North Queensland: Do you want to make a difference to the future of the Reef?

Published: 13/03/2018

Townsville’s Dr Adam Smith is a coral reef science advisor who works in the Pacific, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean and the Great Barrier Reef.

He understands how our decisions and actions make a difference to the future of coral reefs around the world.

“Coral reefs are amazing and there are so many people in governments, enterprises and non-government organisations working around the world to improve their future,” he said.

To make a difference locally, Dr Smith volunteered for one of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Local Marine Advisory Committees. There are 12 Local Marine Advisory Committees along the Queensland coast that advise the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority about all things marine and coastal. Three are in North Queensland: Hinchinbrook, Townsville and Bowen-Burdekin.

"The Townsville committee provides a great forum to communicate and collaborate to improve the health of our planet, city, catchment, community and Reef,” Dr Smith said.

“I am proud our small committee developed two great projects — one looking at reef recovery at Magnetic Island, the other training people in leadership, sustainability and reef restoration."

Nominations for membership for the next committees’ three-year terms are now open.

The committees were created to enable two-way communication between local communities and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia’s lead managers for the Reef. They meet five times a year.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman Dr Russell Reichelt welcomes nominations from a broad range of representatives from Queensland coastal communities.

“The Great Barrier Reef is a precious natural icon that we manage on behalf of all Australians and people throughout the world,” he said.

“Queensland coastal communities are important to the future of the Reef — they’re right alongside the Reef and are very interested in its long term-health. I thank them for their willingness to become involved in Reef management.

“People often ask us what they can do to help the Great Barrier Reef. Joining a Local Marine Advisory Committee is a really effective way to make a difference because members provide advice to marine managers and they can also get involved in local community actions.

“All actions — big or small — are vital to the future of the Great Barrier Reef.”

Representatives from a range of interest groups are encouraged to apply to ensure the committees are as diverse as possible including fishing, Traditional Owners, tourism, farming, resources, recreation, education, research, conservation and shipping sectors.

The Marine Park Authority encourages a mix of backgrounds, experience and expertise and is keen to get more young people on the committees so those aged 18–30 are particularly encouraged to apply.

More information and nomination forms can be found at or call (07) 4750 0700. Applications close 19 April 2018.

Name: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Contact: (07) 4750 0846