How does your beach feel?


The world has come together to celebrate happiness. A day to celebrate all things that make us feel happy … that includes beaches among peace, love and friendship.

As beaches are a place where people are most happy.

People have likened beach experiences to being baptised, a sanity pill, rebirthing and connecting with mother nature. In fact, it is proven science that beaches are a place where people find solitude, happiness and creativity. Scientists from the University of Sussex surveyed over 20,000 people in the UK and proved people’s happiness is greater when surrounded by the natural environment, in particular, when visiting the beach.

So, it is know wonder that beaches are a place that we gravitate towards to be feel happy.

Curiosity has gotten the better of me being a happy beach goer and a happy beach scientist to question, if beaches can make people feel happy, how do beaches feel from people?

Although I know beaches do not have feelings (a debate I am willing to take), I do know that they respond to human impacts in other ways. The loss of beach amenity is a key coastal indicator (feeling) as a result of illegal sand mining, marine debris, sea level rise or the lack of a long term vision – among much more. The loss of beach amenity – can sadden a beach – as it doesn’t seem as beautiful, as happy as it once used to be. This sadden nature of the beach then extends to the community and those very beach goers that (did) love the beach.

Dan Ware, a PhD student and coastal management expert from Griffith University recently shared his thoughts about the lack of creative thinking when it comes to discovering new ways of managing beaches. Ware strongly believes that fear of the coast, truth of the coast and love for the coast should be key drivers of coastal decisions to move beyond the myths and silos that plague the limitations and challenges of coastal management – which in turn reduce the effectiveness of beach management.

That brings me to proudly share Australia’s Happy Beaches competition, which I have been part of to discover the happiness the beaches. The journey couldn’t have started more appropriately than capturing the sad stories of beaches written by those who love their beach…

Have you ever wonder how your beach feels?

You have a month to submit your sad beach story into Australia’s Happy Beaches competition. The winning beach will be thrown a life line with happy beach experts visiting the saddest beach to transform it from sad to happy.

Why should you submit your sad beach story? Because a beach happy is better than sad beach!

Visit to submit your sad beach story today.

Living a life you love

living a life you love

Living a life you love has been my mantra along with other inspiring quotes for the past year. Why?

You see, I thought I was perfect, everyone does? I had an amazing job, was in a head space to be able to contemplate studying a PhD, met a crazy guy, was training for a half marathon and had my fingers in many pies (still do!). That was until I started a personal development journey. There I was, standing vulnerable and open. Then I realised I had baggage of bad traits – always late, lived in my own world and on my own time and thought I was always right (seriously, I couldn’t accept any other way) and that I complained about things that were out of my control. Geez. How could I be the person I aspire to be with all this excess baggage? Sure I had excuses… I am working on HEAPS of projects that are helping the environment and community, I need to be in Naomi World to be creative and perform and of course I am right, look at me, I am perfect with multiple degrees.

Then I discovered what life could be and look like if I gave that all away. I’d be present, accept all that comes my way and live for others at whatever cost that was/is involved.

Today, I know I am not perfect but I am a person that lives a life powerfully. I create distinctions for myself to be a new possibility – everyday! Today is to be the best person I can be, to be a person on time and to be a person full of commitment. But to get to here I had to give away my time excuses, start to live for others and accept (almost) everything.

The reason I am sharing this is because I know many people who say they are busy (I bet you do!) are actually not … if you really look into your life what do you see? Poor time management, lack of commitment, nil focus and/or procrastination?

For me, by creating new possibilities all of a sudden I found (and still find) all this free time, creativity and opportunity. In the meantime during this self discovery journey I left my amazing job to find a more amazing job, my personal and professional life became more real and I found more commitment to live a life powerfully – which has become second nature. Yeah I might still snap at those I love and forget things, but I am learning and accept that transformation to live a life powerfully is a lifelong journey – where integrity is at the heart.

Above all I am truly blessed to have people in my life to support me, love me and care for me. Like, how lucky am I?! To live a life powerfully and a life I love.

If you want a slice of what I have check out Landmark Worldwide. Now, I better get back to writing out my research transcripts!

Have a beautiful day!

A fair go

Inspire: a fair go (photo source: Tiphaine Tif`)

Inspire: a fair go (photo source: Tiphaine Tif`)

‘We just want a fair go’ – is what everyone wants. A fair go in life, love and opportunity. Yet many are not given a fair go. Are not recognised. Are not valued. Are not acknowledged.

I couldn’t have felt the rawness and intimacy of community knowledge about the southern beaches of the Gold Coast any better (or empowering) than what I experienced the other day. I am at the stage of collecting community knowledge about Rainbow Bay for my Honours thesis, which aims to discover the value and use of community knowledge – experiences and memories – of the (a) beach.

Discover is quite the understatement for the process behind pealing-back the layers of community knowledge (e.g. what does that even mean and represent?) that is yet to be interpreted in my own youthful, passionate words.

Although the other day occurred as simple and organic as I imagined it to be. Under the shade of a Pandanus tree I listened to an awe-inspiring journey of community leaders who have laid a path (wave by wave; meeting by meeting; win by win) into what appears to most people as breathtaking coastal vistas to enjoy and experience for free, every day, every year. If I had to sum it up into one sentence I’d say it’d be a coastal legacy that has given a voice for the beach and its community and users.

In the context of coastal community engagement such a legacy starts with developing relationships, trust and respect to open a leveled-playing field for everyone to contribute and share ideas and knowledge. This can’t be achieved during abstract bite-size consultation processes or even under the florescence lights of council meeting rooms, halls and libraries especially when on one side of the table you have the engineers and scientists and on the other side you have the community. And there they debate about what is best for the beach.

Instead the journey occurs [must occur] over years of determination, persistence and commitment to the cause – qualities that all community leaders show. A community leader might be one of four at a meeting under the florescence lights but their experiences and memories of the beach speak the truth of community knowledge and validate historical accounts. And for some the journey began as a child discovering what the beach means and have experienced change longer than any scientific document might capture. Change that now exists in history and frames distinctions about when and why decisions were made only to bare the consequences  of an engineered coastline with a ’25-story fence’ isn’t what the beach needs…

Yet, when decisions are made about the coast we tend to invest is enormous-expensive reports that make no sense to the community.

But if you really dig deep and question the alternatives to collecting community knowledge what would you say?

You see the journey of my thesis echoes the community desires as my journey starts with talking with the community, which they appreciate and acknowledge. Because I believe the value of community knowledge about the beach surpasses any scientific analysis on how sand moves and where it goes. And I am determined to break the cycle of the them-and-us approach.

Some might say I am passionate about beaches and coastal community engagement. I would say that I know the truth and determined to speak the truth.

Many thanks to those who are contributing to my thesis.