Sunday, March 19, 2017

Coast’s Visionaries Should Be Celebrated And Emulated

Jack Evans Porpoise Pool, Snapper-Rocks March-1977 © Fred-Saxon


The Gold Coast’s history is peppered with those characters who, with vision and drive, created the vibrant tourism and small business capital it is today. 

Remember Jack Evans whose popular Snapper Rocks Porpoise Pool inspired the concept of Sea World. Along came Keith Williams who eventually built it to incorporate his successful Nerang River water ski show. Sir Bruce Small wrapped attractive young ladies in gold bikinis, gave them coins to feed parking meters and created an icon that attracted millions to our city. More recently Soheil Abedian built the Q1 Tower, a structure that both dominates and identifies the city’s skyline.

Gold Coast Meter Maids, 1960's

Some of them are gone now but not forgotten. They all shared a common vision in the potential of our city, understood its heartbeat, grasped opportunity when presented and despite the odds, never let go.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to live here are the beneficiaries of what they and others like them built. We, as caretakers, have a moral obligation to extend their legacy, to create opportunities and build a future for the generations to come.

There is a new crop of local visionaries, just as bold and just as determined. But society has changed for fear of change, where philosophies dominate pragmatism and where paralysis by analysis defers decisions, challenging the pioneering spirit that built our city.  

Competition and economic sustainability is no longer affected by something next door, the next city or state. It is global. What impedes progress comes from within a culture that is risk adverse expecting solid guarantees where sometimes no definitive answer can be given. 

It is the risk takers who challenge and push the envelope that take us forward. Those who take a vision mould and shape it by questioning all of its aspects, adapting and evolving it thereby turning optimism into a reality.

Opportunity should never be ignored or dismissed. Challenges, should be explored and overcome, never accepted as a signpost for defeat. History is a path that links our past to our future. By learning from history and encouraging those who have the ideas and courage to present them we can continue that journey in the confidence of a better future.

Q1 Gold Coast 

© 2017 Bob Janssen |