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A well-regarded tourism professional with a wealth of experience across the sector joins the Board of Australia's lead management agency for the Great Barrier Reef.

Ms Elissa Keenan’s five-year appointment to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Board follows a merit-based process and appointment by the Governor-General.

Ms Keenan — holding the identified tourism industry position on the Board — brings broad-ranging experience in eco-tourism, stakeholder engagement, and communication.

Reef Authority Chair Dr Ian Poiner welcomed the appointment.

“I am looking forward to working with Ms Keenan — her extensive experience in the eco-tourism sector will be valuable in guiding the Reef Authority in its task of protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

Ms Keenan has a strong background in tourism, aviation, government, and peak body sectors and is passionate about marine, environmental, and wildlife conservation.

“I am honoured to be selected for this appointment,” she said.

“This is an excellent opportunity to channel my passion and commitment for both natural environments and tourism to protect this incredible ecosystem, a globally loved icon.

“I am keen to work closely with government and industry to ensure the best outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef, and those people who are living and working on the Reef.”

Ms Keenan is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Business (Communication), Bachelor of Business (Public Relations), and a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

She is currently the CEO of Ecotourism Australia and a non-executive Director of Reef Check Australia. Previous board appointments include Women in Aviation International (Australia).

Ms Keenan was appointed as a part-time member of the Marine Park Authority Board for five years from 7 February 2024. Under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 board members must have qualifications and extensive experience in relevant fields, and one member must have tourism industry experience.


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Media Hotline: (07) 4750 0846 |
Updated 22 May 2024
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