I admit it. I am relieved that I have been invited again to judge beaches, in this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beach Challenge, NSW.
In 2002 I judged for the first time. A friend had done it in 2001 and I had shown the judge around the beach that we had nominated. In 2002, I was allocated the Illawarra and Kiama beaches.
The day before the dreadful storm and rain hit the central coast, I drove up to Toowoon Bay Beach, to attend the official launch of this year’s competition.
I did not get there on time. The weather was already quite bad and I spent most of my time on Pennant Hills Road, trying to head north.
Toowoon Bay had won the national trophy, having competed first against local beaches and then state.
Last year, already, I was the longest serving judge, in this competition, here in NSW.
It involves scheduling visits to beaches, nominated by individuals, or organisations, anybody!
Arranging these visits for the week of judging, in late September, just before the official swimming season starts.
Visiting the beaches and hopefully being met by the individuals or groups who have nominated the beaches, to be given proof of good points which they have listed on the entry forms.
Sometimes I have been met by very large groups, e.g., in the Manly Town Hall, by the mayor and council staff. Quite a few times I have found myself on some remote beach, all by myself.
At presentation ceremonies, I have often been introduced as the judge who is always taking pictures. I’ve gone through two little, unobtrusive cameras, photographing EVERYTHING that I was shown, or noticed, good or bad, to help me with my reports.
After the week of visiting the beaches, comes the report writing. These reports are the only guide that the committee has to decide on the winners and runners-up in the various categories.
I enjoyed judging the mid-north coast. I really DO enjoy them all. But the mid north coast gave me the excuse to stay overnight, in Nambucca Heads.
When I was finished and on my way back home to Sydney, I took the opportunity to go down to North Smoky Cape Beach. Yes. Below the lighthouse. Ideal spot for taking photos but the ones I took with my faithful, battered Powershot A75, are not off good enough quality here.
Allocation of beaches to judge is, of course rotated. However, because of the distances, where we live has been taken into consideration.
So, I have not yet done the far south or the far north coast. I wouldn’t mind being sent to the far north, this time!!