The Scholars podcast is a show featuring scholars from the General Sir John Monash Foundation. Hosted by CEO of Mojo Media, Justin Kelly, he interviews the best, brightest, boldest and bravest across all fields of academia, business, science, humanities, and the arts. On today’s episode, Justin interviews 2020 Chairman Circle’s John Monash Scholar, Eva Mackinley.
Eva has worked in campaigning for social change across her professional career so far, starting initiatives in areas like international development, environment and waste. She is the Founder of The Last Straw, a campaign whose mission is to reduce the use of plastic straws and single-use plastics around Australia. Since its foundation in 2015, The Last Straw has brought on over 500 venues in Australia and seen the establishment of Last Straw groups in Peru, Indonesia and Kenya. In 2018 alone they helped stop over 13 million plastic straws from entering the waste system. For her work, Eva has been recognised as one of the 2018 100 Women of Influence and as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia fellow for 2019. Eva graduated Deakin University with a Bachelor of International Studies and First-Class Honours in Middle East Studies. With her John Monash scholarship, Eva plans to study a Masters of International Relations in Security at the University of Bradford, hoping to understand the dynamics of peace and security on Australia’s future in a rapidly changing world, and their implications on shared global challenges.
In this episode, Eva chats with Justin about the story behind why she founded The Last Straw, her biggest learnings from starting a global campaign, what it was like speaking at TedX, and her future career plans.