|Yani, Pacha, Andrew McKinnon (Gold Coast WSR and Nik Strong-Cvetich (Save the Waves)|
It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in.
Especially for young people.
Especially when there seems to be a cultural taboo in ‘caring’ enough about things enough to have an opinion and do something about it.
Today was the dedication ceremony for the Gold Cast World Surfing Reserve. Sitting there in the rain watching the ‘big wigs’ speak, I felt so proud of Pacha and Yani and the other kids who made an effort to protect the place they love.
I remember meeting Andy Mac in the carpark at Currumbin Alley when hope was almost lost in getting the reserve off the ground. There was resistance from the Mayor and the local state members of Parliament and it seemed that it was almost time to give up.
That’s when Pacha and Kiani’s idea of a paddle brought youthful enthusiasm and a 'can do' spirit back into the equation.
Only a handful of kids ended up making the effort to paddle from Snapper to Currumbin to raise awareness of the issue, which garnered precious positive media coverage for the issue (as well as becoming a big personal achievement for everyone involved). And, it seemed, the tide for the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve started to turn. And now the 16 kilometres of beaches and surf breaks from the new border to Burleigh Heads are protected for all time in a World Surfing Reserve. read the story about the paddle here: http://goldcoastworldsurfingreserve.com/paddle.html)
Today, the very politicians who had tried to derail it were honoured and praised for their efforts! The wider community effort seemed to fade into the background and political spin took the spotlight. My children had a lesson in politics 101!
And, sadly, this is probably the news that people will see on their TVs tonight. This will become the story. Everyday people will think they don’t need to raise their voice because of course the big politicians will do the right thing all on their own...
Our children need to feel it’s worth being informed, getting involved and raising their voice on the issues that will affect them in the future. Nurturing active, engaged and aware children who care is part of my job as a parent. We can only hope that the wider community; schools, sports clubs, families, do more to encourage and value young people’s thoughts, opinions and actions for the future they will inherit.
|Dedication plaque with surf legend and friend Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew|