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A big old Gold Coast local photographed in the driveway near the PLB bunker.

Surfers for koalas

25 July 20

The organisers of the 6th Biennial Global Wave Conference, held in Australia for the first time in February 2020, have raised $7000 for the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary's koala breeding program habitat. The funds will enable the program to plant at least 1000 extra eucalyptus trees.

In 2008, 27 koalas were admitted to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. Sadly, by 2019 the number had sky-rocketed to almost 600. 

The hospital now treats a total of more than 12,000 animals each year, making it the busiest native wildlife hospital in Australia and possibly the world.

Mr Kelly said the sanctuary, a National Trust property, was closely aligned with the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve through both its physical connection and through the organisations' similar missions around the protection of key environmental, cultural and community attributes.

An international gathering to advance the recognition of the value of waves and their protection around the world, the 2020 Global Wave Conference was one of the last major events held before the Coronavirus pandemic forced the shut down of the international events industry. 

The conference brought the best international minds from the surfing, conservation and innovation communities to Southern Cross University's Gold Coast campus to tackle the world’s most challenging ocean issues.

  A fundraiser at Palm Beach venue The Collective on the final night of the event saw conference organisers the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve and the Surfboard Warehouse, and international partners Save the Waves Coalition, Surfrider Foundation International, Surfers against Sewage and Wild Coast, raise $7000 for the award-winning wildlife sanctuary.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary general manager Michael Kelly said the sanctuary was extremely grateful for the conference's "generous and timely contribution". 

"As a Not-for-Profit charity organisation, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary values this substantial donation from the organisers of this year’s Global Wave Conference, with the funds being used to purchase an additional 1000 eucalyptus tree seedlings and associated supplies for our offsite koala fodder plantations," he said.

"The sanctuary’s plantations are a vital operation that help to feed not only our koala breeding program at the sanctuary, but also support the almost 600 koalas which come through our Wildlife Hospital every year. By ensuring that we have quality and sustainable koala fodder resources available, it assists in safeguarding the ongoing health, prosperity and longevity of koalas and for the generations to come."

 See the link for further info on GWC 2020 and highlight reel


When:  Wednesday, July 29, 10.30am  

What:   World surfing champions to present much-needed donation to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Koala Habitat 

Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin 

Who:    World surfing champions, legends and future stars including: 

             - Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve patron Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew; 

             - Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve ambassador Pacha Light

             - World Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly;

             -  2x World Longboard Champion Beau Young;

             - Surfboard shaper and Nev House founder Nev Hyman; and

             - Southern Gold Coast area councillors Gail O'Neil (Division 14), Daphne McDonald (Division 13), and Pauline Young  (Division 12)



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