A new wave of reef enthusiasts have been showing their support in a big way to help keep the Great Barrier Reef great through a partnership involving the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Queensland outdoor media company goa.
One lucky Brisbane student, Gabriella Brancatini, has won the trip of a lifetime to the Great Barrier Reef with Richard Fitzpatrick, the marine biologist and Emmy Award-winning ocean cinematographer behind the camera for David Attenborough’s The Reef series.
Minister for the Great Barrier Reef, Steven Miles, congratulated Brancatini on winning the trip after she completed an online reef scientist quiz at the World Science Festival Brisbane.
“What a fabulous experience this will be for Gabriella who is in her first year at university studying agribusiness and sustainable agriculture,” he said.
“She will gain a direct insight into the health of the reef and how we are all working together to ensure it continues to be a worldwide icon.”
Stunning reef imagery was shared across THE goa GRID – goa’s network of digital billboards – to encourage Queenslanders to take an active interest in protecting the Reef by becoming reef scientists.
Those who completed the online challenge had their names up in lights across THE goa GRID as well as going into the draw to win the one in a lifetime trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director Anna Marsden said: “More than 2,500 people completed the reef quiz, with half the entries coming from Queensland, 20 per cent from NSW and 20 per cent from Victoria.
“Even though the competition was only open to Australian residents, entries were also received from overseas reef enthusiasts from as far as China and the United Kingdom.
“The reef scientist initiative lets everyone who loves our Great Barrier Reef get involved in protecting it by finding out more, understanding the threats facing it, the solutions being developed and how their everyday actions can help keep the reef great.
“I’m delighted to announce that we’re extending this opportunity by taking our reef display to eight regional and south-east Queensland community events over the next three months and offering another chance to win a coveted place on a research expedition to the Great Barrier Reef.”
Miles added that the Queensland Government had provided funding for the World Science Festival display to tour throughout Queensland, starting with the Bundaberg Show in May and ending with the Royal Queensland Show in Brisbane in August.
“This display will reach more than 600,000 people throughout Queensland, travelling to Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Pine Rivers, and Brisbane,” he said.
Chris Tyquin, CEO and joint managing director of goa, said: “As Queenslanders, it is up to us to be at the forefront of protecting our national treasure. We see the partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation as the first step in fulfilling our duty towards conservation, innovation, and research to protect the Reef.”
The reef scientist initiative will continue until October and a second Great Barrier Reef trip is available to win. People can enter at any Great Barrier Reef Foundation display or online.