Aussie model and scientist Laura Wells joins cash for containers campaign

Feature Story - 8 July, 2013
There aren’t many models who can also boast a career as an environmental scientist.

But Laura Wells has managed to combine two of her passions, modelling and the protecting the environment, in a career that has taken her around the world.

We were stoked when we heard she wanted to get behind our campaign  for an effective Cash for Containers scheme. This week, she’s featuring in an advertising campaign in Sydney and Melbourne that will see billboards featuring Laura asking Australians to get on board with the campaign. The billboard image shows Ms Wells lying on a beach, surrounded by empty drink containers, in the same pose as the famous photograph “The Sunbaker” by Max Dupain.

After the photo shoot, our campaigner Reece Turner sat down with Laura for a chat.

Firstly,  big thanks for getting in front of the camera in support of a national Cash for Containers scheme. How do you think the fashion industry and your friends will respond?

I  think the fashion industry will be very supportive of this shoot and of the campaign in general.  When we see people from all walks of life and industries usually unknown for supporting environmental issues - like the fashion industry - we can garner greater public support, interest and education about recycling.

You’ve even helped get your local MP to support the campaign.

It was fantastic to know that my local state Member of Parliament, Mark Speakman, spoke out in favour of the campaign. I spent a morning with Mark, Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, and a number of other interested parties  on the Cooks River in Sydney to witness the mass amounts of beverage containers and other garbage in the river. It was indeed an eye opener.

There aren’t many models who can also claim to be an environmental scientist. How do you juggle these two sides of your life?

I am the first to admit it is a weird combination. I always wanted to be a scientist and while at university I fell into the modelling world. Now I’m living in Australia, I use my platform as a model to help engage and educate others on how small changes in how we live can help reduce the impact we’re having on the world. My ultimate goal is combine my science brain and my media career into a career that will educate and promote change. Maybe somewhat of a David Attenborough protégé?

I hear David’s quite a role model for you.

I  have had a big nature crush on David Attenborough for years. He exudes a profound sense of calmness and urgency that I think would be impossible for most to replicate. I am inspired by the way he educates and the way in which he portrays an emotional connection to the environment. He leaves people enthralled and wanting to know more about what they can do to help.