Joel is a student at the University of Otago studying a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Environmental Management and minoring in Ecology. He was a part of BLAKE Inspire in 2019 which took place in the Waikato region. Joel grew up in Ōpunake, Taranaki yet now resides in Ōtepoti/Dunedin. His secondary qualifications took place at Ōpunake High School where he was Head Boy and BOT Student Representative in 2019. In 2018, he also completed a 6 month student exchange in Mariano Comense in Northern Italy, where he developed a passion for linguistic studies after learning Italian. Since BLAKE Inspire, Joel has been selected to attend multiple other science and environmental forums, the most notable of which being the Rotary National Science and Technology Forum, Powering Potential, NanoCamp, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology in Brisbane.
He was a member and coordinator for School Strike 4 Climate, and has guest spoken at events such as the Kāpiti Enviro-Youth Summit, Just Transitions Community Conference and Voices of the Future Climate Conference. He is a keen volunteer, having done work with local trapping initiatives, community gardens, tree planting groups as well as volunteer refereeing and coaching for basketball and surfing. He has also partaken in work experience with the Taranaki District Council Environmental Science Department and assisted in PhD studies involving electrofishing to analyse the freshwater ecology of rural Taranaki waterways. Outside of study and environmentalism, Joel has interests in surfing, basketball and hiking, as well as sewing and upcycling his own sustainable clothing from reused materials.