Revamp for Reef Check Australia

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There will be a change in direction for Reef Check Australia (RCA) this year, with three new board directors joining the team and a reshaping of the organisation’s focus.

The newest members of the board, Dr Terry Done, Mark Nilsen and Greg Bruce, will be shaking things up with their broad range of expertise, ranging from environmental sustainability and behavioural change to coral reef ecology and financial advice.

Together, the party at RCA will be working on increasing the organisation’s profile within the local and state areas, and expanding their focus from monitoring coral reefs in Queensland to include greater efforts in creating awareness and education.

Dr Terry Done is an internationally renowned marine biologist and coral reef researcher who has written over 60 scientific papers and book chapters.

He has advised government in Australia, the US and Indonesia on coral reef management.

His extensive knowledge around coral reef monitoring and management will be advantageous in expanding Australia’s awareness of the crisis facing coral reefs and the importance of environmental conservation.

Mark Nilsen has a degree in marine biology and with his extensive diving skills has been helping out as a survey volunteer with RCA since 2004.

Professionally, he has been working for many years as a financial adviser and is also qualified as a PADI open water scuba instructor. His diverse range of skills will be greatly beneficial to the new direction RCA is taking.

Executive manager of the Integrated Services Department for Townsville City Council, Greg Bruce has been specialising in and leading an integrated coastal water energy cycle management approach to on-ground sustainability outcomes for the past 14 years.

His expertise in sustainability and behavioural change, coupled with his military training as an underwater combat diver, makes him an exciting new board member.

Managing director of Reef Check Australia, Jo Roberts, is looking forward to having the new board members on side.

“It’s going to be a wonderful year for Reef Check, with the new members and new direction for the future.

“I think Australia will be seeing a lot more of us this year, with more education and awareness campaigns kicking off later in the year,” Ms Roberts said.

Reef Check Australia, which is based in Townsville and South East Queensland, is a not-for-profit environmental organisation that connects the Australian community to coral reef conservation.

Established in 2001, RCA combines research and education in its pursuit of rehabilitating and protecting Australia’s endangered reefs.