Development or Dunes? The Long Struggle to Protect Perth’s Scarborough Beach Coastal Reserve



Over the course of 80 years, Scarborough Beach in northern Perth has become an iconic slice of Western Australia’s beach culture. Meanwhile, protection of its unique coastal dune system, severed and degraded since 1932, has required decades of vigilance and relentless community advocacy. Its ultimate protection from development in 2019 after over 35 years of struggle demonstrates the power of local advocacy to effect change. Yet the far greater force of climate change is now impacting the coastline, one which advocacy has little power to halt.

Author Biography

Robyn Gulliver, University of Queensland

Dr. Robyn Gulliver is a multi-award-winning environmentalist and researcher who focuses on environmental advocacy and the social psychology of collective action. She also uses digital humanities tools to analyze big data collected on the communication characteristics and outcomes of environmental campaigns. She has served in numerous local and national environmental organizations including as a councilor for the Australian Conservation Foundation and board director for the Commons Social Change Library. She is working on three books to be published in 2021 on civil resistance against climate change, the social psychology of effective activism, and women’s experiences within the Australian environmental movement.