The Turtle Tribe Partners

The Turtle Tribe Awards

Winner, Changemaker of the Year 2019, in the global ‘Be the Change’ Awards for the Social Impact sector, London, UK.

Winner, Best Film, and Best Ocean Theme U13, for ‘Twice a Day, Every Day’, Cicada Film Festival 2019, Brisbane.

Winner, Entrepreneur of the Year 2019, Youth in Business Magazine, Melbourne.

Winner, Best Litter Prevention Program U17, CitySmart/Brisbane City Council Cleaner Suburbs Awards, presented by Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, 2019.

Awarded the Governors Medallion by his excellency, the honourable, Paul de Jersey, Governor of Queensland, at Brisbane City Hall, 2019.

Winner, Create Change, 7News Young Achiever Awards Qld, 2022

Ned's Turtle Tribe story so far

(in roughly chronological order)

Ned grew up camping on the ocean beach of Moreton Island National Park every year with his family, and saw first hand how isolated beaches have plastic debris washed up every day, including plastic toothbrushes.  Together with his family he’d spend a couple of days every holiday just collecting plastic rubbish from the beach. It’s why he founded The Turtle Tribe in September 2018, offering bamboo toothbrushes as an alternative, and started on his mission to get plastic toothbrushes banned. When his friends at Ocean Crusaders suggested he partner with them doing a beach clean on Moreton Island with 50 volunteers in early 2019, he jumped at the chance!

Bonus content: The full interview with founder of Ocean Crusaders, Ian ‘Thommo’ Thompson, in which he discusses the importance of REFUSING and REDUCING plastic before we re-use and recycle.

See the Ocean Crusaders FB Page or website for more information about supporting them or joining them for a beach or waterway cleanup

When designing The Turtle Tribe’s bamboo toothbrush, Ned consulted with his awesome holistic dentist, Dr John Sotis of Gold Coast Holistic Dental Care. Dr John encouraged Ned to include features such as:

  • A shorter head, making the brush suitable for all ages but also very good for accessing back teeth
  • Tapered ‘floss-tipped’ bristles for best cleaning of the gum line
  • Only soft bristles to be gentle on enamel

Gold Coast Holistic Dental Care became the first dental practice in Australia to provide The Turtle Tribe bamboo toothbrushes for their patients instead of plastic ones, showing great leadership in their industry! See their website for more info.

In November 2018 a mentor suggested The Turtle Tribe enter the global ‘Be the Change’ Awards for the Social Impact sector. Ned (11) and his sister (14) filmed their entry, then discovered you had to be 16 years old to enter. But they also noticed a rule that said the judges could change the rules, so they submitted another short video pleading directly to the judges, with Ned saying “I can’t wait five years, and the oceans can’t wait five years.” The judges were impressed by Ned’s determination to ‘Be the Change’, and he was shortlisted in the ‘Changemaker of the Year’ category with 4 other (adult) finalists from around the world. At the awards ceremony in London in April 2019, The Turtle Tribe was announced as the winner of the Be the Change Awards ‘Changemaker of the Year’, a true honour!

Just being short-listed as a finalist led to this TV appearance!

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In April 2019 Ned was an invited guest exhibitor at the Australian National Sustainability Conference in Brisbane, after the organisers heard him on the radio talking about his mission. Ned met with corporate and government sustainability managers and organisations that he would later do lots of good work with. What an inspiring couple of days meeting with some of Australia’s leading sustainability advocates! 

In June 2019 Ned was invited to be a guest speaker at the CitySmart/Queensland Government Climate Week Speakers Series, where he discussed the latest science on the link between plastic pollution and climate change.

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In June 2019 Ned’s short film ‘Twice a Day, Every Day’ won Best Film at the Cicada Film Festival, a local collaboration showcasing young film makers and their passion for the environment.

The Cicada Film Festival does a wonderful job of educating and empowering young people around issues of environmental sustainability with many creative and informative films submitted every year.

“Twice a day, every day’ was an extended cut of Ned’s Be the Change awards entry, available to view above.

In August 2019 Ned helped represent the Cicada Film Festival as a guest speaker at the gala dinner celebrating the launch of The Moreton Bay Foundation in Brisbane’s City Hall. In a room full of philanthropists, scientists, politicians and concerned citizens, all with a passion for preserving their local environment, Ned showed his award-winning short film, “Twice a day, every day” and shared the latest research on plastic pollution. When Ned spoke you could hear a pin drop, and a highlight for Ned was meeting marine scientists committed to reducing the problem of ocean plastics, including Dr Ian Tibbetts, Associate Professor at the the School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, and Marine Biologist Dr Kathy Townsend from the Moreton Bay Research Station, University of QLD and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Earlier that day at the official launch ceremony of The Moreton Bay Foundation at Brisbane’s City Hall, Ned had the honour of meeting with His Excellency, The Honourable, Paul de Jersey, 26th Governor of Queensland, who presented him with the Governors Medallion for his commitment to reducing ocean plastics. In return, Ned presented the Governor with his very own Turtle Tribe bamboo toothbrush!

In October 2019 The Turtle Tribe visited Brisbane’s City Hall once again, as winner of the City Smart/Brisbane City Council Cleaner Suburbs Awards,‘Best Litter Prevention Program U17‘, presented by the Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. In return Ned presented the Lord Mayor with his very own Turtle Tribe bamboo toothbrush!


Sea Shepherd is an awesome organisation involved in direct action to stop illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean and around the world. But they also run a Marine Debris Campaign, coordinating beach cleanups and education programs to reduce ocean pollution. In October 2019 The Turtle Tribe donated 60 bamboo toothbrushes to Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Defence Tour, and Ned was an invited speaker at the Shep-X event.

In November 2019, Ned was named the 2019 Youth in Business ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for winning a record number of business challenges against other young entrepreneurs from all over Australia.

Youth in Business founders Ben & Sheri Jones run free educational workshops to help kids realise their entrepreneurial potential, as well as courses to teach and mentor Aussie kids as they begin their journeys in the world of business, including trips to China to meet suppliers.

“Ben & Sheri really helped me create The Turtle Tribe with encouragement, guidance, business savvy and a passion for helping young people achieve success. They are awesome!”, says Ned.

In 2020 The Turtle Tribe was announced as a semi-finalist in the 7News Young Achiever Awards for Small Business Achievement. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! So in 2021, Ned went one better, as a finalist in the Create Change category, which he then WON in 2022.

The purpose of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards is to acknowledge, encourage and most importantly promote the positive achievements of all young people throughout Queensland up to and including 29 years of age.See the website for more information.

Simon Magnus of  Spicers Retreats set the industry-leading goal of having zero-waste guest rooms, making all those little plastic bottles of toiletries a thing of the past. Spicers Balfour was the first Spicers on board, and now most Spicers Retreats around the country provide The Turtle Tribe bamboo toothbrushes in their guest rooms, in some of the most striking locations in the country.

in 2020 The Turtle Tribe partnered with one of Australia’s leading aged care providers, Regis Aged Care, supplying the entire national chain of around 70 facilities in every state of Australia with bamboo toothbrushes. This world-first, inter-generational collaboration is replacing over 30,000 plastic toothbrushes with bamboo ones each year. The Turtle Tribe has a proven logistical track record of supplying large volumes of a quality product in zero-waste packaging and shipping, on time, every quarter, to multiple locations in every state, and at no extra cost above the previous plastic toothbrush supply. Now that’s something to smile about!

UPDATE – BUPA Aged Care joined with The Turtle Tribe in 2021 to also supply bamboo toothbrushes to every one of their homes in Australia. Well done BUPA!