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Natalie Austin


I grew up in North Vancouver where I spent my winters as a reluctant, overdressed ski kid and my summers wreaking havoc at a kids camp on a gulf island.

I moved away from Vancouver for the first time to attend McMaster University. I spent four years earning a degree in Anthropology with a minor in Archaeology, and all the while my love for BC mountains grew. The saying that ‘distance really does make the heart grow fonder’ is no joke. After graduating, I felt that I had read too much and seen too little so I decided to take various opportunities to work, study, and travel in various countries.

In Australia, I saw trees turned bright orange from recent forest fires. In South East Asia I was shocked at the layers of garbage on the beaches and in the sea. Recently, the impacts of climate change have been felt at home here in Canada. I’ve suffered from headaches while landscaping due to forest fire smoke in the summer, and my ski instructing seasons cut short due to low snow levels.

I first got involved with POW when I lived in New Zealand in 2019 and have been actively involved ever since. POW has given me the most direct opportunity to turn my passion into purpose and work to protect all these places near and far. I asked one of my ski students Donny, age 5, where was home? “Earth,” he answered. Me too Donny, me too.

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