April 7th 2005
Curlew Calling - Friends of Magnetic Island
"Friends of Magnetic Island" formed last year and is supported by Magnetic Times. Below is a reproduction of their inaugural newsletter
Curlew Calling . Friends of Magnetic Island
It's great to have received so much early support in establishing Friends of Magnetic Island. In our inaugural newsletter we extend a hearty thank you and a big warm 'Welcome Aboard' to you all.
Like so many other great Island ideas, 'Friends' was conceived on a balmy moonlit night over a glass of bubbly on the ferry returning from town. We felt that a forum was needed for all those semi-permanent residents, regular holiday and week-end visitors who have long been associated with the Island and who have a deep and abiding emotional commitment to its natural beauty. We approached the Magnetic Island Community Development Association [MICDA) which enjoys a large membership of Island people with diverse backgrounds, experience and views regarding the Island's future. We believed we had a similar Vision and decided to establish ourselves as a Working Group of MICDA and to operate under their umbrella thus enabling us use of and access to their administrative and organisational resources.
After a very robust gestation period the 'baby' was delivered strong and healthy and rearing to go, aptly named 'Friends of Magnetic Island'.
Our initial Working Group was comprised of four members - Carol who previously lived in Townsville for 30 years has now been a permanent Island resident for four years. Kelly came as a visitor four years ago and fell in love with the Island. She returned to Sydney, resigned her job, sold her house and moved back to the Island permanently. Judy - together with her husband - is a developer who has brought a myriad of skills and experience to the Island. They are creating an environmentally sensitive development, which will become a benchmark for future development on the Island. John first came to the Island at the age of three and for the past 60 years has been a frequent visitor. He now lives here six months of every year and regards the Island as his 'special place'.
The demography of our membership will be national and we are expecting that to broaden to international. Consequently we have appointed our first Ambassador. Canberra based Isobel Crawford has agreed to become the 'Friends' Ambassador to the ACT, insisting however that we refrain from calling her 'Your Excellency '. Isobel has been visiting the Island since 1994 and names it as one of her favourite places. Her professional background is as a consultant biologist with a particular interest in botany and ornithology. A keen bike rider, Isobel would like to see more safe walking and bike tracks on the Island. An active member of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Passive Association, Isobel believes that Magnetic Island could become the Solar - power Island of the South Pacific with mokes, ferries, buildings, pools and homes availing themselves of nature's own environmentally sustainable resource. If you believe the tourist brochure blurbs, the Island has 320 sunny days each year - why not? Ambassador Isobel hopes to arrange dinners and discussion groups when visiting experts associated with Magnetic Island are in Canberra.
Friends are also looking for Islanders who are interested in being part of the organisation of Friends of Magnetic Island. Because of the large contingent of visitors who make up our membership, we are short of 'hands on' people to meet with and plan socials, etc. If you would like to send out this plea, we would be very grateful.
We profile a new Ambassador in each newsletter - if you are interested in being one, or would like to actively join our Working Group, please write to PO Box 133, Magnetic Island Q 4819 or contact
Carol Pemberton 0747 785685 email@example.com
Judy Finlay 0747 581916
John Marlton 0747 785717 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Marlin-Zwa 0747 581940
Friends now have a great bumper sticker for all members so you can show you love to be a friend of Magnetic (see below). They are also available for $5.50 for non members.
The Friends' bumper sticker
Vandhana revisits Visitors' Surveys.
The survey conducted by Townsville Enterprise for Tourism Queensland (first government visitor survey for Magnetic Island ever) offered a unique opportunity. I was a tour guide, working on Magnetic Island and passionate about this beautiful place. Townsville volunteers and I made up the team, and for two weeks we fronted up to visitors - young, old, male, female, day-trippers, Aussies, overseas travellers, rich, poor and everything in-between.
"We love the relaxed atmosphere"; "it's so laid back"; "the beaches are beautiful", and the weather, well, it was 'nearly perfect". "Don't change a thing"; "we love our little cottage/unit/house/B&B/
cabin", they said, in great numbers. "No more development", they urged, almost to a last person.
When Magnetic Island Community Development Association repeated the survey this year, I put my hand up again and it was d