Skye Bortoli Bent On Saving Those Whales

Shelly Horton

At 14 years of age, Skye Bortoli is already a seasoned anti-whaling campaigner. So much so she's writing a book about her life to inspire other young 'uns to take up the cause.

In May, Skye headed a delegation of three Australian schoolgirls who flew to Alaska to speak at the International Whaling Commission.

They even won an audience with IWC chairman William Hogarth.

"It's a diary scrapbook format aimed at eight- to 13-year-olds," she says. "It's not just about whales - the book will also look at her life.

"Mum raised me as a single parent. My father is Aboriginal - I still haven't met him but there's just some things you don't need in life.

"Mum and I are really close. I've had to get through a few illnesses but it's all made me who I am today. And I love being the person I am today."

She says going whale watching made her realise she needed to come to terms with her heritage.

"I've met Aboriginal elders and the connection they have with the environment is amazing and it made me realise my connection to the whales might be to do with my Aboriginality."

The book will be released by ABC Books in March.

"I want to show people it doesn't matter where you come from or how you were raised, you can always make your dreams come true," she says. Her drive and passion both thrill and terrify me.


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