Surfrider South Coast branch is celebrating International Surfing Day and 10 years of surfing stoke in the Illawarra by hosting a free movie night at the Howlin Wolf Bar in Wollongong on Saturday 21st June at 7:30 pm.
“We will be showing Nathan Oldfield’s ‘The Heart and the Sea’ and will be passing around a bucket for gold coin donations.” said Surfrider South Coast founding member, Susie Crick. “We will also be launching our short film festival and competition which will be held in December.”
“The South Coast branch of Surfrider started 2 years ago when I was at a rally in Sydney harbour where a group of anti-plastic campaigners and activists got together to paddle out on their surfboards to lobby the nsw government to reintroduce a 10c cash for container deposit scheme.”
“Brendan Donohoe, now the CEO of Surfrider walked up and asked if I wanted to get involved with Surfrider and asked where I lived…… it wasn’t too long before Surfrider South Coast was up and running, with my daughter Stella Crick and myself being it’s founding members.”
“Since then, our numbers have grown and we now have a core committee of 5 and a whole lot of community support behind us.”
“To date, we have held two successful beach clean events. The first was to launch the branch in Thirroul last year, and the second was in conjunction with Clean Up Australia Day at The Puckeys Estate Estuary earlier this year. We also have been involved with Clive Neeson’s film ‘Last Paradise’ which highlights the changes happening to our Planet within our own lifetime.”
“Picking up rubbish from the beach isn’t the most glamorous way to spend your day, but the need for for it is apparent as more rubbish (especially plastic), is being washed up on our shorelines. Personally it really bothers me that people are happy to go to the beach and bury bits of rubbish and their cigarette butts in the sand. Or worse, if they see straws, plastic bottles, lids and general plastic debris …but don’t feel the need to pick it up. Bits of plastic can be found on each and every beach. Forget about it not being cool to clean up, if everyone made the effort to leave the beach cleaner than the way they found it, slowly it would make a difference. What we need to do is to educate people that plastic takes about 500 years to degrade. The plastic breaks down into tiny pieces which the sea life and birds eat. The fish eat the tiny pieces and then it enters our food chain. Everyone should start to think about their own footprint on the Planet. Start small by refusing straws, take your own shopping bags to the supermarket, tell the cashier you don’t want the plastic bag, stop drinking and buying water out of plastic bottles, take your own cutlery to the food court when buying lunch, refuse the plastic lid on your take away coffee…better still BYO mug. Although these are tiny gestures….eventually people will change their attitudes and will start to wake up to the fact that plastics just don’t go away. What you use for a short amount of time will last for generations. Our planet is choking on plastics.”
“Personally I was inspired to get involved with Surfrider because in March of 2012 they launched their ‘Rise Above Plastics’ campaign. I believe that whilst plastics were convenient back in the 1950’s, and they had their place in our society, we have become too reliant upon them and now we think only of convenience. Disposables are not the way to go if we want to provide a better future for our grandchildren. There’s a point where you have to decide, will I be selfish and think only of the short term ease of disposables, or will I rethink and refuse my plastics use knowing that it will provide a better outcome for all?”
“Some of the other South Coast branch projects for this year include:
- drain stencilling throughout the Illawarra. The Wollongong city council, has provided us with supplies to spray paint the messages as reminders on the drains that lead to our waterways. We are looking for volunteers to assist with this
- a short film competition where anyone can enter a film or video from between 3-5 minutes duration
- the boomerang bag project – where we will ask for assistance from other community groups and schools to start sewing bags to distribute to local businesses. We call them Boomerang Bags because the person can bring them back next time… or they can keep reusing them; as we would like to eventually be a plastic bag free community
- in December we will be screening Tim Bonython’s ‘Immersion’ movie when the winner of the short film competition will be announced”
“We’ve got so many exciting projects in the bag and would love more hands to make our branch grow. My biggest goal is to get a high profile surfer as our branch ambassador. We have so many talented surfers from our region doing great things on the world tour. It would be awesome if one or even some of them could get on board to be the face of Surfrider South Coast. They would really inspire younger people to join us. The South Coast currently has 4 shredders on the ASP dream tour, Owen Wright, Kai Otton, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright.”
“We also welcome any gifts from businesses to raffle off at our fundraising events.”
Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection and enhancement of Australia’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people through CARE: Conservation, Activism, Research and Education.