Every two years, QFF hosts the Reef Champion Awards to celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations working to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef.
Through the awards, the dedicated land managers, Traditional Owners, extension officers, industries and members of the community excelling in their efforts to help safeguard the future of the Reef are recognised for their efforts.
In November last year, the 2022 Reef Champion Awards saw a number of incredible farming enterprises awarded for their initiatives safeguarding the reef. In recognition of their contribution, QFF invites all category winners to attend a study tour to Herron Island in the March following the award ceremony. This year’s study tour was recently hosted from 8 – 10 March.
Herron Island is home to the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Research Centre – a world-class marine station on the Great Barrier Reef providing immediate reef access and extensive facilities for coral reef research and education. The study tour to the Island provides the winners with the opportunity to see, touch and feel the reef they are working to protect.
This year’s tour saw the following category winners take up the once-in-a-lifetime experience to celebrate their outstanding achievements in improving the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef.
- Denis Pozzebon – Reef Nutrient Stewardship Champion Award
- Linda Gregg and Mark Richards – representatives for Tony Rossi who won the Prince’s Trust Australia Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability Award
- Pacific Bio Technologies – Reef Conservation Champion Award
- Ema Parker – Reef Youth Champion Award
You can read more about their stories here.
The award winners enjoyed an opportunity to engage and interact with the Reef, from touring the Heron Island Research Station, which is investigating the way different factors impact coral growth and the reef ecology, to diving and snorkelling in the pristine waters and watching as green and loggerhead turtles laid their eggs, and their hatchlings emerged from the dunes to make their way to the water.
The work being undertaken by the farmers, advisers, traditional owners, and community groups shows what can be achieved if we work together.
Through these efforts and collaboration, we can transform the outlook for the Great Barrier Reef and ensure it can be protected now and into the future.
The Reef Champion Awards are funded by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program.