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Inaugural lecture honours local eco warrior

The late Laurie Jeays worked on many local environmental issues.
The late Laurie Jeays worked on many local environmental issues. Renee McKeown

AN environmental lecture to honour the late Laurie Jeays will be held on Friday, August 25 in Sandgate Town Hall.

'Our place, our responsibility - living sustainably for our children's future' will be presented by internationally renowned Brisbane-based researcher Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe.

SANDBAG volunteer Dr Ann Ingamells said. "This lecture is to affirm the significance of the environment we live in, the significance of the community of people we share this place with, and to acknowledge one particular person who loved and cared for both the environment and people of this place.

"It is an opportunity to come together as a community around three things - to celebrate place and our relationship to it,” Ms Ingamells said.

"We all know that coastal ecosystems like ours are among the most fragile, and that the people who live in such communities must ensure their survival; to listen, think and talk with each other as a community about things which affect us all; and to keep alive a little bit of history.

"In our modern societies people move around a lot and, although they may like living in an area, they may know little of the struggles and challenges that have contributed to their local environment and the local community as they currently experience them.

"This lecture is in honour of Laurie, but it is not about Laurie. Rather it gathers the people of this community together to ponder our shared understandings of the risks we collectively pose to our environments.

"It has often been said that people protect what they love, they love what they understand and they understand through collective effort and learning. Often, when we come together around the environment it is to rally against something, rather than to increase our understanding of how to nourish and protect that which we are dependent upon.

"This is an opportunity to enjoy a formal lecture by a very distinguished environmentalist, Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe. His brief is not so much to focus on this 4017 area, as to tell us about his research and ways he believes we can ensure we leave a better planet to your children.”

The organisations hosting the lecture are SANDBAG, Sandgate Historical Society, Keep Sandgate Beautiful Association and Sandgate Uniting Church.

"The local organisations hosting this event are all organisations Laurie made a very significant contribution to. He fundraised, sat on committees, did the hands-on volunteer work that all such organisations need but, more than that, he held an unwavering belief in living in, and being part of this specific place.

"He valued connection to the environment, the people and the activities that connect people to place.

"He worked on many environmental issues locally. Notable is the work he did to ensure the survival of Boondall Wetlands, and to promote safety for the migrating birds that visit the area regularly. Many will have experienced Laurie's beach walks and the detailed knowledge he built up of our seashore.

"The groups organising this lecture do not have an action agenda, we are not trying to rally people for or against anything or tell people what to do.

"We want to acknowledge Laurie's work, not let it be forgotten, and to foster a spirit for continuing it,” Ms Ingamells said.

The lecture is on Friday, August 25 from 7-8.30pm. Doors open at 6.30pm with entry by gold coin donation.

Topics:  emeritus professor ian lowe keep sandgate beautiful association laurie jeays sandbag sandgate historical society sandgate uniting church


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