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There are several Master Reef Guides in the Far North region, including locations such as Ribbon Reefs, Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation.

You can read the profiles of each Master Reef Guide in the Far north region below, including the High Standard Tourism Operator they work for, their professional experience, and what they specialise in.

Master Reef Guides are the world’s leading reef guides, interpreters and storytellers sharing the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

These reef ambassadors can provide up to date information on the Reef, share stories of the magical World Heritage Area and explain what you can do to make a difference.

Meet your Master Reef Guides - Far North

Alicia has loved all things ocean since she was five years old, when she received a book on marine sea creatures for Christmas. She fell in love with learning about marine life and has wanted to be a Marine Biologist ever since! Alicia went on to study Marine Biology at Deakin University in Warrnambool, braving the chilly Southern Ocean waters, but it was a study abroad exchange to Hawaii that she really fell in love with tropical environments, especially the importance of coral reef systems. Alicia completed her Honours in Marine Science at Murdoch University in Perth, and from her research she found how important marine interpretation and education was for the general public.

Alicia has been working on the Great Barrier Reef for Quicksilver Cruises since 2019, and she really enjoys talking to the various visitors that come to the reef. She finds that no matter how far or wide people have travelled, people really do want to learn more about the health and state of the reef and she takes great pride and joy in educating and informing everyone that passes through her tour on the importance of the reef, and how they can make a difference.


Alicia Urwin

Benny HowardMaster Reef Guide | Senior Eco Host | Ocean Safari/Ocean Rafting | Cape Tribulation/Whitsundays (Cohort 7)

Benny grew up on a farm on Kangaroo Island in South Australia and has always had a huge passion for wildlife and conservation. To start a career in this area he joined programs such as tracking endangered glossy black cockatoos and building nest boxes, and land care tree planting. Being surrounded by the Southern Ocean also gave him the opportunity to work closely with national parks at the Seal Bay conservation park introducing guests to the local Fur Seal population and played a role in the Fairy Penguin eco management program. 

His biggest passion by far has always been in and around the ocean with a dream to one day visit and continue this career path within the world heritage listed great barrier reef. For the last two and a half years he has been part of the team at Ocean Safari in Cape Tribulation/ Daintree Rainforest and also with Ocean Rafting in the Whitsundays.

Benny loves representing these incredible regions by showcasing the fringing reefs, outer reefs, amazing beaches and islands and the importance of understanding the amazing indigenous cultures. Giving them a unique, enjoyable and learned experience.

He enjoys connecting with his guests in a fun and engaging manner to inspire them to learn more about what they can do to make a difference in their daily lives.

“I believe awareness is the key and knowledge is power. We can’t ask people to look after something if they don’t appreciate or understand it, and love it as much as I do.”

Benny Howard

Originally a Kiwi, Master Reef Guide Brooke moved to Australia in 2011 to Daydream Island. She would watch as fast little yellow boats drove past, full of excited guests off on a day of exploring nature and the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Sometimes the boats would stop into the island to pick up and drop off guests. This was Ocean Rafting, and better yet on one particular day Brooke quickly realised there were two females, one at the helm and the other guiding the guests. Fast forward a couple of years and with no marine or boating experience, Brooke became an eco host with Ocean Rafting in the Whitsundays. She then discovered Ocean Rafting had a sister company in Cape Tribulation - Ocean Safari. Brooke visited the Daintree Rainforest and Mackay Reef for the first time in late 2014, by June 2015 she was their newest Eco Host and she never looked back. Over 8 years on and Mackay Reef is without a doubt her favourite place to be. Brooke is proud to be an Eco Host and Skipper for Ocean Safari Cape Tribulation, educating guests while having fun in nature with a majority female crew. "I will always appreciate the time past and present crew and industry friends have given me, these are the people that helped build my passion and lay the foundations to better understand the Great Barrier Reef. Becoming a Master Reef Guide has deepened and refined that same passion and knowledge so I can share this World Heritage Listed Area in great detail with guests from all walks of life. I also find it very rewarding sharing my learnings from the Master Reef Guide program with new and emerging industry crew, helping them develop and fine tune their own guiding skill set and knowledge base."


Master Reef Guide Brooke

Master Reef Guide | Skipper | Experience Co. | Tropical North Queensland (Cohort 4)

Master Reef Guide David has worked extensively on the Great Barrier Reef, throughout South East Asia, Indonesia, Papa New Guinea and the South Pacific. For the past 12 years his passion and interest for these magnificent ecosystems have never weakened.

As a Dive Instructor and Captain onboard Experience Co. he loves sharing his knowledge with guests and has the knack of being able to intrigue visitors with some of the most interesting critters that inhabit the reefs.

Master Reef Guide David Smith

Master Reef Guide | Marine Biologist | Quicksilver Group | Tropical North Queensland (Cohort 1)

Master Reef Guide Glen is a natural ambassador for the Great Barrier Reef and has worked for Quicksilver as a Marine Biologist since 1989. With an extensive educational and professional background, Glen has also travelled extensively around the world to gain a perspective of human impact on tropical marine ecosystems.

Glen's work aims to conserve coral reefs on a global scale by examining sustainable uses for coral reef systems and promoting the adoption of these alternatives through education. He is passionate about coral reefs and rainforests and chooses to live in Far North Queensland with his wife and two children.

“You can dive on a World Heritage coral reef in the morning, splash about under a waterfall in a World Heritage rainforest in the afternoon and still be home in time for dinner and a movie”.


Master Reef Guide Glen

Hayley fell in love with the Great Barrier Reef at the young age of seven. Her first visit to the Great Barrier Reef was on board Quicksilver Cruise’s in Port Douglas.  This sparked overwhelming emotions leaving her with an unforgettable ‘mermaid like’ buzz. Growing up the feeling never left; inspiring Hayley to complete a Masters Degree in Marine Biology and become a published scientist.

Hayley has worked on the Great Barrier Reef as a researcher and surveyor for the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Great Barrier Reef Park Authority and James Cook University. Since 2019, she has combined her love of performing and the Reef to become a full-time mermaid with Quicksilver Cruises, travelling to Quicksilver’s Pontoon and Low Isles off Port Douglas.

“Every day, I am still amazed by the Reefs natural beauty. Every day, I am still curious to learn more. The mermaid-buzz never disappears when your office is the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. It is an incredible honour to become a Master Reef Guide and be surrounded by the ultimate brain trust for the Great Barrier Reef! Being a Master Reef Guide with Quicksilver will allow me to continue to share my passion and curiosity for the Reef, furthermore inspire and educate a wide demographic of people.”


Master Reef Guide Hayley

Master Reef Guide | Marine Biologist | Snorkel Guide | Wavelength Cruises | Tropical North Queensland (Cohort 1)

Master Reef Guide Kasey has always been intrigued by the diverse ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef. Her combined passions for spending time in the big blue, experiencing the Reef, science communication and photographing the Reef’s diversity, led her to Cairns. She now works for Wavelength Cruises in Port Douglas.

After completing a Master Degree in Marine Biology and Ecology, Kasey has spent many years volunteering for a variety of reef-based projects in Papua New Guinea, Orpheus Island and Lizard Island. Kasey has a keen interest in the reef bio acoustics and herbivorous fish.

Working for Wavelength has not only satisfied my hopes to spend time on the Great Barrier Reef, but has also taught me to engage and educate audiences on the reef and its health. I hope to continue my aspirations and further my skills in science communication and fostering positive environmental attitudes and actions as a Master Reef Guide.


Master Reef Guide Kasey

Master Reef Guide | Skipper | Dive Instructor | Experience Co. Calypso Reef Cruises | Tropical North Queensland (From: Great Britain)(Cohort 3)

Master Reef Guide Sam Herridge has a love for the water that goes back to his childhood days, and was supercharged when he first visited the Great Barrier Reef for the first time in 2015.

Since then he has developed as a dive professional, travelling around the Indo- Pacific region in Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand before returning to his roots on the Great Barrier Reef to stay!

“This is the first time in a long time that I have finally felt as though I have met people who really care about the same things as I do and that I am no longer alone in trying to put forward my beliefs about the world and particularly the ocean. I am proud to represent something that I believe in so strongly and am more motivated to do so.”


Master Reef Guide Sam

Tahn MillerMaster Reef Guide | Dive Instructor | Wavelength Reef Cruises | Far North (Cohort 5)

Tahn’s story starts in a small coastal town in New South Wales called Crescent Head, and then later Hat Head, Kempsey.

Like many children from Kempsey, Christmas meant a caravan holiday to the beach. Sometimes for a week; other times, if we were lucky, three weeks. It was an age of wonder and discovery!

Fast forward 20 years and Tahn is on the Great Barrier Reef for the first time, just about to do his first scuba dive in open water. “I remember my anticipation; I see the same look in the faces of the guests on the outward journey.  As soon as I put my face underwater, my life was completely changed, my world view shifted, and I was that little boy again looking for hiding invertebrates and gifts of other unknown things.”

That week changed Tahn’s entire life, he has never since left the Great Barrier fact, and he did not even catch his return flight.  That was 10 years ago and he continues his work on the Great Barrier Reef to this day.

“The Great Barrier Reef is such a spectacular place and I absolutely love to see people connecting to it just like I did on my first day. It reminds me daily of just how lucky we are to be able to walk and swim on this Earth.”


Master Reef Guide Tahn

Kelly RawdingMaster Reef Guide | Biologist & Guide | Sailaway Port Douglas | Far North (Cohort 7)

From a young age, Kelly has always been fascinated by the underwater world. The more documentaries she watched, aquariums she visited, books she read, she knew in her past life she was most definitely a fish. As she completed her bachelor’s in marine biology, she realised administration life just wasn’t going to cut it- she was a fish at heart after all. So, she embarked on finding a way to always be in the ocean. She entered the marine tourism industry on a dive master internship on Moreton Island and realised, this was how she would live this life as a fish.

After completing her dive masters and university degree, she applied for a position as Marine Biologist/Deckhand/Snorkel Guide on the beautiful sailing catamarans of Sailaway in Port Douglas.

"It was love at first sight: Port Douglas, the sailing and most importantly the stunning reef at Low Isles and Mackay Coral Cay!"

Kelly Rawding

Lucy-Rose SeearyMaster Reef Guide | Marine Biologist | Quicksilver Cruises Port Douglas | Far North (Cohort 7)

Lucy-Rose Seeary is a marine biologist and conservationist who has always had a desire to protect the natural environment. This passion led her on a journey in the field of marine science where, to this day, she is inspired by the things she learns and the people she learns from.

With a degree in biodiversity and conservation, and published research under her belt, she began putting her knowledge to use in the field. She assisted in sea turtle conservation in Papua New Guinea and educated guests on whale-watching boats in Western Australia, before finally arriving at the ultimate marine destination, the Great Barrier Reef.

Her journey led her to Quicksilver Cruises in Port Douglas, where today she is a marine biologist sharing her passion for the reef with visitors from around the globe. Lucy-Rose loves the opportunity to foster the excitement of those who visit the reef and aims to instill in them an appreciation for the remarkable ecosystem. The Great Barrier Reef serves as the perfect backdrop for her to teach guests how they can protect the reef from near or far, in order to safeguard our oceans and the creatures that inhabit them.

Lucy-Rose Seeary

Master Reef Guide Markus grew up in Germany and discovered his fascination for tropical coral reefs during his first SCUBA dive in Brazil. This inspired him to study Marine Biology in Australia and he has since found himself at home in Port Douglas. He followed his passion of capturing and sharing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef while working as an underwater photographer on Quicksilver vessels for over three years. Since 2021, Markus has been engaging with reef visitors on guided snorkel tours and during marine biology presentations aboard Wavelength Reef Cruises on daily trips to Opal Reef.


Markus Mende

Master Reef Guide 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.

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 Richard

Updated 12 Feb 2024
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