When COVID-19 was at its peak six months ago, two close friends decided to get out and do their daily exercise early.
They set their alarms to catch the morning sunrise over Wollongong Harbour. After a couple of days walking the Blue Mile, the North Wollongong seniors were shocked by the amount of rubbish they saw strewn along the pathway and in the parklands.
Armed with shopping bags, gloves and litter picking devices, Elizabeth Honeysett and Julia Tracey, decided to go out and clean up the mess others had left behind.
It wasn't long before it became a daily ritual and this week the two women notched up their 200th day making the foreshore look the way they feel it should for everyone to enjoy every day.
Among those who observed them each morning was another North Wollongong resident Jeremy Lasek who has spent many years in the media and knows a good story when he sees one.
"I have been watching these two ladies for months. I am an early riser and they are always there so I stopped Elizabeth in her tracks last week and said I am going to do a story on you guys when you are together," Mr Lasek said.
"Today they were there so I took their photos."
Mrs Honeysett and Mrs Tracey told Mr Lasek they start their voluntary three-hour patrol at 5.30am every day and collect several bags full of garbage each morning.
We've become so focused on our job, sometimes we almost forget to look up and enjoy the sunrise.
"I reckon we've collected hundreds of thousands of cigarette butts and huge amounts of fast food wrappers and empty drink containers," Mrs Tracey said.
"This is such a beautiful part of the world, we never take it for granted and since we started collecting rubbish we've grown to appreciate it even more."
The two women don't feel threatened by the coronavirus on their daily walks outside. They said they take all the necessary precautions and ensure they social distance.
But that doesn't stop people walking by acknowledging them for their great work.
Mrs Honeysett and Mrs Tracey said dozens of people always say hello and things like 'good on ya' and 'keep up the good work'.
"Our only problem is trying to remember all their names," Mrs Honeysett said.
Onlookers have even insisted on buying them a coffee to say thank you.
"We've become so focused on our job, sometimes we almost forget to look up and enjoy the sunrise," Mrs Tracey said.
Mrs Honeysett and Mrs Tracey were not early risers prior to COVID-19. But they don't regret the change, particularly now as the weather starts getting warmer.
They know that will mean more people and more rubbish. And they are asking people to do the right thing and follow their lead.
"When you visit this beautiful location, take your rubbish home with you," Mrs Honeysett said.