Community and friendships

Jordyn De Boer and myself chilling out last summer. O Kirra Hill puts on a good sunset!

Jordyn De Boer and myself chilling out last summer. O Kirra Hill puts on a good sunset! … poor Jordyn hit a sandbar a week before! Scars from surfing!

When you live in a community small enough to know who’s who though large enough to be able to explore new places you have the perfect balance; and to feel that you belong yet be able to escape you have found the perfect place. For me, it’s the Gold Coast – home to extraordinary people who create community and friendship, and my home.

Today was quite a normal day (for me), though extraordinary on so many levels. As I dip and dive in numerous projects I have to be strict with my time, and living and working in a linear city my secret is coordinating back to back meetings suburb after suburb. So, on a normal day you will find me thinking and powering from sunset to sunrise, from north to south then south to north, all in a days worth of work.

Today was extraordinary because I caught up with three amazing women.

  1. Sam Morris. Friend, founder of too many projects, a mother, a passionate environmental advocate, and her latest project is Blank GC. I got a slice of her time to ask for some advice to help me find the gears for what’s next. She re-affirmed many actions and encouraged me to keep being myself, and nothing less. Thanks Sam!
  2. Jordyn De Boer. Friend, co-founder of Boomerang Bags, a Surfrider chicky-babe, young entrepreneur, tea drinker and loves a good flanny (forget to comment). We finally caught up about everything, set the scene for the future, laughed about the good ole times and swapped some ideas for each other’s projects. Walked out feeling completely inspired, empowered and determined to make our dreams come true. Yay to a life less plastic.
  3. Chantelle Howse. Most names within the City of Gold Coast usually exist without faces in the public domain due to a twisted up side down external communications policy. So, I will let you imagine what Chantelle might look like…while I share a slice of this woman’s passion for community! She is a new friend, community development officer for Cr Greg Betts and Cr Paul Taylor, open to new ideas, passionate to connect community and driven to see projects happen. Here we met in a lonely park to discuss how make a new project breathe life into the area, connect community and give life to public parks (what parks were designed to create when urbanisation took hold of the greener way of living).

Three women in three hours. Wow. 

Community creates friendships and friendships create community, now that’s my kind of Gold Coast.



Humpback and Highrises


The better part of this tangent goes down to friendship. I have been friends with Dr Olaf for many years being a past flat mate, cried and laughed together and have even fought real fires (seriously – no joke). A scientist filled with passion for the marine environment turned advocate is putting his intellectual property to real use.

His marine mammal research organisation Humpback & Highrises brilliantly bridges science, tourism, the community and Gold Coast’s skyrocketing urban landscape.  It links eager marine biologists and citizen scientists with whale watching, where they capture flukes (the tail of whale) for photo identification that is matched with ongoing monitoring.

Despite peer reviewed science proving that the Gold Coast bay is an important resting ground for the east coast Humpback Whale migration. State Government officials and the City of Gold Coast continue to sit on their hands and watch whale after whale get caught in the infamous sharks nets. 

This isn’t good enough.

Here we have a million dollar whale watching industry that double dips during the migration yet change persistent decision-makers hesitant to remove the nets during migration times due to fears of shark attacks… and once a whale gets caught, it’s either a fatal scene or released under very stressful conditions. This process consumes resources that could be spent elsewhere – maybe the Commonwealth Games fund – especially time and advocates’ time to discover other research gaps and needs to protect nature’s wonders.

It’s simple… PLEASE REMOVE THE SHARKS NETS! Follow Humpback & Highrises!