Fantastic Community Effort Over $20k raised at GemLife Gold Coast Beach Parade to save koalas


A total of 956 participants walked their way along the sand for a collective 2868 kilometres in today‘s GemLife Gold Coast Beach Parade, setting a world record for the most people in a beach parade, wearing koala ears.

They came from every walk of life, celebrities, sports stars, politicians, influencers and passionate people of all ages from the Gold Coast and as far as Sydney and Western Australia. Their entire entry fee was donated directly to the Currumbin Wildlife Foundation Hospital to help support and care for the city’s koalas.

The golden sands of beautiful Burleigh Beach made for a spectacular stage with the long procession proudly wearing thier exclusive koala ear visors and making their way to North Burleigh and back, where they were officially counted as they crossed the stage to the finish line.

Gold Coast Beach Parade Event Director, Leanne St George said it was an absolute spectacle of excited and enthusiastic walkers in the parade… many coming out to not only support our koalas, but just to be involved in a community event.

“This is one of the first ‚whole of community events we’ve had on the Gold Coast since COVID-19 decimated our festival and event calendar more than 12 months ago.

“People have supported us because they love the fact events are back, they are delighted to support the cause and they understand this has been an opportunity to showcase the best of our coastal lifestyle and entice people to come here for a holiday.

“The final donation to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital is $20,500 which will go a long way to support the 600 plus koalas taken to the hospital for care every year.

“Amongst the walkers were 15 of the city‘s instagram influencers with more than 4.8 million followers world wide. That equates to a lot of eyes on the GemLife Gold Coast Beach Parade today and importantly a whole lot of promotion for this beautiful destination,“ Ms St George said.

GemLife Over 50’s Lifestyle Resorts, General Manager, Ben Livingstone said they were very proud and honoured to be invovled in the event and were delighted to see so many people enjoying the activity and getting behind the cause.

“The parade had a focus on health, wellbeing and social interaction which underpins the values we share and promote at our lifestlye resorts – the Gold Coast is a city of opportunity and optimism and we are delighted to be part of this community ,“ Mr Livingstone said.

“I don’t want my children or my children’s children growing up without koalas in our country and we have the opportunity to do something , educate the community, make a stand now… that’s why the GemLife Gold Coast Beach Parade is so important.

“When my son grows up I want him to know that we did something signifcant to protect the innocent and do something for those without a voice … our Australian icon, the koala,“ Mr Livingstone said.

Images and vision from the Little Ripper drones that filmed above the crowd during the event will be sent to media all over the world.

A celebration of Queensland fashions on the sand stage followed the beach parade with local designers and resort wear labels taking advantage of an ideal coastal platform and enthusiastic audience to show off their designs.

Hon Karen Andrews, Member for McPherson – Minister for Industry, Science and Technology

It’s been great to see so many Gold Coasters out here enjoying the sunshine and the great weather and supporting a fantastic cause for our koalas right here on the Coast.

Hon Angie Bell, Member for Moncrieff

It was fantastic walking with the Gold Coast community from Burleigh to North Burleigh and back again. We’re back now and we’re going to watch the fashion show – we’re thrilled that we were able to help the koala community here on the Gold Coast.

Go Fund my Challenge Ambassador and Actor, Lincoln Lewis

It was great being down here today and seeing the amazing support from the Gold Coast for such a great cause. Every time I get lucky enough to see behind the scenes I’m left speechless and with goosebumps. Really made me smile seeing it have the same impact on others.

Carla Tooma – Hot Tomato presenter

Its been an absolutely incredible day down here at Burleigh Heads and so amazing to see so many Gold Coasters throwing their support behind this inaugural event to raise much needed funds to save our local koalas. The Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Dr Michael Pyne and his team do an amazing job and need all the support we can give them and I hope we’ve raised lots of money today to save our precious koalas.

Emily Jade O’Keefe – Hot Tomato morning presenter

Well, that was so much fun to walk up the beach with everyone wearing my favourite colour… a hot pink visor… hot pink makes you happy with the little koala ears. It was so great seeing so many people out here trying to break this world record attempt, but you know what… it didn’t even matter about that… it meant that we were here supporting the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and being with community, thats what we want after COVID, we want to be around people and we want to help. I think this whole last few months has made us realise that what’s important is looking out for each other and looking after our environment.

Michelle Massey – Holey Moley – the WOOHOO girl

That was so much fun, absolutely awesome to see everybody out and about, all in the name of the koalas. I love that we’re doing community events on the Gold Coast again and gosh, we need more… everyone just needs to get involved.

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital – Veterinarian – Dr Michael Pyne

It’s just amazing to see the support of the Gold Coast people to get behind Currumbin Wildlife Hospital , get behind the koalas and come down here to events to support today which was such an amazing event . Hopefully this will become an annual event that can grow and grow and we can come back next year.