You’re gonna like the cut of Felicity Palmateer’s jib. Not just because of her adorable West Oz accent or incorrigible Nicole Kidman laugh, but because she says stuff like, “When I was in the Galapagos last summer with Jacques Cousteau’s granddaughter…” Wait, what? Yes, the Galapagos Islands with Celine Cousteau, saving sharks and promoting sustainable travel. It was on that trip with Celine, an oceanic explorer and conservationist, where Felicity realized that she was really digging this “cause” thing. Where she realized that raising awareness and helping the earth felt just as good as surfing.
Not that she’s given that up in any way, though. After just missing a slot on next year’s WCT season, she’ll slug it out on the ‘QS and try again for the following year. That is, when she’s not swimming with sharks and Miss Cousteau. Or selling her artwork. Yes, she’s an artist, too.
“I got into art from my dad; he’s an incredible ceramicist,” says Felicity. “But my work is more painting and illustration-based. Billabong’s liked a bit of my work and we’re even collabing on a few shirts using my designs. I’ve also opened up an online store on Etsy where I sell my work, too.”
Felicity’s also teamed up with waterwomen Crystal Thornburg and Lauren Hill, doing artwork and imagery for their forthcoming film on women’s surfing. Between her artwork, Web store, competing, traveling the globe and exploring the ocean — it’s safe to say this motivated blonde from Margaret River has a pretty full schedule. With just a little room to dream…
“After working with people like Celine, or the guys at Sea Shepherd and other organizations, I’d actually really love to start an NGO of my own someday,” says Felicity. “There are some amazing people out there helping the environment in big ways and making a difference, and I want to be one of them.” —Beau Flemister