and that she has an “inescapable urge to do more, and gain a deeper understanding of the current crises in Nature, and the people devoted to preventing these crises”.
Liana says her most valuable life role is not her acting but that of “helping to heal and protect our beautiful planet, whilst honouring culture, people and our natural world”. She believes, ultimately, in the power of good. She seeks to highlight and address issues threatening the existence of our planet. The cornerstone of their work is the belief that if you have something to share, then share it freely and without control. They believe that listening, learning and supporting those who know best is the key to making the world a better, safer and more equitable place for us all.
Her approach connects with so many aspects of permaculture’s, as the range of photographs here illustrate. She is actively engaged with Earth Care, People Care and Future Care – and as active in terms of spiritual connections as physical ones.
Local and Lightly Liana tells PM that for this first series she had to keep it local and travelled as lightly as she could along the eastern coastline of Australia, a region which while filming in 2020 encountered extreme bush fires. The films are part of a carbon-neutral road trip focusing on the individuals already protecting our planet. Each episode celebrates communities and companies dedicated to nurturing Nature and preserving these pockets of protection.
Liana speaks a lot about First Nation know-how, of over 60,000 years of Aboriginal wisdom, “they are truly from this country, I am not, the very landscape has a deep connection for them”. The first episode of series one begins with the statement: “The filmmakers acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.”
“With mounting pressure on our planet, our people and ourselves, it’s essential to grow the good. The wisest way to respond is to turn our reaction into action and shine a light on those already doing so,” she says.
An Activist … I Have no Other Choice
Liana was born in the middle of a thunderstorm in the valley of Mullumbimby, south of Brisbane and spent her formative years being home-schooled – the homestead was off-grid. We talk about her favourite films, and she says she loves rom coms as much as the epic 2002 Australian film, Rabbit-Proof Fence (PM offers up 1971’s Walkabout, starring
Liana and dive team surveying angel fish numbers with Great Barrier Reef Legacy
Jenny Agutter, Liana says she will check it out). Liana recalls watching children’s TV cartoons like Ocean Girl and Captain Planet (akin to current Australian children’s’ favourite Dirt Girl in terms of conscious raising for young people).
In 2012, Liana founded Save Our Skins, a philanthropic organisation focused on ecological news and the continuation of research to help endangered animals and ecosystems worldwide. She says, “I am an activist because I have no other choice,” (www.lianacornell. com/activism). She is also a musician (more on that soon alongside other things PM is connected with). She, like her filmmaking/ activist parents, truly is a force!
Rainforest Rescue nursery manager,
Marine, tending to new plants
Where to View – Free Sign-up
The Refugia documentary series is available to stream worldwide for free via the WaterBear platform. WaterBear aim to use storytelling as a tool to make a difference. It is the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Whatever you feel passionately about in the world of climate action, biodiversity, sustainability, community, diversity and more, WaterBear provides access to award-winning and inspirational content that empowers members to dive deeper, learn more and take action. WaterBear members control what content they want to watch, when they want it, with no ads and with one simple sign up – all for free in all English speaking countries on mobile app and web. They feature documentaries, locally-told stories, NGO campaigns, on-the-ground grassroot outreach, volunteering, eco-travel, sustainable products and much more. They are always looking to help members find the next story to make a difference. Plus, when you sign-up, WaterBear plant a tree. Watch the five episodes of the Refugia series here: www.waterbear.com/ watch/607e95841c5e9ec45ba6e6e6
The importance of First Nation know-how
Wise Butchulla young elder, Shereen
Liana and local activists collecting plastic pollution on K’gari (Fraser) island
Hemp being grown, harvested and then used