Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

June 11th 2009
World Oceans Day a big success

Beach cleaners at Geoffrey Bay According to organisers at least 500 people attended World Oceans Day which was held on Magnetic Island and focussed mostly at Picnic Bay on Monday's public holiday.

In a press release following the event, organiser, Barbara Gibbs, said that “...the local business owners and local residents have congratulated me on a superb effort and for bringing the biggest crowd to Picnic Bay in over 10 years with the first ever UN Sanctioned World Oceans Day, and the only registered Australian event!

“Thank you to all involved and there are too many locals to praise by name for their assistance in making it a success.”
There were however some disappointments, “I did not, however, get to promote my book, 'A Comprehensive Guide to Living Sustainably in a Marine Environment', nor did I get to have interested persons sign up for the Picnic Bay Coast Care,” said Barbara.

The event attracted 20 stall holders including Magnetic Island Nature Care, Conservation Volunteers Australia, NQ Dry Tropics and Marine Wildlife Australia.

When asked what she thought the highlights of the day were, Barbara said, “To be honest, I basically missed it as was too busy to think straight, then it was over! I guess for the patrons,it was the fashion parade and beach cleanups, and prizes.  I have since been told the relaxed atmosphere was the highlight for some, and Sharon Jupp tells me the school kids are hyped about it all and can't wait for the next one. 
“There have, however already been businesses ask if they can sponsor next year's event, as well as a NGO offering funding for Picnic Bay Coast Care to clean up the weeds in the creek on Picnic Street, as well as apply for equipment to monitor water in swimming area at Picnic Bay.”

Magnetic Times caught up with beach cleaners: Iain and Shaye Roots and Michelle and Chris McGuinn at Geoffrey Bay (see picture at top). They spent an hour and a half walking the beach and collecting rubbish. Michelle McGuinn said, "There was lots of plastic off boats, netting, polystyrene, cigarette butts and cans." Her Partner Chris said, "It's not perhaps as dirty as I'd felt but lots of people walk Geoffrey Bay and pick up stuff."

In a later release Barbara added, “I had a vast shortage of volunteers on the day, and was unable to actually disperse discount vouchers given by an Internet organics company.

Barbara was however keen to acknowledge the support she received but, after a computer crash, was unable to retrieve her list. She told Magnetic Times, “There are around 40-50 in my list...huge!  The 2 volunteers, Lisa Stephens, a 17 year old JCU student from Townsville, and Simon Jones from Pleasure Divers did a mighty job at manning the information and sign-in stall, and deserve so much praise.  Sara Shaw put in hundereds of hours FOC, Sharon Jupp and Shelley both did a huge job organising the kid's entertainment. 

“The businesses will all be given a Certificate that I have made up once I can get enough money to buy more ink and borrow a computer to print them.  It was an overall Community effort that brought it together. 

“The school donated the marquees and Rhonda from Magnetic Island Pool Services donated the tables.

Not so impressed with Townsville City Council, Barbara added, “Gail Hamilton and NQCC supplied the insurance cover, very necessary to get the mall and lousy bit of council funding."

Barbara doesn't want to stop at World Oceans Day, “I want to run a film night at the RSL - maybe next weekend...not this immediate one - to show the DVD's and power point display of the Sea Turtle Foundation, ACF's Connectors dvd on Al Gore's trainees in Australia and their journey which is very good, and Dr. Atsushi Ishimatsu's recent data on acidification effects on marine life.  It will be a gold coin donation to cover hall hire and coffee/tea.

Following are some photos of the event.

The scene at Picnic Bay (Photo: Sara Shaw)

Education combined with fun (Photo: Sara Shaw)

Stepping out in fashion (Photo: Sara Shaw)

Try this guys! (Photo: Sara Shaw)

Pink ears looks on (Photo: Sara Shaw)

Song with a smile (Photo: Sara Shaw)

You know I can dance! (Photo: Sara Shaw)

Hieke and Kai von Mellanthin
had a very colourful stall

Laotian crafts stall holder
Noi shows her silks

Sara Shaw with the list of over
180 who registered to be part of the event.

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

World Oceans Day a big success
Barbara J Gibbs
June 14th 2009
The film night will be held on 27th June at the RTSL Hall and will be a gold coin donation to cover the cost of the hall. Gail from NQCC also has a film from the enviro fair to show so will go from 6.30pm to 9,30pm All welcome to attend!

What do you think? Send us your comments.

Readers comments
Syl Hayes In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
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