Vale Joe Baker AO, OBE

Black and white photo of Sir Sydney Schubert, Graeme Kelleher AO and Dr Joe Baker

L-R: Sir Sydney Schubert, Graeme Kelleher and Dr Joe Baker.

One of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s foundational board members, Dr Joe Baker AO, OBE, has passed away.

Dr Baker dedicated his career to marine science and was passionate about marine conservation.

He was heavily involved in many organisations including Earthwatch, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Australian Heritage Committee, World Wildlife Fund, Australian Institute of Marine Science and James Cook University.

Dr Baker was also on the board of several international marine journals, spending over 50 years in marine science and conservation.

A significant milestone of his career was achieving World Heritage Listing for the Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Baker had the honour of appearing before the World Heritage Committee to nominate the Great Barrier Reef Region for inscription on the World Heritage list.

He advocated for holistic approaches to managing natural resources, believing it was important to consider social, cultural, economic and ecological values.

Remarkably Dr Baker authored three books, 42 State of the Environment Reports, over 100 scientific publications and presented more than 100 scientific papers.

He also loved his sport, playing and coaching rugby league for many years and was a board member of the Queensland Academy of Sport.  

His dedication to marine science and conservation, and to the Great Barrier Reef will be remembered.

Our thoughts are with Dr Baker’s family.