Woman power buffers the dunes

This headline is an understatement for what one inspiring woman on the Gold Coast has achieved. Founder and President of Friends of Federation Walk, Lyn Wright, has ensured the preservation of Gold Coast beaches so future generations can experience what Lyn calls paradise. To delve into Lyn’s passion for coastal community advocacy, Naomi Edwards asked what motivates her and what we need to do to secure Gold Coast’s coastal future.


What is most special about Gold Coast’s environment? 

Although the Gold Coast is what it is today because of a lack of historical environmental regulation and understanding of the environmental barriers we had and will have to adapt to, the environment carries a lot of weight for the future of the Gold Coast. In saying that, every part of Gold Coast’s environment is special because if we destroy it, it will become de-valued, along with the progressive environmental planning outcomes that helped shape it.


What motivates you to keep going with environmental campaigning? 

Support from the community and those willing to organise tree planting days and the volunteers who collaborate with Friends of Federation Walk to keep Federation Walk Coastal Reserve special. Especially the nice gestures from people who have volunteered over the years, who come back to say thanks and acknowledge how tree planting has been a turning point for them to further contribute to our community: for instance, The Southport School and the Marriott who have been supporting annual volunteer days with Friends of Federation Walk for over 10 years. We still have a long way to go to inspire more people, as everyone has something to give, “It’s the city boys we must not forget to educate”, a teacher at The Southport School said once.


One woman who has inspired your environmental work the most? 

Hazel Engdahl, who is a long-term volunteer at Friends of Federation Walk, has volunteered at almost every tree planting activity since the very beginning in 2001. As a volunteer she has become a special person that always has a smile and volunteers for the love it. If she can’t make it, she always sends an apology and when away a post card with an update about the highways and towns she cleans up with her husband Stan, who cooks our working bee BBQ. In my opinion, Hazel is an unsung hero that inspires me, as well as others’ environmental work.


What advice could you give to other women on the Gold Coast?

If you have passion for a cause, find the right people to help you prepare a plan to be proactive.


Formed in 2001, Friends of Federation Walk have planted hundreds of thousands of native coastal plants along Federation Walk Coastal Reserve, a 93ha coastal dune reserve that extends from Philip Park opposite SeaWorld to the Gold Coast Seaway. They host monthly community tree plantings on the last Sunday of every month. The dune is Gold Coast’s ‘Central Park’ just a stone’s throw away from Surfers Paradise. Visit federationwalk.org for more information.


Image courtesy Lamp Photography.



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