Published 24 January 2019
The Great Australian Bight is like nowhere else on earth. It’s one of the world’s last unexploited areas, a pristine wilderness home to thriving coastal communities, whale nurseries and marine ecosystems as rich and diverse as the Great Barrier Reef. But all of this is at risk from experimental oil drilling and seismic blasting that has the potential to deafen whales, displace fish and destroy smaller marine life.
Greenpeace’s Wild Waters introduces us to some of the amazing people standing up to keep our Southern coastline safe. Join the Sydney Environment Institute for an expert panel discussion and screening of the film, as we shine a light on the growing movement to keep Big Oil out of the Bight.
Professor Abbas El-Zein, School of Civil Engineering
Barnaby Lewer, Network Coordinator, Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Abbas El-Zein is a writer and an academic. He is Professor of Environmental Engineering at the School of Civil Engineering of the University of Sydney where he runs the GeoEnvironmental Laboratory. He has been chief investigator on several Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grants and has published widely on soil hydrology, groundwater contamination, carbon cycle in soils and vulnerability to climate change. Current projects include investigations of the impacts on clay and shales of thermally and chemically aggressive contaminants, and adaptation to sea level rise and increased flooding in Australia. His memoir, Leave to Remain, was published in 2010 and won a New South Wales Premier literary award. His latest book, The Secret Maker of the World, is a collection of short stories published by the University of Queensland Press.
Barnaby Lewer has at various times, been a union organiser, researcher, PhD candidate, digital campaigner and curator. He writes sporadically and currently works at Greenpeace Australia Pacific in Sydney where he co-ordinates offline engagement.
On 23 April, The Sydney Environment Institute is hosting the Great Australian Bight Workshop, bringing together academics, researchers, stakeholders and educators from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to explore the environmental impacts and socio-economic conflicts of drilling in this area.