Words by Lisa Hollinshead, Social 101′s Editor-in-Chief.
I recently caught up with another of the top candidates for Cleo’s Bachelor of the Year 2014 accolade: Lucas Handley.
To say that his profile stood out amongst the Top 30 is a huge understatement. After reading just a few lines about his interests and passions I was compelled to find out more.
There was so much about his profile that stood out, notably: “I’m working on a number of different projects at the moment, I’ve got a few TV shows that I’m trying to get up and running, and a lot of positive projects over on the Solomon Islands helping people who need help. If I get enough people to start going, ‘Hey, I can do that too’, then I can start to get that change happening.”
I reached out to Lucas to find out more about the projects he’s currently working on to help spread the word and awareness of the causes he feels so passionately about.
Here is the interview in all its glory (prepare to feel inspired, impressed and compelled to vote for Lucas and all he stands for) – For reference the link is here.
How does it feel to be considered in the top 30 most eligible bachelors in Australia?
It’s an exciting opportunity to shine some light on a few causes I have been working on, creating some positive influences. So it has been very humbling to see so many people supporting me with that. Of course I’m also a little bit nervous about being voted for… I’m really appreciative for having the opportunity offered to me.
Describe yourself in five words…
Optimistic, adventurous, compassionate, aquatic, bare-foot.
What made you want to be a marine biologist?
I grew up very much immersed in the environment, on a little hobby farm next to the rainforest. We lived off the land, and I was forever fascinated with what was living in the creeks, catching fish, crayfish, finding platypus and kingfisher burrows etc. A few years later, when I moved to the beach, I started exploring and living off the sea. I had my first real encounter with a large shark and that was it for me. I wanted to know everything I could about the oceans. Now, living off them, I’m determined to see them looked after well enough, so that we can continue to live from them well into the future.
Tell us about your film making, what does this involve?
I have an amazing family, full of dreamers who follow through with those imaginings, and support each other; film- makers, activists, musicians, actors, models, the lot, it starts with that support. I was studying law and marine science at the time because I wanted to make a difference to the direction our beautiful marine ecosystems were heading in. I figured I could only get the support to make changes, if people saw what it was they stood to lose and wanted to be involved. So I approached a few people through the media connections I had and began pushing toward making my own show. So far, I’ve traveled from China to Borneo, out toward the Phillipines, living on the ocean with the sea gypsies, through Indonesia to the Solomon Islands, the Coral Sea, Australia’s Torres Straight, and down as far as Bass Straight, talking with and being a part of the people’s lives who depend on the ocean. I have two separate shows I’m trying to get up and running and I’ve had some really promising interest from a few major channels. Of course, there is lots of shark action, and hands on, gritty adventure with me in the thick of it. I’ve got a few scars that tell those stories J
Tell us about the best part of your job – both marine biologist and film making.
I get to make a difference to the planet, to the peoples lives who depend on having a healthy environment, and it’s amazing to be underwater doing what I love, but the best thing about my job, is being able to inspire other people to follow their dreams, with determination and vigour. To see other young people say “I want to be a marine biologist” it’s inspiring to see so many other people making the effort to care.
Where’s the best place you’ve travelled to, why?
I think that will have to be a tie. One place is Elizabeth reef, a small coral cay pretty much 600km east of my hometown Byron Bay. We sailed a tiny yacht out there to be greated with the most spectacular reef I have ever seen… it is wild, and untouched. The ocean around it is raw, with hundreds of curious sharks and big predatory fish. It was amazing to experience a reef where few humans ever go. The other place is Kavo Lavata, where I am building a little house in the Solomon Islands. Again, the environment is pristine, but the community is so intact. People look after one another, and work on community projects together for the no reward other than to help each other. When we come back from the gardens or back from hunting, the food is shared among the people who need it. It’s my kind of place J
What’s your idea of a perfect night out?
When I am back in Australia, and keen to catch up with friends, I go two ways; either a rustic old pub full of colourful characters, or something very classy, with good soul and a thought out theme. I’m relatively new to Sydney, so I don’t really know too many places, but a sunset bbq down by the beach followed by a couple of drinks somewhere nice sounds good to me!
When in Sydney, where do you like to hang out/ eat/ enjoy a bevy with friends?
I haven’t really explored the city much, but I went to an awesome little brewery up near Newport/ Avalon that has a really friendly, welcoming community feel: Modus Operandi. It serves incredible food, it’s a nice open air place with live music and you can see where they brew their own beers too. I’m not a heavy drinker, but I appreciate when people follow their passion and create things like that.
Why should people vote for you?
I hope people share my outlook, and want to see someone create some positive changes. So far some amazing people have contacted me about the village I help support, and we’ve organised carvings to be made to generate some income for the guys so we can send their kids to school. If I won, maybe the exposure would help these kind of projects.
Finally, I’m sure Melbourne Social 101 readers would love to know… What do you look for in a woman? What’s your idea of a perfect first date?
What I look for in a partner, is someone who is supportive, but also inspirational. Who challenges you and uplifts you. For me, that’s someone who is adventurous and creative. We don’t have to have the same interests, but I admire someone who is passionate about theirs.
I think going out diving is a great way to test the waters… come back to shore, catch a crayfish and cook it on the beach. If I kind of knew the person first and everything felt right, maybe we would camp out for the night somewhere nice. I love camping out on the beach.
What can we say other than “wow’! What an inspiring guy hey! If you agree and want to show your support, please click the link and vote for Lucas.