Surfriders Unite For Surfing The Spectrum



Gold Coast, Australia ~ Wednesday 28 June, 2023


Following on from Flotsam Festival’s Poetry In Motion event in May, representatives from several Gold Coast boardriding clubs regathered to present fellow event beneficiaries Surfing the Spectrum with a cheque for $2400. The sum was a culmination of funds from photographic art pieces auctioned at Poetry In Motion and a co-contribution from Burleigh Boardriders Club. The funding will enable the not-for-profit organisation Surfing the Spectrum to provide up to 100 free surf therapy sessions for autistic youth and their families.


The Poetry In Motion event staged during Flotsam Festival celebrated iconic surfers Michael ‘MP’ Peterson and Joel ‘Parko’ Parkinson through archival film edits by Simon Saffigna matched with poetry by Daniel Carmichael and a live music score. The evening culminated with an auction of signed framed prints of MP by Dick Hoole and Parko by Simon Williams overlaid with poetry to create collectable framed works. The junior development divisions of southern Gold Coast board riders clubs D’Bah, Snapper, Kirra, Alley, Palm Beach and Burleigh were each assigned a framed print for auction. Surfing the Spectrum was assigned two prints.


The following auction proceeds were raised:

D’Bah Boardriders $1000

Kirra Surfriders - $750

Palm Beach Boardriders - $550

Alley Boardriders - $1000

Burleigh Heads Boardriders - $500

Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club - $1000

Surfing the Spectrum - $1900


Burleigh opted to ‘play it forward’ and donate their $500 back to Surfing the Spectrum, bringing the total tally going towards the surf therapy initiative to $2400.


Burleigh’s president, Jed Denson, said: “Burleigh Heads Boardriders is proud to donate the proceeds from our Poetry In Motion project's charity auction to Surfing the Spectrum. We are amazed by the incredible work they do and the positive impact they have on the communities they assist. We extend our gratitude to the team at the Flotsam Festival for allowing us to make this contribution.”


Kirra Surfriders also pledged to put their donation back into assisting Surfing the Spectrum to hold a community surf therapy day in the New Year.


Surfing the Spectrum co-founder, Tahlia Anderson, said, “We couldn’t be more grateful for the support from the Flotsam crew for raising these funds, and to Burleigh and Kirra boardriders clubs for choosing to get behind us as well! We will now be able to hold another Gold Coast event early next year, and provide up to 100 free surf sessions for autistic youth and their siblings.”


The funds going to the remaining clubs’ junior development divisions will also benefit a variety of local youth programs. For Palm Beach Boardriders, this will include assisting with the cost of fortnightly junior training sessions they provide for their junior members, and financial assistance for youth members pursuing competitive pathways. Emerging talent Brayten Pringault from Palm Beach Boardriders was on hand to accept the contribution from Flotsam Arts Inc on behalf of his club.


President of Flotsam Arts Inc, Peter ‘Joli’ Wilson, said the giving back aspect of the Poetry In Motion event embraced the whole Flotsam Festival philosophy. “By bringing together local film maker, Simon Saffigna, writer Daniel Carmichael, and surf photographers all collaborating to honour two of our world-renowned local surfers Michael ‘MP’ Peterson and Joel ‘Parko’ Parkinson, it was very gratifying to see the money raised from the success of the night through an auction of artwork benefitting 'Surfing the Spectrum' a not-for-profit surf therapy initiative which works to positively impact the lives of autistic youth and their families by providing free learn to surf events. Local board riding clubs from Burleigh to D-Bah also received part of the auction money raised which will used to further the support the next generation of local young surfers,” Joli said.


Flotsam’s Poetry In Motion was made possible through the support of community sponsors and the City of Gold Coast.


Gold Coast Division 14 Councillor Gail O’Neill, who presented Surfing the Spectrum’s Gold Coast representative Byron Hoskins with the cheque on behalf of those present, said, “I am so happy to see that Division 14 support of this event as part of Flotsam Festival has resulted in funds being raised for our local boardriders clubs and for Surfing the Spectrum. Well done to all involved.“ 


Poetry In Motion was made possible thanks to the support of the following sponsors:

Foundation Partner: City of Gold Coast

Gold: Live Event Logistics, Ocean Plaza Resort, Marc Neumann

Silver: Rainbow Bay Realty, S&S Group

Bronze: Coolangatta Surf Club, Billabong, JS Industries, Harrison & Harrison

Special Thanks To: Cr Gail O’Neil, Southern Cross University, Laura Gerber MP, the Peterson and Parkinson families, Allstate Partners, Bewick Boards, Matt Bozina Art, Hammo Surfboards, Studio Pilates, The Surfboard Agency, Ghanda, Dick Hoole, Simon Williams.



Media Kit:

Images and video of the handover with Councillor Gail O’Neill, Surfing the Spectrum coach Byron Hoskins, Poetry In Motion co-founders Simon Saffigna and Daniel Carmichael, and Burleigh, Kirra and Palm Beach boardriders representatives are here:


ChequeHandover.jpg  L>R  Olivier Pringault (Palm Beach Boardriders), Ron Williams (Burleigh), Byron Hoskins (Surfing the Spectrum coach), Simon Saffigna (Flotsam Festival), Councillor Gail O’Neill (Div 14), Paul Sheehan (Kirra Surfriders), Sammy Crossley (Kirra Surfriders), Daniel Carmichael (Flotsam Festival), Brayten Pringault (Palm Beach Boardriders)

About Flotsam Arts

Flotsam Festival is a multi-site film and photography celebration inspired by surf culture. The third annual Flotsam Festival will run from Wednesday 1st May to Sunday 12th May, 2024. Flotsam Festival is presented by Flotsam Arts Inc., a not for profit association formed to create pivotal events that showcase the Gold Coast’s iconic surf culture through photo and film, and to create opportunities for photographic artists to extend their practice through mentorships, workshops and exhibition opportunities.

Flotsam Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast, Experience Gold Coast, and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

Contact details

Receive exclusive news

Are you a journalist or do you work for a publication?
Sign up and request access to exclusive news.

Request access

Receive Flotsam Arts news on your RSS reader.

Or subscribe through Atom URL manually