Speakers Profile - Tim Baker

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Tim Baker is Australia's most acclaimed surfing writer and the best selling author of four books Bustin' Down The Door, High Surf, Occy and Surf For Your Life.

As a public speaker, Tim takes lessons learnt in the ocean and applies them to life on land, in an engaging, inspiring and accessible presentation that leaves audiences of all ages with a whole new perspective on wave-riding as a way of life.

In his 2007 book, High Surf, Tim interviewed surfers from all walks of life including novelist Tim Winton, classical violinist Richard Tognetti, ethicist Peter Singer, Greens politician Ian Cohen and surfing octogenarian Dorian 'Doc' Paskowitz.

The common question he asked this disparate group of surfers was, simply: What have you learnt from surfing and the ocean?

Tim Winton says: 'When life gets overwhelming it's incredible what a few hours in the brine will do for you. It's as though the ocean is this vast, salty poultice that sucks the poison out of your system.'

Peter singer observes: 'It does remind me of the majesty and timelessness of nature, as compared to the brevity of our own existence.'

And Tognetti comments: 'It's the ultimate Zen experience. I used to think I'd solve my problems by going surfing, but it's better than that. You can't even consider them. ... You just get lost in a dream ... It's a brilliant release.'

Baker uses their varied, insightful and often surprising responses as the basis for an illuminating exploration of the ocean as a metaphor for life. Modern quantum physics and ancient mysticism alike tell us that all life is made up waves light, sound, even physical matter, that which appears solid, is little more than a field of energy , vibrating at a certain frequency, Baker writes in High Surf. 'The ocean surf we ride is the only form in which wave energy can be experienced on a human scale - In many ways, ocean waves can push us close to, or beyond, the limits of our endurance, take us to our edge, in an intensely physical, spontaneous, non-negotiable exchange - The ocean, I've come to believe, is simply life made visible, a convenient parallel reality where the nature of wave energy is easily observable, its lessons immediate, tangible and powerful.'

Tim has been the subject of dozens of radio interviews, has written literally hundreds of magazine articles, and is a former editor of Tracks and Surfing Life magazines. His work has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review, the Sunday Age, GQ, Inside Sport, the Readers Digest, Playboy, Rolling Stone and the Bulletin magazine. He has twice received the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame culture award, and been nominated for the CUB Australian Sports Writing Awards.