Media Release


A Brisbane student has won a once in a lifetime research expedition to the Great Barrier Reef with Richard Fitzpatrick, the marine biologist and Emmy Award-winning ocean cinematographer, and another trip is up for grabs.

Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles today congratulated Gabriella Brancatini on winning the trip after she completed an online reef scientist quiz at the World Science Festival Brisbane.

“What a fabulous experience this will be for Gabriella who is in her first year at university studying agribusiness and sustainable agriculture. She will gain a direct insight into the health of the Reef and how we are all working together to ensure it continues to be a worldwide icon,” Mr Miles said.

The reef scientist initiative was supported by a community partnership involving the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Queensland outdoor media company, goa.

Stunning reef imagery was shared across THE goa GRID, goa’s network of digital billboards, to encourage Queenslanders to take an active interest in protecting the Reef by becoming reef scientists.

Those who completed the online challenge had their names up in lights on goa’s digital billboards as well as going in the draw to win a trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

goa’s CEO and Joint Managing Director Chris Tyquin said this was an important initiative for the company to be part of.

“As Queenslanders, it is up to us to be at the forefront of protecting our national treasure,” Mr Tyquin said.

“We see the partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation as the first step in fulfilling our duty towards conservation, innovation and research to protect the Reef. Our aim is to give the public the tools to join forces with the Foundation and start their own conservation journey.”

The initiative was launched at Brisbane’s World Science Festival in March where the Queensland Government and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation partnered with QUT’s coral reef scientists to present an interactive display to raise understanding of the key threats facing coral reefs and how we can help address them.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden said more than 2500 people completed the reef quiz, with half the entries coming from Queensland, 20% from New South Wales and 20% from Victoria. Even though the competition was only open to Australian residents, entries were also received from overseas reef enthusiasts from as far as China and the United Kingdom!

“The reef scientist initiative lets everyone who loves our Great Barrier Reef get involved in protecting it by finding out more, understanding the threats facing it, the solutions being developed and how their everyday actions can help keep the Reef great,” Ms Marsden said.

“I’m delighted to announce that we’re extending this opportunity by taking our Reef display to eight regional and south east Queensland community events over the next three months and offering another chance to win a coveted place on a research expedition to the Great Barrier Reef.”

Mr Miles said the Queensland Government had provided funding for the World Science Festival display to tour throughout Queensland starting with the Bundaberg Show in May and ending with the Royal Queensland Show in Brisbane in August.

“This display will reach more than 600,000 people throughout Queensland, travelling to Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Pine Rivers as Brisbane. Imagine what a difference we can make to the health of the Great Barrier Reef if all those people take action at a local level,” Mr Miles said.

The reef scientist initiative will continue until October and a second Great Barrier Reef trip is available to win. People can enter in person at a Reef Think Tank display or online. Entries close on 1 October 2017.

Visit to put your knowledge to the test and identify what’s great and not great for the Reef.

Reef Think Tank schedule

31 May – 2 June

Bundaberg Show

4 June

Ecofest Gladstone

14 – 16 June

Rockhampton Show

20 – 22 June

Mackay Show

30 June – 3 July

Townsville Show

19 – 21 July

Cairns Show

4 – 6 August

Pine Rivers Show

11 – 20 August

Royal Queensland Show Brisbane (The Ekka)