After spending 14 years in the travel and tourism industry, in 2003, Nicole had a life-changing experience when she left Sydney for a year of travel. After seven months traversing Central and South America, Nicole arrived in the Caribbean island of Barbados. After volunteering for two months at the Barbadian environmental education non-governmental organisation, Future Centre Trust, Nicole was invited to continue her work for two more years. Two years turned into eight, with Nicole eventually leading the organisation, spending much time on solid-waste related projects including recycling.

Now Nicole’s main focus is finishing her PhD at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Her thesis analyses the generation and management of plastic food and beverage packaging material in the context of small island developing states.

Based on her unique experience, Nicole joined WasteAid as an Associate in December 2018. WasteAid works in parts of the world where there are no or limited waste management services. Through her eXXpedition experience, Nicole plans to highlight the work of WasteAid to improve plastic management in developing countries, preventing the flow of plastics into the world’s ecosystems. Nicole thanks WasteAid for their support in promoting this journey.

Connecting her travel and sustainability passions, Nicole has also worked part-time with EarthCheck since 2014. EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism and is focused on sustainability of the industry. Nicole is grateful to EarthCheck for its financial sponsorship of her eXXpedition participation and welcomes others to join EarthCheck in this endeavour!

Nicole plans to use her wide-ranging interests, experience, and her eXXpedition research journey to change the way we value plastic, collecting and capturing it wherever possible, and to #useplasticbetter.