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Reef education

A group of teachers from around Queensland are heading out to the Great Barrier Reef for an immersive training experience in one of the most inspiring places on earth.

Thirteen teachers from Reef Guardian Schools across the state are in the far north this week to take part in the Reef Authority’s professional development training program, delivered by THINK Learning studio.

They’ll also commit to picking up the mantle of Reef Guardian School Champions

The Reef Authority’s Assistant Director of Reef Education Melissa Lane said the training is a wonderful way for teachers to mark and celebrate 20 years of the highly successful Reef Guardian School program, which teaches students how to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.

“The Great Barrier Reef Place-Based Learning Discovery Workshop aims to develop teachers’ capacity and knowledge to deliver interdisciplinary project-based and place-based learning about the Reef.

“It is an immersive experience, combining hands-on activities and includes a range of classes, including two days on Green Island, a trip out to the Reef with presentations from a Master Reef Guide and GBR Biology and classes in Cairns.

“It’s also a great opportunity for these teachers from across Queensland to network with each other as well as the with the Reef Authority’s education team, with the aim of creating a network of Reef Guardian School Champions,” Ms Lane said.

The workshop is just one of many activities happening across the year to mark the 20th anniversary of the Reef Guardian School program, which officially celebrated its birthday in January.

The Reef Authority started the pilot program in 2003 with just five schools.  Since then, it has gone on to involve more than 300 schools, almost 10,000 teachers and 150,000 students each year.

Ms Lane said over its 20 years, more than 350,000 students across Queensland have attended a Reef Guardian School.

“From its humble beginnings, it’s become a key part of many school curriculums.  The program empowers students to learn about the multiple, cumulative, and increasing threats that face the Reef and coral reef ecosystems worldwide and how they can take informed action to improve the future for all reefs,” Ms Lane said.

As part of the 20 years celebrations, the Reef Authority is also seeking stories from past students and teachers of how the program has inspired and influenced their lives.

For more information about the Reef Guardian School program or to share your story, please visit the Reef Authority website

Contact: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Media: (07) 4750 0846 |

Updated 23 Mar 2023
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