Sea Shepherd Australia gets massive public support at Perth's First Oz Comic-Con Event
Commentary by Omar Todd, Technical Director
As the chief Sea Shepherd nerd, I first learned of this event from our event management friends in the UK. I have often attended similar events before and Sea Shepherd has always had wonderful support. But I knew this event in particular was unique for three major reasons.
For one it was being held in my home town, Perth, for the first time ever and I was actually going to be in town at the same time, which is a rare occurrence. Secondly, the line up included three of my favourite actors and supporters of Sea Shepherd, namely, Richard Dean Anderson (aka MacGyver and General O'Neil from Stargate), Paul Brown from Langley Legends and William Shatner. I am pleased to say that both Richard and Paul are also on Sea Shepherd's Advisory Board as well. Thirdly, Sea Shepherd Australia never had been involved with one of these events before.
I spoke to Jeff Hansen, the Australian Director and he agreed it was an event that Sea Shepherd Australia should be a part of. I contacted Oz Comic-Con and they were very accommodating and supportive and gave us a wonderful stall at all three events in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. So with the local Perth Chapter's Coordinator, Louis Bell, I arranged the merchandise. Whilst I was quietly confident about the level of support Sea Shepherd would receive from the public, we all were really not quite sure what would actually transpire on the day. During the build up, I did not let my usual work suffer and still did a news posting on our website when I had a moment spare. Well I am delighted to report that the event was was a stunning success and we have broken our record for earnings at any one event. Sea Shepherd Australia's stall was ably helped of course by local volunteers, Jules Zelones, Marco Grassi, Bryan Tranter, Buddy, Lisa Rossie, Kylie Herd and Claire Gregory.
We were also surprised by some visitors as well, Richard Dean Anderson and Paul Brown who said the following:
"During our time in Perth, Richard and I have been delighted to witness the support that Sea Shepherd has from the people of Australia. Being away from the local media publicity, we tend to be somewhat unaware of how passionate the people are down here. In the course of our travels we have met wonderful support for the cause."
During the intense media publicity that has surrounded Richard's visit, he has welcomed the opportunity to express his views concerning the illegal and savage Japanese killing machine that has tried to operate within the whale sanctuary.
"Our heartfelt thanks go out to the heroic crews of the Sea Shepherd fleet who this year have endured unimaginable hostility from the poachers. They have successfully saved the lives of hundreds of whales and we salute these brave people.
We were also delighted to meet Jeff Hansen in Perth. Jeff arranged a video Skype chat with Capt. Paul Watson for us....something we enjoyed immensely. It was particularly good to see that his indomitable spirit will not be broken. We still find ourselves asking the question as to why this man is not allowed into the country whose waters and wildlife he is protecting. We appeal to all Australians to also ask this same question
As we move on to Adelaide in the next stop on the journey, we look forward to seeing more support from Richard's fans. We encourage them to drop by the Sea Shepherd booth at the Oz Comic-Con in Adelaide to learn more about the various ongoing campaigns to save our oceans and it's inhabitants," Paul Brown proudly said.
I asked for a comment from one of our volunteers and Jules Zelones says, "Oz Comic Con in Perth was an amazing event to be a part of and I was proud to be assisting Sea Shepherd at the merchandise booth. The Saturday was an extremely busy day and was very beneficial for Sea Shepherd with many in attendance visiting the booth and passing on their praise and support with the merch flying off the table. Everyone was very interested to find out the latest news on Operation Zero Tolerance and it was an absolute pleasure to chat with so many fantastic Perth locals as well as members of the Jedi Council, Star Fleet and SG-1. I believe at one point a Dalek came rolling past the booth, last seen sporting a Sea Shepherd wrist band on its mechanical arm.
We were lucky enough for Richard Dean Anderson to stop by the booth and pass on his support and thanks and was kind enough to pose for a couple of pictures with us.
It was a pleasure to be amongst a crowd with a lot of enthusiasm for Sea Shepherd which made for a very successful day."
With such success at our first Oz Comic-Con event, we are now looking forward to Adelaide where Sea Shepherd Adelaide will also run a stall and carry on the baton!