When I was 14, Anthony and I spent many weekends camping in the bushland at St Ives . We would walk down from Acron Oval to the Cascades and then along Middle harbour creek to our favourite sandstone overhang, were we would camp overnight.

I felt a great feeling of freedom in the bush. I was relived to get away from the bland suburb of St Ives and it’s ever growing shopping centre. At times while camping I would imagine how the local Aborigines once lived in St Ives, fishing in the creek and sleeping in the same sandstone shelter which we used for our camp site.

Unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy the same simple pleasures because the creeks were now very polluted from urban and industrial runoff. So we had to carry everything we needed into the bush and ration our food and water for the journey. To conserve water and save energy we cleverly hid water bottles at certain secret places along the track (behind trees under leaf mulch)

To me pollution doesn’t mean it’s all over and everything is destroyed. It just makes me think we need to clean up our act, so one day we can have clean waterways again. Imagine one day going for a walk in Sydney bushland and confidently drinking or swimming in the water, it would be awesome.