Lizzie Murray - A Liquid Future

Meet Lizzie, founder of A Liquid Future, a non-profit organisation aiming to bring education and surfing to ground areas in Indo.  She is a raw soul, passionate about the ocean and it’s power, Nature and the way she gives us life lessons and about the power of bringing people together through surfing.

When and where did you start surfing?

I learnt to surf on a road trip from Los Angeles to Southern Mexico in 1999 over 4 months. In particular, at the bay of La Punta.

What is it that you love about surfing and the ocean?

About surfing I love the freedom of expression and creativity, there are no rules, no boundaries, no right or wrong. You can do whatever you feel. I love the speed zipping along on a wave or in a barrel and the blankness of mind in those moments, connected to energy charging forward. I also love a bit of risk and danger, not knowing if I am going to make a drop on a wave sometimes and free falling and wiping out.  I like getting pummelled by a wave every now and again, and thrown around. It shakes you up and keeps things in perspective. I like the turbulence around me. 

I love the places surfing has taken me to and the experiences and people I met as a result.  I love how alive and raw I feel.

On a collective level I love how surfing breaks down boundaries that may exist on the land. I think it enables us to connect to a part of us that we can’t do so readily or easily on land. It washes away falsities and we are just left with how we truly are. That seems to bring about connection to others.  Some of the locals in Mentawai open up to you in a very different way when you are in the water together catching waves and the bonds you form sharing this activity together are very strong.

About the ocean – its enormity, moods, colours, depth, it gives forth life. It connects all the countries and peoples and our differences giving us an example of how to just be and accept that, it’s like a world glue where everything gets mixed and thrown in and its ok (not the rubbish obviously!! It never judges me no matter how I am feeling or how I act. Maybe I surf aggressively one day, as there is something inside me I need to get out or maybe I am very mellow. With the ocean that is just fine, she can absorb it all and leave me feeling relieved, or refreshed or frothing. She is like a best friend. She gives me a real sense of security and safety. I can return to her again and again if I need to work something out and she is always there.

What kind of education have you had?

School education by western standards I had a fairly normal one, school and university.

Life education I had an extraordinary one, travelling extensively around the world as a child with my family, learning about different cultures, new languages, approaches, ways of thinking. I loved it and I am incredibly grateful for those opportunities. 

How did the Liquid Project started?

I went to the Mentawai Islands and hung out with locals there who asked me to help them with learning English and said “ok I’ll try”. Also as a child I always had this idea of doing something with language and communication. As a child when I communicated with other children in different countries we were so happy when we could understand each other and we had a lot of laughs trying to. I think trying to communicate brings out a beauty of the human spirit. It’s raw and real.

Who/ what has inspired you and the work you do?

People/humanity inspires me. What we can do together when we focus our energy and time on what is important and matters. We do a lot of bad, stupid things, but humans also do incredible things. The human spirit is extraordinary. Meeting people from radically different backgrounds to mine, learning from them and together finding new ways of achieving impact and benefits. Just fascinates me. I love imagination.

I believe in sharing knowledge and using mutual/collaborative knowledge as means to address the challenges the world is facing today. I can’t see how working separately will have much impact in the long term.

I think the resilience, adaptability and ingenuity that many communities I have worked with display, hold many of the approaches we need to employ on a macro level. The inception of a model on a micro level and transferring to the macro level is also something I am interested in. Nature is the other inspiration. All the answers we need are found there, harmony, balance, patience, renewal, longevity. To work in the wild and with people who are almost a part of her and understand the need to live with her and not control her has been amazing.

What sort of challenges have you found in your way with the Liquid Project? What is the hardest part?

There are lots of obstacles to overcome and navigate through which means you learn at a rate of knots and it is rewarding. Bureaucracy and corruption are often the most frustrating things.

The hardest part is loneliness sometimes, missing friends and family.

What has the response been like from the surfing community?

Very supportive.

What is it that you love about your job?

Everything! Being able to create things with people from very different backgrounds and realities, being the bridge between these different realities with input from both, meaning you create something fairly unique and radical. It is wonderful. Being able to always learn and then being able to share that. Seeing joy and happiness on people’s faces is indescribable.

What is the next step for Liquid Project? What does future hold for it?

ALF has formed new partnerships to become a networked organisation for greater effectiveness.

We are developing a cross-sectoral model of operating involving academia, private sector, communities, not-for-profits and local government to enable us to have greater impact on the ground in areas in Indonesia. This blueprint is mirrored through partnerships we are developing in Australia and worldwide, ultimately with the view that knowledge sharing and ideas will happen fairly effortlessly and independently of A Liquid Future via, for example a university in Australia with the university in Daruba, Morotai. Establishing long-term, stable partnerships to ensure tourism has a positive impact rooted in a solid, mutli-supported base with the free exchange of ideas and knowledge. This is a model based on a concept Fair Surf I have been developing over the last 4 years. Stay tuned for more information as Fair Surf develops. 

There is a joint fundraiser in Byron Bay on Thursday May 26th to raise funds for A Liquid Future’s new base in Morotai, Maluku Islands. Come by if you are in the area and have a fab night with the community there and the chance to win a trip to Mentawai or Morotai and meet the locals and engage in creating some great things!

Where can we find you online?


Posted by: Marta Gallardo, on May 18, 2016
Categories: Interviews