MEET BRINKLEY DAVIES
Marine biologist, founder of Balu Blue organization, kangaroo rescuer, surf goddess, and BAD ASS.
You have a pretty spontaneous lifestyle; tell us about it!
The beach has always been my getaway; whether I am freediving, surfing, or walking my dog the beach is where I go to clear my mind. Since I spend so much time in the ocean, naturally I’ve always had such a strong love and passion to protect it, to keep it clean, and promote wildlife conservation.
My beach lifestyle is about fun, freedom, and looking after the ocean.
I created Balu Blue Foundation becuase I have driving passion to do more, to be more. I wanted to build a foundation that can make a difference for wildlife, for our ocean, and to promote an environmentally friendly existence for humanity. The name Balu Blue represents our beautiful dog, Balu, an ocean loving border collie mix that we sadly lost in late 2016. Blue represents the planet as a whole: oceans and land.
Since I was very young, I knew I wanted to study Marine Biology. I had a drive to educate myself in this underwater world that I loved so deeply. I completed a Bachelor Degree in Marine Biology which opened up my mind to many aspects of wildlife and environmental conservation that I wanted to work on.
After I completed my bachelor degree, I got hands on experience by receiving diving and boating qualifications. I got to see things for myself which was the most valuable experience. The world is a changing place and sometimes we learn the most by just being there.
I started surfing at a really young age - I think about 4 years old. My parents and my brother got me into it.
I remember being totally hooked, from the first day, there was so much opportunity to improve, every wave was different. I felt invincible when I got my first barrel and to this day there’s still no better feeling than surfing for hours with your best friends. Growing up surfing is what kept me confident, fearless, and also humble. It teaches you to hold such a great respect for the sea. It is such a healthy part of my life, I will never stop surfing.
Bunji The Kangaroo
Bunji is a survivor from a roadside accident on a country road. In Australia, Kangaroos are as common as deer are in some parts of the USA. Unfortunately, these accidents can be unavoidable at night on narrow country roads.
Bunji survived the accident and was 2-3 weeks old, weighing 3-400g with no fur and eyes only just opening. She was tiny, so so tiny. My partner Ty and I decided, to put our heart and soul into doing our best to care of her. We wanted to give her the best chance of survival. We are so proud to have gotten her through those crucial months and raised her to be a healthy, confident 1.5-year-old roo!
Bunji is a Euro, also known as a hill kangaroo, cliff kangaroo or Wallaroo. They’re known for strong personalities and intelligence. I had cared for wildlife before but, never something as vulnerable as Bunji. Bunji slowly progressed with bi-hourly feeding schedule, delicate care and handling, and round the clock warmth. We took Bunji everywhere with us and as she grew she started to experience the world. She began to grow fur and developed her confidence and strength. We raised Bunji over the course of a year with our pup, Ohana. They loved each other!
When Bunji turned 13 months, she started to want to have her own space and to be comfortable without traveling so often. Kangaroos, as joeys, spend a lot of time in a pouch - when she started spending time out of the pouch we knew we had to find a more permeant place for her to live. In South Australia, it is illegal to re-release hand raised wildlife. Bunji and I have a very strong bond, much like a mother- daughter bond.
We bumped into a couple one day who had 4 rescues kangaroos on a property near where we live and soon enough we had the perfect home for Bunji. We fell in love with the property and the amazing owners that we decided to partner with them to create a private refuge for orphan native wildlife, like Bunji. With the help of Balu Blue Foundation, Bunji now lives at the refuge called, Two Songs Sanctuary.
This was a slow transition for Bunji which required daily visits, sleepless nights (for me), and slowly building her trust with her new caretakers. She’s been settling in well and we are so happy to see her content and safe with plenty of room to roam. Bunji and I have a bond that will last a lifetime and although she doesn’t live with me anymore, I visit regularly. Furthermore, our organization (Balu Blue) has goals to help fund Two Songs Sanctuary to be even bigger and better in the near future.
What’s advice you would give to people trying to keep their beaches clean?
There are many ways you can help to keep the beach clean, an obvious one is simply picking up rubbish. Whether it’s a plastic straw or fishing line - if you see it, just pick it up!
The other big one, is eliminating single use plastics and spreading the message. The less we use, the less is produced, the less we see it showing up in our oceans. Some simple swaps you can make in daily life are:
- Use a re-usable coffee cup
- Don’t ever use plastic straws. You can get bamboo straws or re-useable steel straws which are much nicer to drink out of and not harmful to the planet
- Reduce anything that’s single use or cut it out completely. For example: single use water bottles, containers, cutlers, plastic bags. Just think when you buy, it makes all the difference! Plus eating and drinking out of plastic containers is not good for YOU. Swap it for something re-usable, like stainless steel or glass.
- Use skincare, and bathroom products which do NOT contain micro-beads. Tthose sneaky, tiny pieces of plastic end up in our oceans as soon as you flush them down the sink and fish eat them without even knowing it.
Are there any immediate ways people can get involved with Balu Blue?
At this stage, we are seeking donations for the year and soon you will be able to become a member which will help us to tackle current and new projects! https://www.balubluefoundation.org/take-action/
We have many exciting plans for the year which are going on behind the scenes. We’re continuing to look for ongoing sponsors and support for Two Songs Sanctuary. Funds will go to things like, fencing, shelters, food, maintenance costs and veterinary bills for the kangaroos.
Along with our #ClearTides project on marine debris and plastic pollution (which we are looking to expand), we will also continue with educational awareness, beach clean ups, and potentially a research project!
If you are interested in hosting a Beach Clean Up, or holding a presentation / school talk, we would love to hear from you!