is changing and they are becoming more aware and educated on the importance of our earth. When I see kids and their passion for animals and the environment, it makes me feel good that the future leaders of our earth have that understanding and love at such a young age.
What advice would you give to new conservationists trying to build a career?
Remember your ‘WHY’. Conservation is a tough industry both physically and mentally and it is also very competitive. Remembering your WHY will help pull you through those moments of doubt and hardship. Your WHY has to be stronger than your desire just to be a conservationist, it has to transcend everything to be able to keep you going when it seems too tough. I would also suggest creating a support network with others that share your passion for the environment.
What are the future goals for Wild Education?
One of our main goals is to implement more eco-learning in schools to help educate and empower students and teachers to care more deeply for the planet and integrate that learning into their daily lives.
Why do you think people should care about conservation and the environment?
Because there is no Planet B.
What conservation issues are Wild Education dealing with?
Deforestation is our main conservation issue we deal with in various ways. Environmental documentaries, Planting trees through our apparel company and integrating learning about the importance of ecosystems through our online programs. We aim to bring both awareness and tangible conservation efforts through our work.
How does your organisation interact with the local community?
We interact with our community a lot online! We have some very dedicated followers who have been with us since day 1. We also interact with our community through our apparel brand and our school programs.
How can people help support Wild Education or get involved themselves?
People can support Wild through various ways!
-If you're a teacher or a parent, you can get your school involved in our online eco-learning program!
-Purchase some Wild Apparel! Wild Apparel is a sustainable, ethical and slow fashion label that plants trees with every product sold.
-Download and watch our documentaries via DocPlay.
-Volunteer your time or become a Wild Ambassador!
-Become a partner with Wild Education.
-Support us via social media and become a part of the Wild Family. @wild_education & @wildapparel.au