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Meet Nicola: Resi & Marine Science Student

  • Blog
  • 4 min read
  • Posted June 2021

A female resident standing and smiling.
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On Tuesday (8 June), those from around the world participated in various activities to celebrate World Ocean Day. As part of her role in this event, Geelong Waurn Ponds resident, Nicola Tsiolis, recently shared with us her experiences as the Australian representative on the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council, and as one of the creators and hosts of podcast, Greenstyle, discussing ethical and sustainable fashion practices.

In her second year of studying a Bachelor of Marine Science, Nicola first moved onto campus this year from her hometown in Melbourne’s north eastern suburbs, having completed high school at Catholic Ladies College in Eltham.

Nicola states that she had “…always wanted to study marine science, and always looking for opportunities to get involved in environmental causes.” Nicola applied and was appointed to the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council in 2019. The group consists of young adults (between the ages of 16-25) who are responsible for organizing events and activities to support World Ocean Day, an initiative aimed at uniting and rallying the world to protect and restore our blue planet. As part of her two-year term, Nicola has been involved in a variety of projects and meetings with other youth organizations, and was most recently involved in a 24-hour live stream event, interviewing various individuals to raise awareness of environmental concerns.

As co-creator and host of podcast, Greenstyle, Nicola is also kept busy interviewing experts and guests on the show about the perils of fast fashion, and how important it is for us to understand how our clothing is being made and at what cost.  Alongside her co-hosts Maha (based in New Zealand and also a member of the Youth Council) and Lucy, Nicola challenges rigid consumer mindsets and advocates for a social and cultural shift in our approach to fashion, highlighting the role we can all play in a journey towards a happier and healthier planet.

It’s all about encouraging others to make a conscious effort to reduce your own input into those things that are degrading the environment. Be conscious about your own consumption of fashion and make those small switches to a more responsible lifestyle.
Nicola Tsiolis, Waurn Ponds Resident

In addition to her work on the Council, podcasting and academic studies, Nicola is also an avid photographer. Starting when she was young, Nicola highlights that she loves taking photos of nature, particularly the ocean (as evidenced by her photo above) and anywhere along the surf coast. She notes that this was large part of the reason for her decision to choose to study and live in the residences at the Waurn Ponds campus, a mere 20-minute drive from some of Australia’s most iconic beaches. “I love taking photos of the sunrise. It’s meant waking up at 5:30am, but it’s paid off plenty of times, particularly when there have been dolphins or surfers out in the water!”

It’s clear that Nicola is passionate about the ocean and nature in general, and she’s very encouraging of other students to get involved in any kind of community engagement.

Find what you are passionate about – animal or human rights, the ocean or any other number of interests. Educate yourself about the issue, listen to podcasts, ask lots of questions and then put yourself out there.
Nicola Tsiolis, Waurn Ponds Resident

"Explore options through social media, talk to your lecturers or find local organizations that align with your values and which work in your desired field of interest. There are always plenty of opportunities to get involved.” For those potentially considering getting their own podcast on the air, Nicola is quick to note that it’s easy to get started. “We don’t any special equipment, just Zoom! There will always be people who are keen to listen to what you have to say. Keep it engaging and authentic – and just go for it!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the work in which Nicola is involved, check out:

If you’d also like to live close to the beach like Nicola, why not check out our residential accommodation at Geelong Waurn Ponds, Geelong Waterfront and Warrnambool.

Written by

Profile photo of author Laura Burge
Laura Burge Student Experience and Engagement Manager

Laura is widely regarded as an industry expert in the theory, planning, and delivery of exceptional student experiences, having honed her skills over the course of a career spanning two decades and multiple higher education institutions.