Our Ambassadors

Josie Beissel

“This world is a stunning place and it is so very important that we take care of it the best we can for the generations to come.”

Originally from Manjimup, a country town in the South of Western Australia. I stumbled upon Wollongong during my adventures in my gap year and decided to move over for university. I am currently in my third year of a Law and International Studies degree majoring in Global Sustainability.

Manjimup is known as the food bowl of WA. My upbringing and exposure to the food and agricultural

industry has sparked an interest in sustainable food. My sister Carly and I spent many of our school holidays packing avocados, thinning apple trees, picking fruit and more. As I got olderI earned the position of Quality Control Officer. This position came with the responsibility to provide feedback to the workers regarding the quality of the apples that were being picked. If the apples had any natural defects, they would have to be discarded rather than sold.

At the time I thought nothing of this, it was just a job.

“Looking back I see all this rejected produce and think, what a waste!” I know that if consumers aren’t willing to buy imperfect produce then neither are the big supermarkets, as there is no demand for it.

“Even if someone was to purchase the defected produce, the price they would be willing to pay would be significantly less, and not enough for the farmers to make a liveable profit. If saving a few tonnes of fruit or veg means making a financial loss, it isn’t worth it for them and that is understandable. There had to be a realistic and financially viable way to save the defected produce and, therefore, get it on on the consumers plate.”

Josie feels it is increasingly important to be aware of these issues. It is her belief that all the negative media surrounding the issue of climate change can actually be counteractive to solving the problem.

“To think about the sheer quantity of plastic we use and what it is doing to the earth is overwhelming, a feeling that can quite easily convert to a negative outlook on our future.”

The Young Sustainability Ambassadors program is a mechanism for the upcoming generations to collaboratively create a positive path forward by proactively doing something about sustainability concerns.

“It is a privilege to attain the opportunity to enlighten and inform the younger generation about sustainability and the pathway for a sustainable future. I don’t ever remember being educated on such issues and their solutions in school, in fact I feel like I have only just grasped an awareness in the last few years myself. It seems obvious and imperative that the sustainable future seed be planted early on in the younger generations.”

The program is a platform designed to give others an understanding of how we can take actions and have a lasting impact on the world. This world is a stunning place and it is so very important that we take care of it the best we can for the generations to come.