Natasha Stott Despoja, former politician and Leader of the Australian Democrats and husband, Ian Smith, joined The Orangutan Project as ambassadors in early 2013 alongside their eight-year-old son, Conrad Stott Smith, in an effort to raise awareness about critically endangered orangutans.
“Orangutans are animals so closely related to humans, yet as a species we do so much to hurt them. We must change that”. – Ian Smith
Bianca Dye is one of the sassiest and most outspoken media celebrities in Australia - a role model for all women and she isn't afraid to tell it like it is! Bianca is the only female radio announcer to win "Best Radio Personality" in Australia two years in a row and has won numerous radio awards after 15 years in radio. She is passionate about animals and has previously worked with Humane Society International and the RSPCA as an ambassador and fundraiser.
“Ever since I can remember I have had a fascination with orangutans. They are the most incredibly peaceful and friendly creatures and it breaks my heart that they are a dying breed due to human greed. They need a voice, they need to be heard and I want to do whatever I can to help them.”
Author, columnist and skin care founder Zoë Foster Blake is the latest Aussie celeb to voice concern for the orangutan species, joining The Orangutan Project in 2013 as an ambassador. Zoë has always had a deep fondness and great awe for orangutans, and has been privately supporting The Orangutan Project for almost ten years now. Zoë has had a successful career in the magazine industry as a beauty editor and author, and has published six books. She is most recently the CEO and founder of Go-To skin care, an all-natural Australian skin care range. Go-To is proud to be a Gold Business Partner of The Orangutan Project. Zoe and her husband, Hamish Blake, visited the International Animal Rescue Centre in Kalimantan, Borneo in 2014 to help raise awareness for the orangutans and see the rainforest destruction first hand, filming a story for A Current Affair in the process.
"The orangutans are in dire straits, and it is our duty to help those who cannot help themselves, their numbers are diminishing rapidly, their habitat is being destroyed, poachers hunt them – why wouldn’t we help them?"
Georgia has always had a deep fondness and great awe for orangutans and by joining The Orangutan Project as an ambassador she hopes to spread the word and encourage more people to adopt an orangutan. Being selected in the Hockeyroo’s in 2009 at the age of 17, Georgia instantly became one of the youngest Hockeyroo’s in history and at 20 years of age she became the youngest woman in history to play 100 games for Australia.
“On the hockey field my red hair is a very defining feature and it is something that I have always been very proud of. I can't help but feel a certain closeness to our furry friends and I feel very passionate about doing what I can to help them.”
As founder of the eco lifestyle website Ecochick.com and Host/Producer of Eco TV, Lara Shannon is a passionate and inspiring advocate for the environment. Lara produced a documentary in 2014 that aired on Channel 9 about the Trans Borneo Challenge with 7 other women to raise awareness about the plight of the orangutans, palm oil and to raise funds for The Orangutan Project’s conservation work.
“I wanted to see for myself how dire the situation was for the orangutans and other species living in the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia, and embark on a campaign to raise international awareness about what is going on and how we all need to take action NOW to help. The result was not only developing an even greater personal commitment to this cause, but has also given rise to my debut Ecochick Adventures documentary, The Trans Borneo Challenge.”
Jarryd is currently a professional AFL athlete and Vice-Captain at the Hawthorn Football Club. Since becoming aware of the orangutan and its ever-decreasing population, Jarryd has become incredibly interested in these amazing creatures and hopes that by becoming an ambassador for TOP he can help educate individuals on the orangutan’s importance and their brilliance.
“Through education we can then work as one to eliminate the threats to their existence. The orangutan is such a beautiful animal and through our efforts in conserving the orangutan’s habitat and halting the illegal pet trade we can make a difference to their survival.”
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