Media Release


At the Senate Inquiry on 30 July, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation was asked about the origin of the Foundation. The Managing Director agreed to make further inquiries.

Further to these inquiries, it is our understanding that in 1999:

  • an initial meeting to discuss the formation of a charity to assist the Reef was held;
  • those who attended that meeting included Sir Sydney Schubert (a founding director of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority), Sir Ian McFarlane, Mr John B Reid AO and Dr John Schubert AO.

In 1998, the first severe mass coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef occurred.

In November 1999, the Great Barrier Reef Research Foundation was registered as a company with the following founding directors: Sir Sydney Schubert, Sir Ian McFarlane, John B Reid and David Windsor.

Sir Sydney Schubert resigned in 2001. The other three founding directors resigned in 2004. Dr John Schubert AO became the Chairman in 2004.

It is our understanding that Sir Sydney Schubert’s idea for forming the Foundation was to create a charity to bring science and business together with a common purpose of protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Eighteen years later, the Foundation continues to lead the collaboration of business, science, government and philanthropy for the benefit of the Reef.

Media contact

Glenn Byres m: 0419 695 435