New Chief Executive Officer appointed to Reef Authority

Australia’s lead management agency for the Great Barrier Reef welcomes the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Joshua Thomas, announced today by the Minister for the Environment.

Mr Thomas will take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on 18 March 2019 for a five-year term.

“The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most precious environmental assets and I’m delighted to be working with the capable staff at the Authority to protect it,” he said.

“The Marine Park Authority’s work is world-leading and particularly important given the threats coral reefs are facing globally as a result of climate change and other pressures.”

Mr Thomas brings to the role over 15 years of high-level experience in the public and private sector in Australia and overseas, including leadership in environmental policies and programs.

Mr Thomas is committed to enhancing Australia’s natural environment and has been a strong advocate for incorporating both contemporary science and Indigenous traditional knowledge into environmental management throughout his career.

This appointment aligns with the new governance arrangements for the Marine Park Authority, which came into effect in October 2018. Under these arrangements, the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer positions are now separate.

Authority Chairperson Dr Ian Poiner thanked Mr Bruce Elliot for acting as Chief Executive Officer while the recruitment process was underway.

Dr Poiner said he looked forward to a close working relationship with Mr Thomas.

“We welcome Mr Thomas’ appointment as Chief Executive officer and look forward to working with him to continuously improve Reef protection and management," Dr Poiner said.

Under the new governance arrangements, the Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the Board is responsible for the management of the Marine Park, including guidance on policy.

Appointments to the Marine Park Authority are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Australian Government Minister for the Environment.


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Media team: (07) 4750 0846 or email