Today we speak to Roxy Rogan, a young Australian filmmaker and environmentalist, who founded her own conservation enterprise called Wild Education, dedicated to empowering, educating and encouraging individuals to be the next care takers of our planet.

Q: Hi Roxy, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. We have a lot of  questions but we’ll start with a simple one: when did your love for wildlife begin? 

From a very young age I remember always being fascinated with wildlife, I had a real  connection and empathy towards animals, plants and the earth. I remember playing ‘vet’  with my stuffed toys as a child and thinking that helping animals was the coolest thing  someone could do. So I suppose my whole life!  


Q: Do you have a ‘most memorable wildlife moment’? 

One of my most memorable wildlife moments was in South Africa when I was 18  years old, seeing a massive herd of elephants (80+) and these two individuals from  across the plains walked towards each other and then embraced by interlocking  there trunks and learning back into the embrace, it was like they were hugging! Very  cool moment I’ll never forget. 


Q: You founded a conservation enterprise called Wild Education. Can you tell  us a bit more about that and what inspired you to do so? 

Wild is a conservation education enterprise that specialises in a holistic approach to  education, we use tools such as documentary film making and workshops to engage  and empower our audiences to care more deeply for the planet! My inspiration came  from when I returned home from interning in South Africa at the age of 19. I felt like I  had been exposed to the world of conservation and really found my ‘calling’ I knew  that this was something I wanted to do but couldn’t find an organisation that did  exactly what I was wanting, so I decided to make my own! 


Q: You left university to follow a more hands on approach in the field. What  would you recommend the next generation who want to follow in your  footsteps and are looking to either gain experience or get a degree? 

My decision to leave university for me personally was the best thing I could have  done at that time in my life. It allowed me to expand my horizons and make my first  documentary! For others I would say, trust your instincts, make your own path and  you have to try things first in order to know what does and does not work for you!  Attending university is an absolute privilege and if it aligns with what you want to do  with your life – go for it.

 

Q: With no filmmaking or acting background, you set off to Borneo to produce  two short documentaries: ‘Person of the Forest’ & ‘Keepers of the Forest’. Tell  us a bit about your experience, the message behind these short films and why  this was important to you. 

My decision to go and make a film in Borneo in 2016 was a bold move to say the  least. I had no filmmaking experience, but I knew that documentaries would be an  effective tool to send a strong message. I personally produced the film and had a  small team who filmed, edited and composed for the film to make it come to life! 
My Second documentary, Keepers Of The Forest was filmed in Sumatra. I intended  to go over there with a videographer who lives in Sumatra and just film our  experiences, I didn’t know exactly what we were going to film, who we could  interview or what we were going to do with it after it was finished! But it all seemed  to come together in the end. This time I dove in the deep end and Directed,  Produced, Wrote and Narrated the film! Lots of hats for someone with little  experience. The messages behind both these films is similar… Empowering global  communities to make the environment a priority. Educating the public about certain  environmental issues whilst also giving them some solutions to these issues. 


Q: These films clearly show the issues facing the survival of Orangutans in the  Indonesian Jungle and through your own education of the severity of the  situation you have become an ambassador for the ‘Orangutan Alliance’. The  Orangutans are quickly losing all of their habitat and big organisations need to  do more to stop the mass production of palm oil. Do you see any hope on the  horizon? 

Orangutan Alliance are a fantastic company that is dedicated to certifying products  which are palm oil free so it is easier and more transparent for us as consumers! I  believe hope without action is pointless, I see a shift in consciousness within people,  I see a wave of younger generations wanting to fight for their future and I see  incredible organisations working tirelessly to do more for the orangutans. But there  is still so much more to do!

  

Q: ‘Person of the Forest’ was premiered in NYC in October 2018 at the Wildlife  Conservation Film Festival and selected as ‘Best Endangered Species Film’.  Your most recent short film ‘Keepers of the Forest’ has been selected again  this year to premiere in October. First of all, congratulations on the recognition  for your work.

Thank you! It takes a huge amount of love and dedication to make films, feature or  short. Really, I couldn’t have done any of it without my team! I think having people  and platforms that are willing to help independent filmmakers and conservationist  get their work out there is so important and I’m grateful that my work is being  recognised! 


Q: We are always interested in what we can learn from conservation  photographers and filmmakers. Are there any Wildlife filmmakers that you  admire and what is it about their work that inspires you? 

Paul Hilton is one of my most admired photojournalists! His work is a combination of  rawness and brutality and utter beauty and serenity. He is such a passionate  individual and has a great platform to spread his messages!  


Q: Coming back to your Social Enterprise, Wild Education is launching a  Sustainability Program soon for primary schools in NSW, Australia. Can you  give us an insight into the program and what to expect? 

Yes we are! It’s been a lengthy process. Without giving too much away, it is a 8  week sustainability course that focuses on three core subjects ‘WASTE, OUR  IMPACT and ECO-SYSTEMS’ the content is all aligned with the national curriculum  and students will also get to make their own ‘documentary’ of accounts of their  progress of the course. It is available for primary school students only at the moment  and will be released later this year.  


Q: What is on the horizon for you?  

Alot! You can expect to see Wild continue to distribute and produce more  documentaries/films in the future. School events and much more. We have also just  launched Wild Education merchandise to help support our filmmaking projects  which you can find at www.wildeducation.net/shop 


Q: Lastly, how can people contribute to the work you do and where can they  follow you?  

People who would like to contribute financially to support wild can do so by  purchasing our merchandise (www.wildeducation.net/shop) Singing up to our  sustainability course for your kids! and renting our films when they become available  online.  
Instagram: wild_education 
Facebook: @wildeducation.info 


Thank you Roxy for your time, it has been truly inspirational talking to you. For  someone so young to have achieved so much already, we can’t wait to see  what the future holds for you and the positive contribution you bring to wildlife  conservation.  

Thank YOU so much for taking the time to speak with me and having this amazing  platform, all the best. 

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In a world where the message for wildlife conservation is as important as ever, Roxy plays  an important role in educating others about the plight of our endangered animals. Roxy has  continued to inspire people of all ages and walks of life with her unwavering passion for the  environment.   You can follow her work at ​https://wildeducation.net/​ and social media channels she mentioned.