Media inquiry from London delights North Shore volunteer
  • Friday 13 May 2016
Coolum and North Shore Coast Care volunteers Leigh, Luke, Edwin and Darcy at Marcoola turtle nest

Late afternoon phone calls from a London-based CNN journalist is all in a day’s work for Coolum and North Shore Coast Care stalwart, Edwin Hammet.

“The journalist was following up on the group’s discovery of ‘Alby’ the albino turtle hatchling that was found during a turtle nest excavation,” Ed explained.

“The discovery of this rare Green Turtle hatchling at Castaways Beach generated interest both locally and internationally—I believe we received some 110,000 hits on our Facebook page for ‘Alby’.

“It’s a great response and I can only hope that it helps encourage people not to litter so much so our wildlife and environment have a much better chance!.”

Sunshine Coast’s north shore seems to be a popular seedbed for special interest and volunteer groups. 

“No matter what your interest/passion, whether you are female, male, young or old, there will be a group that will cater for you,” Ed explains.

“I started volunteering after attending a Coast Care workshop on the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly that was advertised in the local paper. One thing lead to another and some 10 years on I’m still here, and am now vice president of Coolum and North Shore Coast Care.

“I love it!” exclaimed Ed, who also volunteers with Coolum Meals on Wheels as well as the Coolum Community Native Nursery. 

Sunshine Coast Council Community and Environment portfolio councillor Jenny McKay said volunteers have a tremendously positive effect on our communities.

“We are blessed to have a growing culture of volunteering on the Sunshine Coast, which we really appreciate.  It is also great to get positive feedback from our volunteers about how they are getting something back from their volunteering experiences.

The ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’ theme for National Volunteers Week reflects the mutual benefits to be gained through volunteering,” Cr McKay said.

Ed regularly attends the Yinneburra subgroup’s weekly dune revegetation activities, which is just one of 10 CaNSCC subgroups, and agrees that they sometimes refer to them as ‘therapy sessions’.

“Not only do we help with the health of the dunes but, in the process, the health of our members is improved as well,” Ed said.

“One of our more active and older members once said “I don’t know what I’d do without Coast Care”, and to me this is almost our ‘raison d’etre’.

“A large part of my enjoyment comes from seeing how the group has grown to become a very well respected and influential force here on the Sunshine Coast.

“I am in awe of the passion, commitment and dedication of our volunteers. They really do go the ‘extra mile’ for the environment.”

Ed says he really enjoys being with people from a range of backgrounds and experiences, who share a common aim of concern for the environment and wanting to protect this special place.

“I particularly like working with and, hopefully, in some way influencing, young people,” Ed said.

“We regularly host school groups, both locally and from overseas and if we can instil in some of them the sense of wonder of the natural world, and how it needs to be cared for, I think we have made a contribution to the betterment of the planet.”

Visit Council’s website for more information on volunteering.