So extraordinarily vast and powerful and yet so fragile and easily damaged – World Oceans Day recognises the challenges facing the oceans and acknowledges those looking at ways to safeguard these precious natural wonders.

Woody Gooch


8 June, 2021

They cover nearly three quarters of the planet’s surface and are vital to all life on earth. The world’s oceans represent a vital natural resource that while awe-inspiring in their power, are equally fragile and in need of careful and considered management to ensure their future and ours.

World Oceans Day was established by the United Nations in 2008 as a way of turning the spotlight on the oceans of the world and creating awareness of the problems threatening their future and how they can best be managed. 

Pollution, over fishing and acidification all pose very real and very serious threats to the health of the world’s oceans, which in turn impacts all life on earth. For World Oceans Day for 2021, the theme is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods’, so it is fitting that we mark the day with two people who have dedicated their lives to conserving this important natural resource. 

Audi Australia  joined marine biologist, underwater photographer and freediver, Lucas Handley, and filmmaker and conservationist, Madison Stewart, aka Shark Girl, joined on a recent dive at Julian Rocks, Nguthungulli Nature Reserve.

Handley has long been a powerful voice for ocean conservation through sustainable development, while Stewart’s advocacy on behalf of the much maligned shark, has seen people’s attitudes slowly change towards these magnificent threatened, creatures.

The meeting took place as part of a recent trip down the east coast of the country in the Audi e-tron while filming Electric Eye with photographer Woody Gooch. Without a doubt the highlight of the day was a dive at Julian Rocks, Nguthungulli Nature Reserve, a protected 4047 hectare nature reserve that comprises two small islands, situated two and a half kilometres off the coast of Byron Bay. 

With its abundance of diverse marine life, Julian Rocks is considered one of the premier dive dishes in the country and is held as a perfect example of what is possible in terms of marine conservation when all stake holders work together to preserve and protect an area.

Its rich marine life includes leopard sharks, moray eels, blue groupers and wobbegongs and is one of only a few critical habitats for the endangered grey nurse shark.

For Handley and Stewart, this is not only an inspiring location but a perfect example of marine conservation in practice.