13.03.17

Meet Charlotte Rose Mellis, The Dive Conservationist Behind Sustainability Platform Vox Populi

From working with Modibodi to deliver innovative sanitary products to the women in the remote islands on the Philippines, to advocating for the protection of our oceans. Self confessed psychology obsessed dive conservationist, Charlotte Rose Mellis lives a life dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues through her online platform VOX POPULI (VOPO).

Armed with an enormous passion for the planet and a sharp, business savvy mind, Charlotte is on a mission to make it fashionable to give a fuck.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and VOPO?

VOPO (voxpopuli.earth), really started as a concept that my partner Erik and I became enthralled by in 2014. Vox populi, Latin for “voice of the people”, started as a platform to showcase innovators creating sustainable change, and a central resource for those, like us, who seek it.

After connecting and working with copious sustainable brands and environmental organisations, we recognised their was a tremendous value in developing a sleek, fashionable and modern twist to products and initiatives that have the capacity to change the world.

This lead to the conception of our sustainable design agency, which includes a diverse team of consultants from industrial engineers, environmental scientists to behaviourists behind brand and marketing. Together we are conceptualising out of the box strategies, in attempt to address some of the most pressing challenges from a social enterprise approach.

What sparked your love for and desire to protect the oceans?

I was really fortunate to grow up by the beach, with so many of my childhood memories featuring the ocean. It probably wasn’t until I lived in Melbourne for University, that I could understand how my relationship to nature differed to others, across Australia and the world. For some context, “Surf” was an official subject at my high school!

I always had a passion for science, the inner workings of things and the magic of ecology. But, it probably wasn’t until I started scuba diving in my early twenties, that I started to comprehend the vast and ever-complex world that existed below the surface.

Across my travels, I began clearly identifying unsustainable practices, environmental destruction and the social pressures that were driving them. As the ocean connects and impacts everyone, I was compelled to shine a light on our relationship with it.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?

The most inspiring thing about the VOPO journey so far, has been simply witnessing the incredible army of human beings eager to develop a life that encompasses a flourishing planet. I am stoked to meet so many fascinating people having a positive impact through innovative means

charlotte rose mellis

What does a typical day look like for you? (if there is one!)

My friends will probably chuckle at this. At the moment, I could be anywhere from a corporate meeting in Sydney, to diving off a remote island somewhere in the Pacific. I like to keep a few aspects consistent though. A dose of yoga or Muay Thai with Erik to start the day, good music and delicious veggie food in between with an ocean swim or sunset hike to end it.

Like others, there is often a continuous dance to maintain balance with technology. We consciously devote time each day to connect with nature, our body and each other. It is amazing what you can learn when you look up!

Who or what inspires you?

There are some pretty impressive people out there, but I find a huge amount of inspiration in my family and close friends. They push me to grow as a person, think critically, support me to explore and keep me accountable to my morals.

I also marvel over the simple things… I could easily be inspired by a gust of wind, or the way an ant communicates with its colony, haha!

What are you reading right now?

I like to have a couple of books on the go. I’m currently scanning back through Tribe, a brilliant book by Sebastian Junger, and for fun I’m scoping out Coding for Dummies, to teach myself how to build a program! You know, just a party trick.

What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

My Nanna, who showed me that magic and humour can be found in even some of the toughest challenges.

What does the future hold for you and VOPO?

There is so much cool stuff coming for VOPO, the hardest part is containing it!

We have recently launched our unique expeditions, which invite applicants from varying skill sets and passions to join our curated adventure, in which we explore incredible natural landscapes whilst collaborating with a local organisation to address a pressing social or environmental issue.

Finish this sentence: The world needs more…

Self-reflection.

You can follow Charlotte’s adventures on VOPO


Featured image: Julia Wheeler

Other images: Supplied

Kira Simpson

Founder + Director of The Green Hub, an urban green living advocate and coffee obsessive. She believes there is no one size fits all green lifestyle and we can all live more sustainably in a way that fits in with each of our unique lifestyles.