Continuing Australia’s Story — Changing Direction A Little

My Handpainted Seascape Oil Painting of Shipwreck on Fraser Island (100 x 80 cms)
My Handpainted Seascape Oil Painting of a Beach at Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast, Qld. (90 x 60 cms)

Australian steals your heart and fills it with a passion for adventure. Beloved City

Let me begin this new story with a new state in Australia — Queensland, often termed as her ‘sunny state. I was fortunate to live in Hervey Bay on the southern tip of Queensland’s sunshine coast for many years. I lived, worked and enjoyed her many bounties. The two seascape paintings above capture memories of moments in time and place.

The first painting — A Shipwreck on Fraser Island is a particular favourite of mine. It, to me, speaks of how I feel at times. That is, isolated and tossed by the winds of time and change.

I imagine that each of us has times when we feel this way. When life leaves us to feel wrecked and left alone on an isolated beach.

Then, a friend pops in with my dinner and all is well again.

Australia is a nation of compassion, courage and compassion, and the third these great values relilence. Kevin Rudd

Just a simple knock on the door and a warm hullo. Oh! what a difference that can make. Then I realize just how wonderful life is. I remember how privileged I am to live in Australia — the “lucky country.”

Now to get back to my two simple handpainted seascapes:

The first painting’s bright/pastel colours, different textures and techniques realistically depict the natural beauty of this Fraser Island’s beauty and isolation. The wreck — which is the focal point of this beach artwork — captures the essence of the windswept beachfront and how this skeletal wreck is stranded twice a day at low tide.
The shallow waters surrounding the skeletal remains of the ship were successfully captured by the use of pastel colours and gentle thin brush strokes. The painting is signed.

The second painting is a painting of a beach at Hervey Bay. It is one of my first paintings. I believe this seascape captures the beauty which is the essence of the Sunshine Coast. The pastel colours used to depict the sky and the surf were contrasted with the deeper colours used and are a reflection of the amazing beauty of Hervey Bay.
The lone tree in the foreground draws the viewer’s attention and is the focal point of this original beach wall art.

A Little About Fraser Island

What is so great about Fraser Island?

Image of Fraser Island from frasertours.com

It is 123 km long and 22 km wide at its widest point and is only accessible by boat. It is, in fact, the largest sand island in the world, making it one of the most unique islands to be found in the world. … Fraser Island is home to over 100 freshwater lakes, despite its size!

A little about Hervey Bay

A Photo of Hervey Bay from the air: discoverherveybay.com

Whale watching is one of the area's biggest attractions with thousands flocking here every year during whale season to catch a glimpse of these immense animals.

A wonderful island that can be easily explored from Hervey Bay is the Lady Elliot Island which offers visitors the chance to explore the amazing local marine life.

One of the things that Hervey Bay is most well known for is how great the beaches are here. The main, 17km long beach runs along the Fraser Coast and boasts some of the best swimming spots in all of Australia.

Now I am going to change my direction just a little!

Australia has to be a Country which has the ‘Welcome Sign Out’. Paul Keating

Australia is so breathtakingly beautiful that people from all over the world want to visit her. We are all aware that Australia is indeed a destination favoured by many and boosts her economy by many billions of dollars every year. Tens of thousands of people all around Australia rely on the Tourism Industry for their livelihood.

We all agree I am sure, that for Australia to remain one of the top destinations in the world we must tackle all the obstacles that Australia is facing. There are so many. So I am going to write on one:

I am going to focus my short articles/stories on Climate Change. How do they affect the locations of my paintings? I am certain that all Australians have the wish for sustainability and for future generations to see the beauty that is Australia. So, in my small way, I am going to alert the world to what is going on.

We have the choice whether we are beaten by change, or whether we use it as a positive force for new experience. We should never under-estimate our capacity to change society. Hazel Hawke — A Little Bit of Magic

That is exactly what I am going to do. I am going to use my articles/stories on Medium to “change society”. Australia — our blue planet — deserves no less.

It has been quite a few years since my husband, Col, and I visited Fraser Island. I imagine much has changed. From various articles that I have sourced online before writing this story. I was alarmed to read that tourism on the Island is now a cause for concern.

For instance, her striking/clear lakes are in trouble because of over swimming. The impact of tourism is currently very high because for every single person visit to Fraser Island an average of about one tonne of sand is churned up and when there is heavy rain this loosened sand mobilizes and washes down the slopes and in some places into the lakes. These are only two instances of how unsustainable tourist numbers may hurt the largest sand island in the world.

Fraser Island had to recover from extensive sand mining that ended in 1976. And, in my mind is still recovering from logging which ended in 1991. I realize that the beauty of the world’s largest sand island needs to be shared. Strategic plans need to be put in place so that nature can recover and many future generations can enjoy this island’s wonderment.

Along with the worrying numbers of unsustainable tourists Fraser Island, as indeed the whole of our Blue Planet, has to face Climate Change.

How is Climate Change Affecting Fraser Island?

Fraser Island, like many other parts of Queensland, is facing high-temperature levels and with it increased bush fires. These longer-lasting bush fires will indeed devastate the fragile vegetation that is home to wildlife that may become extinct.

Climate change will have another frightening and longer-lasting effect. One that will devastate this sand island in a way that I simply do not want to contemplate. Scientists fear that longer-term sea levels will rise and with this, the expected result will be a disruption of sand supply. And, as this is indeed a sand island the devastation would be unimaginable. The erosion of the gentle dunes would cause seawater inundation to the island’s inland pure water lakes.

I do not even want to ponder what these changes would mean to the native Dingo population. They, like all the wildlife on the Island, depending on these pure water lakes.

These changes, together with altered rainfall patterns and increased severity of extreme weather events could impact the Island’s Universal Value.

I am not saying that it is too late. I believe that if we as Citizens of the World take small steps to save our Blue Planet then Fraser Island too will be saved. Yet, I also feel we need to make changes NOW!!!

Now to Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is part of the Wide Bay-Burnett region of Queensland. Climate Change will of course affect this region as well. But HOW?

Higher Temperatures

Hotter and more frequent hot days

Harsher fire weather conditions….just to name a few.

Frightening, yes. Yet, We can make a Difference!!!

We all need to plan for the Future!

Australia presents opportunities to make plans for positive changes if we act now. I am using my stories on Medium to do just that. Australia — the world — deserves no less.

Fraser Island and Hervey Bay, and indeed all of Australia can adapt. She needs our help and she needs it now. Sadly, the effects of Tourism are only adding to the burden that our ‘beloved’ nation is having to bear.

Australia is the home of the largest living thing of earth, the Great Barrier Reef. Bill Bryson

Unfortunately, climate change is having a harsh impact on this outstanding natural beauty as well. Coral bleaching is a global event that not only kills the coral but impacts all the marine life that is dependent upon them. The list of what is lost if our Great Barrier Reef dies is unfathomable. I have dived on this unimaginable spectacular reef and do not even want to imagine Queensland without it. The starfish that is eating away at the coral. The boats recklessly drop their anchors. Oh! so much damage to life that is so fragile. And, takes hundreds of years to regenerate.

I agree with the following:

Australia is my lens. I cannot see the world any other way. Peter Carey

Sometimes the paths we take are long and hard, but we must remember those are often the ones that lead to the most beautiful views. Have the courage to make the journey. Dainere Anthoney

Our journey together is to act on behalf of such stunning Australian locations. So that they are there for future generations to stand there and say “THANK YOU.” If it is a task that seems Impossible then we must work together. I believe if we start NOW and work TOGETHER it is ACHIEVABLE.

Just pause for a moment and remember your favourite place in Australia. Does it not deserve your best? I believe that if we do our part then nature will indeed bounce back — she always does. Just look at a tree after a bush fire. See the new life springing. See life springing back after a volcanic eruption. Life always finds a way. But, this time she needs a helping hand. This time we need to admit that Man has done this. And Man has to help to fix it.

God has given me a purpose. I believe my purpose, for now, is to use Medium and my stories to alert the world to what is happening to Australia. We are cutting and burning down forests quicker than any other nation just so that domestic animals can graze and our crops can grow. We are polluting all our waterways and our air with no thought for the future. We are using landfills as if it is our right to just dump our trash with no foresight. We are suffering from obesity on a national level when other overseas children are starving. Will we never learn? We have more than enough to share. And, share we must. We are a clever nation and share the knowledge we must. We are supposed to be a nation of ‘mates’ but our Indigenous family suffers. We still have the rich and the poor — the rich are richer and the poor are poorer. And, now the animals are suffering. Chickens by the thousands living lives just so we can eat them. Does it never end the atrocities that we encumber on our beloved nation?

WOW!! I have said my piece now haven’t I. Sorry to offend but Australia and her wildlife are suffering.

Well, till next time, Diane. Please help me in my Quest.

Wildfires: Fraser Island is just one UNESCO heritage site threatened by climate change

The fires that have devastated more than half of the rainforest on Australia’s UN-protected Fraser Island are among many climate change-related factors threatening the world’s most treasured natural assets.

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Diane Markey

Diane Markey

Professional Artist. I write stories about Inspiration, Love and Life Lessons. Written from my heart and from life experiences. Qualified Personal Counsellor.