Tugun Dunes 1 & 2

Tugun Dune 2 Tugun Dune 2 by Naomi EdwardsI haven’t always been fascinated by dunes. Though, once I found out why they were important and watched them grow and erode in between storms over time, I caught the dune bug.

Why are dunes important?

Simply speaking, they provide a buffer against storms, hold sand for beach resilience, create habitat and connect a green fringe along beaches. Amenity is another important value as well as a narrowing space between open beaches and what lies behind and beyond for coastal communities to take action and care of them.

Having walked and cared for Gold Coast’s dunes for almost a decade, I know more about my local dunes than most people. Blessed with an education in environmental science and community development, I can back up my views about the importance of dunes and community values, and don’t mind being called ‘Dune Girl’.

Though, unfortunately, not everyone appreciates my expert opinion – which can be taxing on my enthusiasm.

However, fortunately I am a strong advocate for what’s right.

Where does this leave me? Continue to share the beauty of dunes to overcome the beast.

You see I took these photos earlier this evening after an onsite meeting at Tugun to review the recent dune vandalism caused by my local council. It was disheartening to see a 4m wide sand pathway bulldozed through intact dunes – while the open ocean beach is only 10-15m east of the destruction. Rather than upload the horrible photos to prove such an idiotic decision, sharing the primary cruxes of the importance of dunes is more attractive and appealing.

Goats Foot is a pioneer dune runner that cross stitches across dunes to help trap sand – one of the “awesome foursome” dune species we are blessed to have to build Gold Coast’s beaches.

Every native dune species has a place and purpose to build beaches. Removing a bit here and there for an unsustainable pathway is not the right thing to do… sometimes it’s best to leave parts of our urbanised coast untouched.

The more we take, the less we will have. Every part of the beach is important, especially dunes.

If you would like to know more about the Tugun issue, please don’t hesitate in contacting me.

Randomly running responsibly

responsible runners and cafeI randomly just thought of this tangent. So, be aware that it might be a little random or rather more random than others.

Nevertheless, this afternoon I did what I’ve been doing for almost every Wednesday afternoon since the first day of summer last year. Ironically, it is now the beginning of winter, which means I’ve randomly been doing a random act of kindness for our beaches for over 6-months.

Randomly running responsibly.

Though, this tangent needs to take a step back, actually, a leap, jump, hop, skip and run, before I move on to tell you about what randomly happened this afternoon.

To be honest, I am a busy body. I’ve always have been and most likely will always be a busy body. That is how I have ended up where I am today, which I’m not going to complain about.

So, the story goes: I came across Responsible Runners on Facebook almost 18months ago. A cool group of Bondi hipsters (well, I originally thought that), picking up beach litter while running along Bondi Beach every Sunday – for 30minutes. Within no time, Sydneysiders caught on to the fast paced clean beach action and the innovative initiative ignited along Sydney’s beaches. For someone that is busy, loves coastal community action and running, I thought, wow, I want to do that!

At the time I was contemplating moving to Sydney, so I was super excited to think – I could be a Responsible Runner too! Though, the love I was chasing and the job I thought was for me didn’t come my way, so I was left liking Responsible Runners’ Facebook page almost every day and picturing myself getting fit and saving beaches with them. Yes, I am a weird busy body with a wild imagination.

And at the time I knew that I couldn’t start another coastal community group on the Gold Coast, where I live and love, because between what was already on my plate and having a crazy dog meant I really didn’t have spare time to organise more weekly beach clean ups.

Though, despite the broken heart and a lack of time, luck did come my way.

At the same time I just happened to meet Ryan Adams from Keep It Surreal on the Gold Coast – who also had a crush on Responsible Runners and their sister project, Responsible Cafes. Then boom, if it doesn’t take one busy person to get something done, why not ask two busy people?!

Pretty much straight away we sussed out our life schedules to dream up a time and place for when we could launch Responsible Runners on the Gold Coast. We really, really, really wanted to do it! As we both live up the northern end of the coast, work similar hours, busy on weekends and I need to let my dog run every afternoon … we decided we could randomly run responsibly every Wednesday after work at The Spit (the dog beach). So, by coupling my organisational skills for setting up groups, spreadsheets, insurance, equipment kits, finding free resources and funding, and Ryan’s creative flare with social media and the news, we were running in no time!

You see, initiatives like such usually take a minimum of 6 months to transform an idea into action. Responsible Runners Gold Coast took a month – from what I remember.

Today, 6-months on we have a growing group of cool coast guards protecting Gold Coast’s beaches and marine life by picking up beach litter and marine debris while running and walking three times a week at three beaches: Mermaid Beach, The Spit and Burleigh.

Above all, the best part about randomly running responsibly every Wednesday afternoon is that I’ve seen more sunsets than ever before, my crazy dog gets more beach time, I’ve met some really interesting people and more importantly, I’ve picked up more marine debris and beach litter!

And this afternoon was a classic collection of community clean beach action. I met two new people, one of the regular ambassadors gave me my favourite type of Carmans muesli bars, caught up with familiar faces – now friends – and saw an amazing sunset and a dolphin. Then as we were wrapping up the beach clean up, we asked a fisherman who probably had never used a smart phone before to take a photo of us, which left us laughing…

I have to acknowledge my random busy body nature, because all the above random series of random events probably wouldn’t have happened, and those before me that collaborate on ideas to form collaborative coastal community action.

So, I put it to you in the nicest, most random-nest way – why not randomly come along next week? You’ll be surprised with what happens.

Trust me! I’m a random Responsible Runner and super glad that I acted on my randomness.

For more information about Responsible Runners please visit responsiblerunners.org.


I love youOK, I started tangenting about the first day of winter cause surely it can’t be the 1st of June already, and winter? And I am not pulling the wool over your eyes, which we actually haven’t needed to considering the warmer than usual weather – to much puntime.

Nevertheless, as tangents always change once I start tapping away, this one has turned into why I haven’t been tangenting. Fundamental reason is due to my newfound shadow and love, Daniel. Who just happens to lying next to me – and just realised I am writing about him.

Having been a single gal for a few years it has been surprisingly interesting to share my time, thoughts and tangents with a person rather than type away and publish my complicated crossroads across the world. In more than one way, Daniel has become my tangent buddy.

Though, first up I do have proof that “I’m not all about sand, beaches and dunes”, as Daniel, said a few months ago. So, that ought to be a plus for him (and us) cause times could get rather sandy than they need to be or rather needs to be shared as the truth has been spoken – I am more than sand, beaches and dunes.

But hey, I do and somehow almost seem to bring everything back to dunes and to be honest there are many similarities between dunes and Daniel. Obviously, both have the same first character – the letter D. Though, on a more serious note, both are active, dynamic and always changing. Their energy balances the level of energy within the system or when lacking absorb energy to have energy, and that is what I find most attractive – their energy.

Energy has always been a drawcard for me. To absorb and feed from energy is vital for all human interactions. Taking into account how energy can neither be created nor destroyed, when energy surges your way absorb what you can and share with others. ‘Cause such energy can turn into love, meaning, love is just is – it’s energy and can’t be destroyed.