Awards recognise the amazing work of Reef champions

The Palaszczuk Government has congratulated the winners of the 2018 Reef Champion Awards, which recognised outstanding individuals and organisations who have taken exceptional steps to protect the Great Barrier Reef for future generations.

The Reef Champion Awards, run by the Reef Alliance with support from the Queensland and Australian Governments, recognised the great work of farmers, extension officers, young people and community groups.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch congratulated the Reef champions for their outstanding efforts to improve the quality of water flowing to the Reef.

“These awards highlight the amazing work individuals and organisations are doing in their communities to protect and preserve our natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef.

“My congratulations go to every finalist for their extraordinary efforts.

“The Reef champions include cane growers reducing nitrogen and pesticide run-off, community members planting trees and restoring wetlands and a 10-year-old who is reducing the use of single-use plastic straws in his coastal home-town.

“In this, the International Year of the Reef, it is fitting that we recognise the outstanding efforts of young Queenslanders who are influencing change as the future custodians of this world icon.”

Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to protecting the Reef for future generations as one of the Advancing Queensland Priorities.

“Improving water quality and proactively working to reduce climate change impacts are vital to ensure the Great Barrier Reef is protected now and for our future generations.

“Many of the champion farmers have made changes as a direct result of being involved in a project funded by the Palaszczuk Government.

“Earlier this year we committed a record $330 million in funding towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

“We will continue to support landholders to make long-term transformational changes that will reduce pollution run-off to the Reef.

“This includes expanding programs through new legislation next year, which will accelerate the work to achieve more ambitious water quality targets.”

2018 Reef Champion Award winners:

  • Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability Award Winner: Gerrard Deguara
  • Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability Award Runner-Up: Frank Mugica
  • Reef Nutrient Champion: David DeFranciscis
  • Reef Sediment Champion: Bob Harris
  • Reef Pesticide Champion: Phillip Deguara
  • Reef Conservation Champion: Mt Pleasant Station Management
  • Reef Extension Officer Champion: Allan Blair and John Day
  • Reef Community Champion: Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group
  • Reef Youth Champions: Nicole Nash and Gavin Rodman
  • Reef Youth Under 15 Champion: Sid Crawshaw

To learn more about the reef champions and their stories, visit:

The Reef Champion Awards are supported by the ‘Reef Trust: Reef Alliance – Growing a Great Barrier Reef’ project, which is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program.

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