Q&A: Take 3 for the Sea

In November 2021, the VFFF Grants Committee approved $49,685 towards the employment of a Volunteer Coordinator and Grants Officer.  This represented one of VFFF's first grants under Caring for the Environment.


VFFF Director and Grants Committee member Andrew Fairfax noted that, "Take 3 for the Sea, with their simple and effective message, promote a groundswell of action that each and every one of us can undertake to clean up our environment. This grant will enable them to push that message deep into regional and rural communities."


VFFF spoke to Take 3 Co-Founder and Head of Programs Roberta Dixon-Valk to learn more about their work, mission and why young people should be at the forefront of environmental action.


VFFF: What does it mean to Take 3 for the Sea?

Roberta: Take 3 is leading the way to a future free from
plastic pollution with our programs, campaigns and simple
call to action: Take 3 pieces of rubbish when you leave
the beach, waterway or anywhere and you have made a

Take 3 is a gesture anyone, anywhere can make to help
clean up this planet. However, Take 3 for the Sea is also
the start of a bigger conversation about every person’s
plastic footprint.

Globally, humanity consumes a lot of plastic. In 1950,
1.5 million tons of plastic per year was produced. Fast
forward to 2015 and global plastic production has
increased to over 407 million tons annually. By 2050 this
is expected to grow to 1,600 million tonnes per year,
outweighing all humans on earth 5.6 times over.

The problem with plastic is that it is a material designed
to last forever, that is often only used once. With only 2%
of plastic being effectively recycled, our plastic use
needs to be rethought – we need to turn off the plastic tap.

You cite turtles as your inspiration. What makes them
special to Take 3?

Take 3 was inspired by the sea turtle and adopted them on
our logo as sea turtles represent the connection between
land and sea – hatching on land, travelling the seas for
thousands of kilometres and then returning to their birth
beach when it is time for them to lay their eggs. It is this interconnection between land and sea that is critical to the
Take 3 for the Sea message.

Take 3 is passionate about equipping young people with
the tools and knowledge to spark environmental change.
Why is it important for young people to lead action on environmental issues?

Take 3 is passionate about youth leadership. We are
committed to partnering with young people and providing
them with the opportunity to learn and apply the critical
skills to be the change makers of the future.

People often ask, can one person make a difference? The
answer is simple. We all have the power to make a
difference, to make change. In a world that is rapidly
changing and with so many human pressures on our
planet, there is a critical need for everyone to take action,
to show leadership and be the change makers of the future.

We have developed a ‘Climate, Clean up and Classrooms’ Program to engage young people on the climate impacts of plastic, inspired by Take 3’s desire to deliver simple
solutions on the complex problems of plastic pollution and climate change.

Can you share any success stories or important moments for Take 3?

Leadership takes many forms, everyone has the potential to be a leader, and what leadership means is defined by each person. Our vision for the inaugural Take 3 Youth Summit 2021 @ Taronga Institute of Science and Learning was for each student in attendance to find the leader in themselves.

Here is a snapshot of feedback from the 2021 Youth Summit, which has inspired plans for the 2022 Youth Summit at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

This was such an inspiring two days!!!!

- Program participant

The children have come away from the Youth Summit really inspired by the presenters and films, and the proactive nature of the workshops. They are already talking about waste audits and looking for hotspots and then looking for solutions to improve those situations through initiatives that will shift the culture in our school. It is very important for me to bring the children here. I want to empower them to make decisions that will impact their future and to be tomorrow’s leaders.

The Darling River, where we live, is referred to by Traditional Custodians – the Barkindji people – as the 'life blood'. The students’ perspective since being at the Take 3 Youth Summit has broadened considerably over the past two days. They have made the connection between the river and the ocean, even though they are 12 hours away. Everything they have learnt is relevant to their futures.
- Teacher

What does Take 3 have planned for 2022 and beyond?

Take 3 believes in education to inspire participation and that is what we will be working towards in 2022 and beyond. Youth education programs include primary and secondary school online programs, Take 3 Youth Summit 2022, the launch of our online Surf Life Saving Club program, and the Climate, Cleanup and Classrooms program.

Other programs include Great Pacific Clean Up – a new program about working together to facilitate litter and plastic pollution education, community engagement and action in collaboration with our valued partner, The Pacific Island Development Forum. We are also very excited about Saltwater to Freshwater, Taking Take 3 upstream – informed by Aboriginal culture and designed specifically for inland communities. And Ground Swell – the second stage of the NSW Visitor Economy Litter Prevention Strategy, will bring together new partners at a sector, state and federal level on the litter issue.


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