What’s next for dunegirl?

Princess Spinifex (Dunegirl's dog)

Princess Spinifex (Dunegirl’s dog)

What’s next for dunegirl?

With a few hours left in the year of 2014 it seems that I am one of a billion or more quickly reflecting before thinking about 2015. What did I achieve this year? What didn’t I achieve this year? What surprises unfolded and what about that new years resolution list? Eek. So much to think about, so little time.

Time seems to be a common theme that stitches year to year (go figure). Although what I am getting at is that time is fast-ticking-away – away from away and where I am today, the 31st December 2014.

2014 has been a full one. 

  • Full of sweet surprises
  • Full of defining moments
  • Full of self-discovering changes

I am glad 2014 is drawing to a close as I am full and now ready to start again.

Before 2015 begins what can I say about 2014?

  • I certainly didn’t think that I would fall in love – seriously!
  • I certainly didn’t think that I would be studying an honours in beach happiness.
  • I certainly didn’t think that I would have studied at the United Nation’s University – what an honour!

But I did.

  • I certainly knew that I would have left the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management – at some stage…
  • I certainly knew that I would be speaking up for dunes.
  • I certainly knew that I would also dream of my beach utopia – almost every night.
  • I certainly knew that I end the year with a blog and a midnight kiss.

Life throws all sorts at you and I’m not referring to those delicious sugary sweets I shouldn’t have been eating over the Christmas break. I feel as if every moment in 2014 was a lucky prize – winning clean beach titles, running miles picking up beach litter, scoring the best car parks and baptising my soul in the sea.

O, and then there was that time in May when the community on the Gold Coast got together and planted 12,000 plants in one day to create a wetland, consistently stood up for what matters on the beach and connected with their neighbours, friends and loved ones to celebrate the coast.

So, what’s next for dunegirl?

  • A dune photography exhibition in early 2015
  • Create dune garden beds along the Broadwater Esplanade – so excited about this little cute project
  • Plant more trees on dunes
  • Submit my honours thesis and hopefully start the long awaited beach happiness PhD
  • Take more photos of dunes
  • Ensure clean, healthy and happy beaches are the number one agenda for Gold Coast’s beaches

Now that’s not a bad agenda for dunegirl. Happy New Year! See you on the dunes!

Happy Beaches

Because happy is better than sad, I am leaving my role within the Coastal Community Engagement Program at the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management on the 3rd of October. It’s time to take a leap and move forward on what I believe I can achieve – for our community, beaches and myself. That means it’s also time to introduce Happy Beaches. 

Happy Beaches is my new venture to focus on the happier aspects of beach issues. Multidisciplinary, collective and fun, Happy Beaches brings a personality to coastal management. This has led me to research on beach happiness at the School of Humanities at Griffith University.

How did Happy Beaches come about?

As happy ideas always catch attention, why not link happy and beaches together to catch attention for beach health and community wellbeing?  This is what I discovered and considering first hand experience in coastal community engagement and mobilisation, I know optimism and collectivism can moblise communities to take action and effective control of beach health.  From small things, big things grow, Happy Beaches is spirualling into a new way of overcoming the sad reality of beaches

Basically, Happy Beaches acts on the need to understand how beach happiness can contribute to the happiness, wellbeing and the wider neuroconservation conversation.

Happy Beaches is initiating the pursuit of beach happiness.

Act on what you believe matters. I do and that is Happy Beaches.

Happy Ideas

photo (3)

I made a promise to myself, never to stop tangenting. It’s a pretty easy promise to keep rather than, “I will stop eating sugar”. As on my way home I thought of three more tangents to tangent about. But I really need to stay focused and tangent about a new journey that began today.

I started an Honours degree to formally research beach happiness – under the supervision of Dr Kerrie Foxwell-Norton at the School of Humanities, Griffith University (a woman I dream to be a fraction of one day).

As I am sure there will be plenty of time to tangent about Kerrie, what I do have to share is a massive revelation and something that stunned my vision of where I could be one day.

That being (as of this afternoon) I realised that I am a mere victim of my own insanity (in context of craziness).

While deep in thought this afternoon during one of the courses I have to do, I realised that I am obsessed with measuring my output to drive my efficiency – life, love, tangents, friends, blitzed beaches, best car parking spaces and the number of times my Bug started on the first pop. I’m obsessed so much that I actually want to measure my own passion, and that being, healthy beaches and happy communities.

Is this a good thing? Or am I just conforming to how society is ‘driven’ (in the context of steered).

Think about it, how are you measured and how do you measure yourself? What does this mean to you? How many chat-ups did you ‘endure’ while out the other night? How many papers have you published? How many people attended your event? Or even how many friends ‘like’ your post?

My multidisciplinary nature half agrees while my conspiracy nature 100% agrees. Another part of me thinks it’s all bullshit and I should probably shut up shop, actually chill on a beach and let my own productivity exist for what it is – not what it was or could, should, would be.

This has led me to re-think (massively) about my beach happiness research. Surprise-surprise – or no surprise at all. So for the meantime I’ve decided that I will just let myself run wild, try not to conform to society and let my ideas continue to be happy – for what they stand to be at a point of time.

At this point of time, they are fast, happy and excited.