Running coastal to raise awareness about the importance of our rivers and beaches – Bellingen to Brunswick

Dr. Michael Douglas running for Positive Change For Marine Life, on Sawtell Beach this Tuesday May 4.


RUNNING two marathons a day for a week, along beaches and waterways from Bellingen to Brunswick beaches, Dr. Michael Douglas is raising awareness about the importance of coastal ecosystems (for his 60th birthday).

Michael is a supporter of Positive Change For Marine Life, an environmental Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Northern NSW.

Michael began on Monday May 3, in Bellingen, then made his way through Sawtell, Coffs and Emerald beaches on Tuesday and Wooli Creek on Wednesday, finishing on Saturday May 8 at Brunswick Heads.

“I journey on foot, running 60 – 80 km each day, to be present, to feel the salt spray, to wash in the freshness of the estuaries, to have an ear to the bird calls,” Michael told News Of The Area.

“Uncle Mark, elder of the Gumbaynggirr people, in welcoming my travels through this country, instructed that I ‘allow the lands, the waters, the skies to speak deeply’.”

“Aunty Alison, of Bellingen, similarly echoed such wisdom, that we are each caretakers of the land that we walk through, and as such, must respect the beauty and carry an awareness of the ancient peoples who have nurtured that beauty.

“There are more than 23 estuaries and rivers along this coast.

“I have long been aware of the potential harm that collectively we may bring to these waterways…concerning practices that may contribute to a potential parlous state.

“The creeks flow across the beaches with unusual beauty which I am absorbed by.

“It is offered as a welcome reward for my fatigue, sitting above the outflow to the sea, turquoise blue and swales of sand drifting with the current…reassuring me what is still possible.”

“The way we deal with the waterways and beaches have direct consequences – positive and negative – for birds and fish.

“This journey, this pilgrimage, is an exploration of connectedness, a study of my own connection to country, and the collective responsibilities that we each bear, an honouring of our indigenous peoples, and an encouragement for those that demonstrate this care – individuals, communities and organisations,” he said.



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