Hi Brinkley! Tell us — who are some women that have inspired you on your path so far?
Brinkley: Two huge inspirations for me, who have paved their way and charged forward no matter the challenges in their career paths, are Jane Goodall and Sylvia Earle. Jane Goodall’s passion and dedication to great apes is so inspiring to me — she has spoken up for wildlife on a global level throughout the last 50+ years, persevering despite constant change, destruction and challenges, especially for women in wildlife conservation. Sylvia Earle has had an amazing career and been an incredible voice for our seas. Both of these women are now in their 80’s and really standing up for our earth stronger than ever as of late — to be passionate advocates for this long is so inspiring to me.
Women supporting other women is a huge part of how we can empower the surf community to thrive in an inclusive way. Tell us about another surfer (or two!) who excites you right now.
Brinkley: I love to see the up and coming girls pushing the boundaries of innovation constantly, two of my favorites to watch are Sierra Kerr and Caity Simmers — they are both fearless and unique in their styles, it’s so awesome to see! The next generation is coming up strong, in full force and abiding by no rules or social “ standards “ that used to limit how female surfing was portrayed. I love it.
Part of the proceeds of your signature Cushion Cloud Roa Brinkley sandal is going towards the Balu Blue Foundation. Can you tell us a little bit about this organization, and why the conservation of marine and land-based environments is so important to you?
Brinkley: The protection of our seas and animals has always been a massive priority in my own career. As a surfer, and a free-diver, my life revolves around the sea — it is only natural for me to want to protect it. Being able to build Balu Blue Foundation from a small local community organization, tackling things like local marine pollution, into a larger community that has global support, is a dream come true. Although we have already achieved so much, I feel is just getting started. We are currently focusing on completing a new mobile app, to assist with wildlife rescue in Australia, and collecting data on wildlife hotspots to aid in protection, which will be combined with new educational measures in 2023 for our marine animal, and land-based animal friends. Moving forward, we have larger goals in marine wildlife rescue, habitat protection and community awareness, that we hope to achieve with larger scale support in coming years. I will always continue to advocate for many animal, wildlife and marine conservation causes in my personal life, as it is a huge passion of mine.