Australia serving as global center for training in coral reef management in June

Ecologic Eco Shamba Tree FarmTwelve coral reef managers from the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian oceans are spending three weeks in North Queensland to exchange knowledge and learn about innovative coral reef science, management and leadership. The fellows will travel between Townsville and Port Douglas, visiting government departments, research stations, farms, schools and other reef-associated operations. They will meet the people and visit the habitats that make the Great Barrier Reef so special.

The Caribbean and Pacific fellows are part of an Australia Awards Fellowship program funded by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade titled Improving coral reef management for sustainable development in the Caribbean and Pacific. Australia Awards are prestigious international Scholarships and Fellowships funded by the Australian Government to build capacity and strengthen partnerships. The program supports short-term study, research and professional development opportunities in Australia for mid-career professionals and emerging leaders. Reef Ecologic, an environmental consulting agency focused on coral reef management, is hosting the unique international fellowship program in Townsville and North Queensland.

Ecologic Low IslesFor many of the Fellows, this will be their first time snorkeling on the iconic Great Barrier Reef. The Fellowship also includes home-stays with local marine scientists as part of a cultural exchange. This is a rare and valuable experience as it brings together coral reef managers from such a variety of locations to gain and share expertise.

This week the Fellows has a unique experience to meet Steve Edmondson a leader and innovator in the Great Reef tourism industry. We met Steve at his tree farm “Eco Shamba” and heard about the importance of habitat, carbon storage and biofuel. In the afternoon we boarded Sailaway for a trip to Low Isles offshore from Port Douglas. We were given a guided tour by Steve and the Low Isles caretaker of the island and learnt about the management of renewable energy, weather station, coral reefs, heritage and were impressed by the beauty of the island and the passion and expertise of the people who care for it.

Reef Ecologic is founded and directed by former GBRMPA employees Dr Adam Smith and Dr Paul Marshall. “We have observed the global decline of coral reefs and see that training of future leaders is essential for turning the tide towards a more sustainable future. Australia is the world leader in coral reef conservation and marine resource management. This Fellowship is a chance to share Australia’s expertise with the world” said Dr Marshall.

Picture and interview opportunities

More Information: (for detailed brochure)

Media inquiries to:

Dr Paul Marshall 0428 889 812

Discover Sailaway's Reef Destinations


The Coral Cays are pure white sand surrounded by a large fringing reef system and crystal clear water.

Sailaway is the only operator from Port Douglas who has access to visit Mackay Coral Cays. This exclusivity means we have the area to ourselves to explore without restrictions.

Low Isles

Low Isles is an idyllic Coral Cay island. The reef around Low Isles comprises 150 species of hard corals and is dominated by 15 species of soft corals.

Guests of Sailaway have the opportunity to snorkel in the lagoon of the island with our marine biologist, offering an interesting and informative tour.

Sunset Sailing

Enjoy the thrill of pure sailing. A must do when visiting Port Douglas is to relax with an exhilarating cruise on board this first class sailing catamaran.

Soak up the peace and tranquillity of a tropical sunset over the Coral Sea as you sail along the coast off Far North Queensland.

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