GORCC coastal volunteering news and updates
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Welcome to the GORCC Coastal Volunteer Bulletin May 2016 

This bulletin is published by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) quarterly for everyone interested in environmental volunteering on the coast.  Occasionally, where there is time sensitive information, a special edition will be published.
If you or your group has some news or information you want to share with other volunteers and community groups please get in touch here and let us know. 



WANT MORE? Visit our blog for more in-depth stories & insights from the coast.

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Torquay Coast Action President Glenda Shomaly (left) and GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale help keep the new vegetation well watered at the Point Impossible conservation site.

GORCC celebrates our fantastic volunteers - National Volunteer Week 

National Volunteer Week was on once again from the 9-15 May and celebrates more than six million dedicated Australians, including local conservationist and Torquay Coast Action President Glenda Shomaly.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Chief Executive Officer Richard Davies said environmental volunteers have helped to transform coastal habitats.

“Glenda Shomaly is an inspiring example of the benefits of volunteering to both the land and the people, who enjoy getting out and getting healthy in nature.”

The Torquay Coast Action President became involved in environmental conservation in Torquay more than 20 years ago after she saw fellow volunteer Roma Edwards carrying some plants at Jan Juc.

“After seeing Roma with the indigenous plants, I began to think about how working along the coast would be something I would enjoy doing.

“I find being involved in the environmental conservation groups is a great way to be near the ocean and contribute something positive to our landscape.

Read the full story on our blog

Environmental volunteer Alain Purnell says Stony Creek is one of Lorne’s hidden gems, and Lornecare’s favourite working bee locations.

Celebrating our volunteers - spotlight on Alain Purnell

Throughout the week, GORCC is featuring some of their fantastic environmental volunteers across their blog and social media, including Lornecare founder and Co-Convenor Alain Purnell.

No stranger to working with the environment, Mr Purnell was the General Manager of Environmental Affairs at BHP Billiton for a number of years before moving to Lorne in 1998.

Mr Purnell said he enjoyed the change of scene and getting his hands dirty, and believes he has personally benefited from the environmental volunteer work.

“It’s a great feeling to work in an area along the coast as a group and see the difference we make at each site,” he said.

As co-founder of LorneCare, one of Mr Purnell’s first major tasks was tackling the Stony Creek Reserve – an area which was previously overgrown with blackberries.

National Volunteers Week  is currently underway, and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) would like to acknowledge and thank all the fantastic local volunteers who help look after our iconic coastline year after year.

Read more on the blog

GORCC Coastal Reserves Manager Rod Goring celebrates 22 years of coastal management.

Decades of work celebrated as Coastal Reserves Manager retires

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) Coastal Reserves Manager Rod Goring is retiring at the end of the month after 22 years of coastal management.

Mr Goring began his career working for GORCC in ­­­­1994 which was previously known as the Torquay Public Reserves Committee of Management before amalgamating with Lorne Foreshore Committee in 2004.

GORCC Chief Executive Officer Richard Davies said Mr Goring left a significant legacy of improvements to the coast.

“Rod is loved by many and will be greatly missed.  He has passionately implemented employment programs, coastal projects and upgrades of facilities both on public reserves and in GORCC operated caravan parks. “

One of Mr Goring’s proudest projects during his 22 years was the construction and development of the Point Danger Carpark and the ANZAC Memorial, which is now home to the Surf Coast’s largest memorial services on ANZAC day.

Mr Goring has been instrumental in assisting environmental groups along the coast, particularly Torquay Coast Action when it was formed. 

Read more about Mr Goring's achievements on our blog (there's even photographic evidence of him working!) 

Conservation Volunteers Australia Project Officer Jane Shearer (left) and GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale with the Green Army participants from last year's group. 

The Army is back! 

The Green Army is back and working in partnership with GORCC to protect and enhance coastal conservation areas along the Great Ocean Road. 

More than 1,100 Green Army projects have been completed across Australia since the Federal Government funded initiative began in 2014.

The Green Army programme offers practical skills, training and experience to school leavers, gap year students, graduates and job seekers aged 17 to 24 over a six month period, whilst also delivering real benefits to the environment.

The Great Ocean Road Green Army team will work on a number of sites undertaking a variety of conservation activities including revegetation, mulching, pest control and monitoring along GORCC managed land.

GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale said the Green Army program has helped boost conservation efforts along the coast thanks to the significant increase in people power and encourages volunteer groups to contact her with potential projects.

"The Green Army allows GORCC and environemntal volunteer groups the manpower to complete important conservation works which would otherwise be unachievable due to a lack of feet on the ground," she said. 

Do you know an area that could use the Green Army manpower? Contact Georgie Beale at to make arrangements. 

Scott joins coastal protectors

Local environmental enthusiast Scott Hives joins the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) conservation team after completing six months’ conservation work along the Great Ocean Road coast last year.

GORCC’s newest recruit was a participant in the Federal Government’s Green Army Program – an initiative designed to offer young adults practical skills, training and experience across a variety of different conservation projects nationwide. 

The program provided the opportunity for Scott to volunteer one day a week at GORCC, helping the conservation team with their duties around the area.

Read the full story on our blog. 

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The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s Alex and David joined John and Gary from Lorne's amazing Friends of Queens Park to inspect the Queens Park signage and tracks, and gather knowledge and ideas for upgrades.

What a tremendous job the friends have done to help guide, restore and improve the park over many years. Some seriously big May waves provided a dramatic soundtrack for the day.  Follow us on Facebook.
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