Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II today recognised Neil Agius, representing Malta, as the 151st Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his exceptional voluntary service advocating for plastic-free seas.
Neil is an ocean advocate, endurance swimmer and co-founder of the ‘Wave of Change’ campaign which raises awareness of plastic pollution in the Maltese sea. He recently completed the daunting 95 km swim between Sicily and St Julian’s to raise awareness of the threats to the world’s oceans and their biodiversity, only the second person in history to have undertaken this swim.
Neil believes that his ‘speedo diplomacy’ will help support ‘Wave of Change’, inspiring young people to take action in their everyday life to reduce plastic waste and become ‘Wavemakers’. In its most recent campaign, ‘Wave of Change’ is harnessing the power of social media, encouraging young people to pick up three pieces of rubbish and challenge their friends to do the same.
As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.
By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Neil said, “I am really honoured to receive this award. It is a great feeling that I can inspire so many to make changes to the way they treat mother earth. There is no Plan-et B so we really need to respect it, once we can learn to do that then we will be able to enjoy it at its full potential and glory.”
Stuart Gill OBE, UK High Commissioner in Malta said,“I am pleased to recognise Neil Spiteri as this year’s Commonwealth points of Light Award. Neil is an example of dedication and determination in his fight against climate change and environment-related issues. Swimming to Malta in record-breaking 28 hours should serve as an inspiration for others to be the change for a better world.”