Hello cherub, I am Megan Bayliss of The Junk Wave. Although a Social Work Child Therapist by profession I am also a mad keen environmentalist – an eco-social worker who believes we need to look after our ocean environments or we don’t have quality of life.
I love to talk garbage (even though this is a pun, seriously, doing away with single use plastic is one of the things I professionally speak on) and help everyday people manage their own kitchen plastic waste to keep it out of landfill and ocean. Although I am super proud that I can volunteer with families living on Baruni Dump in PNG, one of my proudest moments was when I was awarded the Queen of Green title from the Cairns Festival 2011. That’s me pictured, above right, in my totally recycled Queen garb. I always told my family I was SURE I has royal blood in my veins 🙂 They told me I talked garbaged. We were both right 🙂
On a personal note, before I get to the serious garbage: I am a mother of four of my own, two long term foster children and one sponsor child (from PNG – that’s Helen pictured with me, right). I have five grandchildren. I am published across a few genres. I eat Paleo because I carry high inflamation in my body (no wheat, sugar, dairy). I LOVE animals, HATE housework, live in beautiful Cairns, Australia, and travel to Port Moresby, PNG, four times a year. I am born and bred in PNG so it’s no big deal for me. Helping those with nothing and particularly those living on Baruni Dump is a big deal. I go to help them start a business from nothing (waste plastics), I buy the woven product back from them, sell it in Australia and the money returns to PNG to sustain micro business for women with nothing.
The Junk Wave is my training, speaking and consultancy business. If you want an entertaining yet serious speaker to reach people not yet converted to eradicating single use plastics from our lives, then I would love to talk garbage with you. I can either key note speak or run educational workshops to show your people how to make purses from single use plastic. Similarly, many people want me to talk on micro business development with the women in PNG. I work across a number of poor villages/settlements, with women in Bomana prison and with girls and young women in a safe-sleep sanctuary. Their stories are both empowering and heart wrenching. In a nutshell, through The Junk Wave, all around Australia and Papua New Guinea, I teach and talk on sustainability (recycling), business (social enterprise and triple bottom lines) community hygiene (clean communities includes keeping waste out of landfill and water ways) and recycled craft (particularly weaving single-use plastic food packaging into saleable product).
The Junk Weavers Inc is the social enterprise arm that we (a group of dedicated women) Incorporated as a not-for-profit in January 2016. You can join for an annual fee and you then get to attend any of our weaving workshops around the country for free. We sell woven purses and bags and support Australian women to start their own cottage industry in weaving single-use kitchen plastic.
How did The Junk Wave begin?
A small cackle of women initially started The Junk Wave:
- Char Paul: a psychologist and online tutor when not facilitating her own not for profit, Reuse and Recycle Cairns
- Megan Bayliss: a Social Worker, children’s author and trainer