Master Reef Guide | Eco Manager | Ocean Safari Cape Tribulation
Originally from New Zealand, Brooke moved to the Whitsundays in 2011 where she discovered a new-found passion for the Great Barrier Reef. Fast forward eight years, she is in her element as Eco Manager with Ocean Safari located in Cape Tribulation, the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. This region encompasses Brooke’s love for the reef, rainforest, and the off-grid lifestyle.
Brooke enjoys the unique opportunity to guide her guests from one World Heritage Area to another while using her platform to educate her visitors. Brooke’s role is as diverse as the environment that surrounds her, however, she says a highlight of her position at Ocean Safari is the chance to train new crew. She believes you can teach everything but passion, therefore is constantly inspired by new crew that naturally excel from having a genuine interest in not only the reef but enhancing guest experiences.
Brooke considers the Great Barrier Reef not only a destination but the worlds’ most valuable classroom, where you can find the best text book Mother Nature has ever written.
"Becoming a Master Reef Guide has added so many tools to my guiding tool belt and sparked so much more curiosity. The quality of specialist speakers within the field school was invaluable and inspiring! I feel the Great Barrier Reefs’ future is bright with such knowledgeable and passionate ambassadors out there in the field every day and I’m so proud to be one of them".
Master Reef Guide | Coastal Marine Pilot | Australian Reef Pilots
Australian Reef Pilots have been the ‘Guardians of the Reef’ for more than 100 years and, to this day, our Reef Pilots remain the most vital defence against calamitous maritime accidents. Vikram is one of the highly experienced Australian Reef Pilot Captains. His role takes him on-board to an array of ships from cargo ships to luxury cruise ships and everything in between.
Vikram’s ‘office’ is 2300km long covering an area the size of 70 million football fields with over 4500 ships going through this marine highway every year. It is Vikram and his colleagues as Reef Pilots who are doing their best in guarding the Great Barrier Reef.
It is a legal requirement for ships more than 70m in length to have a licensed Reef Pilot on-board to navigate them through the Great Barrier Reef.
"There are some really talented people from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds whose sole aim is to protect this World Heritage site and showcase it to the world. The Master Reef Guide program is a wonderful connection between these academics in the marine field and the workforce who present the Great Barrier Reef to our visitors".
Master Reef Guide I Environmental Manager I Senior Skipper | Ocean Rafting
Sarah has literally grown up on boats and amongst the tourism industry, with her parents starting the Hervey Bay Whale Watch industry in Australia when she was just a baby. Naturally, her passion and connection for the ocean and its marine life grew.
Sarah moved up the Queensland coast to the warmer waters of the Whitsundays and believes she has the best job in the world, getting to take people snorkelling amongst the Great Barrier Reef and relaxing on the gorgeous Whitehaven Beach.
“I am one of those people that shows you, you can live your passion, do it well and get recognised for it. I was the youngest female skipper in Queensland, I obtained my dream job, and now being selected to be part of the dream team of the Great Barrier Reef, as a Master Reef Guide”.
Master Reef Guide I Exco Marine Biology Manager | Experience Co – Reef Magic Cruises
Eric grew up in North Queensland and graduated from James Cook University in Townsville in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Marine Biology. Following university and extensive travel overseas, Eric settled back in North Queensland and followed his passion for understanding and exploring the Great Barrier Reef, where he has worked extensively in tourism. Eric currently manages Exco Biology — the biology department for large adventure tourism company, Experience Co. Experience Co operates several products in world heritage listed areas.
Exco Biology and their team of marine biologists pride themselves on quality interpretation being delivered to visitors, scientific monitoring and research. Eric is currently undertaking a PhD through James Cook University in coral reef fish forming aggregations on the Great Barrier Reef.
“Master Reef Guides introduced me to like-minded people who share a passion for interpreting natural world heritage sites.”
Master Reef Guide I Naturalist Guide I Marine Biologist | Heron Island Resort
Rachael has had the privilege of being the resident Naturalist Guide and Marine Biologist on Heron Island for the past three 3 years. Heron Island is a small coral cay on the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef, 72km off the Gladstone mainland.
Rachael’s passion for the marine environment started at a young age. Growing up on the Tweed Coast, she was always in the water, exploring and learning about the ocean’s residents. This passion led her to pursue a career as a marine biologist.
Being the resident naturalist guide on Heron Island, Rachael lives and breathes her passion for the Great Barrier Reef and its protection every day. Her role involves educating guests from around the world about the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area through guided reef walks at low tide, semi-submersible reef tours, island and bird walks, kayak tours, stargazing and hosting educational presentations.
Rachael delivers tours in a way that is fun and educational with so much enthusiasm and passion that it’s infectious. Rachael always includes a take home conservation message and especially enjoys educating the younger guests on marine conservation through the renowned Junior Rangers Program. Rachael believes the greatest joy in her role is seeing guests and staff inspired by the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and wanting to be a part of its protection.
“It was a privilege to be selected as a part of the Master Reef Guide program. The field school on Fitzroy Island in Cairns was a highlight. It was a great feeling to be in the presence of and learning from highly regarded experts. I enjoyed meeting, networking and learning from my fellow Master Reef Guides who share my passion. I am so proud to be a part of this support network of amazing and talented ambassadors for the Great Barrier Reef”.
Master Reef Guide I Dive Instructor I Reef Naturalist | Sunlover Reef Cruises
From teaching in Thailand, dancing with devil rays in Costa Rica and exploring the shipwrecks of the Bermuda Triangle, Luke landed in Australia in 2011 with big dreams. The Great Barrier Reef is everything Luke had hoped for and more. Every day, Luke continues to learn new and incredible things along the Great Barrier Reef and is excited by the fact that there is still so much more to discover.
“Working for Sunlover Reef Cruises as a Dive Instructor and Reef Naturalist gives me an incredible opportunity to inspire and educate many visitors to the Great Barrier Reef. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a Master Reef Guide and have such a positive influence on others”.
Master Reef Guide I Marine Biologist | Frankland Islands
Alessandra is a Coral Biologist whose passion for coral reefs started at the age of eight when her father took her snorkelling in the Red Sea for the first time. Since then, Alessandra always wanted to become a marine biologist. Alessandra has been a scuba diver for over 20 years and, while studying in the Red Sea, developed her interest for underwater photography.
Alessandra moved to Australia to study at one of the best university’s in the world for marine science, James Cook University, and hasn’t looked back. Alessandra has been working for Frankland Island Cruises since 2014 as a Marine Biologist. Every day she shares her love and knowledge with visitors and students from all over the world, while monitoring and researching the corals around Frankland Island and she loves it.
"Being part of the Master Reef Guide program is very rewarding. The program recognises the importance of knowledgeable guides out on the Great Barrier Reef. We educate our guests on the importance of looking after our precious environment with passion and enthusiasm. Making as many people aware of the repercussions of our actions is crucial for us all to protect this fragile ecosystem."
Master Reef Guide | Trip Director | Divers Den
Paolo was born and raised in Italy in the countryside south of Milan and was always in contact with nature. One of his idols growing up was Steve Irwin — Paulo was inspired by Steve’s irrepressible passion every time he encountered any kind of wildlife. Paulo studied Natural Sciences so he could follow in Steve Irwin’s footsteps and be a documentarist. He then moved to study Marine Sciences in the Maldives, where he learnt how to engage people with knowledge and passion for coral reefs.
Paolo continued to explore the natural world and has worked as an Environmental Guide and Naturalist Guide in several countries, all the while witnessing the importance of guides. Finally, Paolo landed in Australia and has begun his career as a Dive Instructor and Trip Director with Diver’s Den.
“This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life, being able to learn so much and share my passion with such amazing people during the training and through the network created made me so much richer! Let the fun begin…”
Master Reef Guide | Dive Instructor | Cairns Dive Centre
Richard was born in Sydney and became infatuated with the Great Barrier Reef on a family holiday to Linderman Island in 1978. Adventure driven, he was an Officer in the Australian Army for nine years.
Richard has a wealth of diving and life experience, first learning to dive in 1985, and became a Dive Instructor when he left the Australian Defence Force in 1995. He has worked as a Dive Instructor in Sydney, Airlie Beach, Townsville and now Cairns where he works for Cairns Dive Centre.
Richard’s passion for the Great Barrier Reef is reflected in his drive to better educate divers to respect and protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Master Reef Guide | Senior Dive Instructor | Seastar Cruises
Laura has been Seastar Cruises’ Senior Dive Instructor for three years, making her an important agent for change within the company and gaining her the appreciation of her students. Originally from Columbia, Laura has always had a passion for the environment.
Laura manages to work full time, study and volunteer in varied organisations, highlighting her passion and devotion for the Great Barrier Reef. Her multi-disciplinary skills make her adaptable and valuable in all the organisations she is a part of.
Laura’s love for the Great Barrier Reef and passion for the environment have become inspiring for many customers and co-workers. Combined with her communication and marketing skills, she makes the perfect candidate to represent the Great Barrier Reef on a local and international stage.
Laura will always go above and beyond her duties to help the environment and communicate her knowledge to others.
“I am incredibly lucky to be part of the Master Reef Guides. I have learnt lots and believe the Great Barrier Reef is the best office I’ll ever have”.
Master Reef Guide | Eco Guide | Tallship Adventures
Fiona has worked in the Whitsunday Marine Tourism Industry for six years. Fiona is an experienced sailor and deck hand, as well as a Marine and Freshwater Biologist. Fiona has worked for Tallship Adventures for over three years in her role that includes trimming the sails to in-water guiding and island walk interpretation.
Fiona has a thirst for knowledge and loves to research information about the Great Barrier Reef. Fiona is an experienced and dedicated Eye on the Reef surveyor who recognises the importance of contributing to the Great Barrier Reef’s long term protection by collecting valuable information about reef health, marine animals and incidents.
“The Master Reef Guide program has empowered me with the skills to train others and enlighten and inspire guests who visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in the Whitsundays region”.
Master Reef Guide | Marine Biologist | Ocean Spirit Cruises
Samantha is a Marine Biologist with the Quicksilver Group, a position she has held for over five years. Samantha combines her lifelong passion for the marine environment with her desire to educate people to deliver memorable experiences for thousands of visitors to the Great Barrier Reef each year.
Samantha has diverse experience across a range of marine tourism products including a remote tropical island resort, whale watching tours and as a Dive Master. Samantha’s drive to continuously grow has her working full-time whilst undertaking further studies. Samantha’s favourite thing about the Great Barrier Reef is that it reveals none of its secrets from the surface but once you get into the water and put your face below the surface, the most beautiful colours, shapes and textures appear.
Samantha has been recognised for her expertise in guiding through her graduation as a Master Reef Guide.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing group of people! I’ve never seen so much passion, enthusiasm and knowledge about the Great Barrier Reef in one place!"
Master Reef Guide I Dive Instructor | Spirit of Freedom and TUSA Dive
Michelle is a charismatic and engaging speaker who enjoys entertaining a crowd. Michelle has broad knowledge of the Great Barrier Reef from its evolution, to its development over the past 8,000 years, to the legacy of human use. Michelle is passionate to share her knowledge with future generations so they can learn from the past and be inspired to protect our natural world.
Michelle has been a Dive Instructor and trainer with Spirit of Freedom and TUSA Dive for the past nine years. Michelle has taken hundreds of dives and thousands of people diving on the Great Barrier Reef and she still enjoys every moment of it.
“Becoming a Master Reef Guide is absolutely the next step in my career. To enthusiastically share my new knowledge with current and new staff, with my worldly passengers and also through my social media platforms – the future of the reef depends on people like me that can inspire and motivate the thousands of people I encounter and work with each year”.