High standard tourism operator Lady Musgrave Experience welcomed Reef Guardian School students from Kalkie State School on an edu-tourism excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.
Master Reef Guides — who are recognised as the world’s leading reef guides, interpreters and storytellers on-board Lady Musgrave Experience — developed educational programs to enhance school curriculum and deliver classroom learning out the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
The Reef excursion has been made possible thanks to a donation from Rotary Club of Bundaberg Sunrise.
Kalkie State School has been active in the Reef Guardian Schools program for several years. The program is run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Kalkie State School senior teacher Judith Stutchbury said lessons in science and reef guardianship were explored further during the excursion.
“It’s great to experience the Great Barrier Reef rather than just talking about it in class,” Ms Stutchbury said.
The students applied the classroom learnings to their lives at home, as well.
“In our Science and Reef Guardian lessons we have been learning about the threats to the Great Barrier Reef, Climate Change being the biggest,” year six student Kaden Walmsley said.
“Before this trip, I had never been whale watching and was very excited to get out on the ocean and hopefully see some whales.”
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority assistant director reef education Holly Lambert encouraged other Australian schools to also support certified high standard tourism operators and participate in edu-tourism programs with expert Master Reef Guides.
“Our virtual education programs are internationally successful and award-winning, but schools located within the Great Barrier Reef coastline have an enviable opportunity to support local tourism operators, and inspire students to care about and protect the Reef,” Ms Lambert said.
Reef edu-tourism programs are available through some of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s recognised High Standard Tourism Operators and accredited Master Reef Guides.
Schools wishing to connect into these programs, can check out: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/access-and-use/visit-the-great-barrier-reef/choose-a-high-standard-operator/high-standard-tourism-operation and http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-partners/master-reef-guides
Image: Kalkie State School students on board the Lady Musgrave Experience. © Kalkie State School