Gecko Environment Council Association Incorporated– formally known as Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council was founded in 1989 when representatives of six local conservation groups joined together.
They envisioned the organisation working for the care, protection and conservation of the natural environment and the improvement of the built environment so that it would become more ecologically sustainable.
Gecko began its life in a small room loaned by the Currumbin Sanctuary and remained there until 1994, when the members moved across the road to an old shed and renovated it to house an office and library.
In 1996, Gecko had the opportunity to buy the second Currumbin State School building on the banks of Currumbin Estuary. Gecko House was born! This gave members a meeting hall and an office/library, which served it well.
In 2001, Centenary of Federation grant money became available and an ambitious renovation resulted in the Gecko House of today.
A vibrant Gold Coast community where people and animals, plants, water, air and earth all form a healthy, harmonious system.
Gecko’s Mission Statement:
To actively promote, conserve and restore the natural environment and improve the sustainability of the built environment of the Gold Coast region in partnership with our member groups and the wider community.
Aims and Objectives
The objects for which the organisation is established aim:
Gecko House now has an office, library, kitchen and guest lounge downstairs. Upstairs is the Hall, which is available for hire. Gecko operates with members, staff, and volunteers all working together for the same ends, but through a variety of different means and activities.
A Management Committee, elected at the AGM, oversees Gecko’s activities. A number of teams assist. The Management Committee meets monthly but are in regular email contact.
Gecko members and friends gather on the second Wednesday of each second month at (General Meeting) to discuss environmental issues of interest and to decide what actions we wish to take. This is a social occasion as well.
On the fourth Wednesday of the month, we present a guest speaker on varied and interesting topics, through Gecko Talks.
Regen Australia is a specialist revegetation firm using locally sourced native species. Regen Australia provides environmental services which include natural area regeneration, revegetation and environmental consultancy. They also operate a native plant nursery growing local provenance native plants.
Gecko Ed consist of a team of educators, delivering quality environmental education to students and the general public.
Gecko activities also include:
- Responding to the public. Gecko volunteers and staff respond to public queries and concerns about issues in the Gold Coast’s environment. Our aim is to empower and support people where possible.
- Campaigns. Some issues start off small but can soon become major campaigns. These are managed by Gecko’s volunteer campaigns team, which meets every 2 weeks. Issues may include vegetation protection, protection of parklands (such as Macintosh Island Park) and National Parks (such as Springbrook), protecting koalas and their habitat, sustainable transport, water supply, wastewater management and waste management. Some more well-known campaigns that Gecko has coordinated in the past include “Save Our Spit“, “Save Miami Bushland”, and “No Way Cableway“.
- Events. Gecko hosts an annual World Environment Day festival each June. Now called the Gold Coast Green Weekend, the event has previously been awarded the Gold Coast’s Community Event of the Year. Clean Up Australia Day is co-ordinated by Gecko each year for which we have received national recognition and award. We usually also conduct activities in Biodiversity Month (September), including those relating to whale protection. Every year Gecko holds Environmental Awards to recognise the many individuals and organisations which contribute to maintaining and enhancing the natural beauty of the Gold Coast.
- Representation. Gecko is represented by volunteers on many government committees and participates in many public consultation processes, such as Gold Coast WaterFutures, SEQ Catchments, Queensland Water and Land Carers, Natural Resource Management for South East Queensland (NRMSEQ) and representation on the World Heritage Advisory Committee for the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia.
- Gecko’s Revegetation Projects. As well as the work done by Regen Australia, Gecko conducts a range of revegetation, beach and bushcare activities, mainly in Tarrabora Reserve, Elanora Wetlands and Nicoll Scrub.
- Gecko has grown from a small group to an effective organisation grappling with the many issues confronting our City and its environment as the population continues to grow at a rapid rate. It can only continue its work with the commitment and involvement of its members, staff, volunteers, donors and supporters.