It started with an idea . . . the idea that everyone’s actions, big and small, are vital to the future of the Great Barrier Reef.

A small group of Australian business leaders felt there needed to be more done to protect and raise funds for the Great Barrier Reef. From this idea sparked by a chat at the airport, more discussions and meetings followed and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation began in 2000, reflecting the United Nations World Heritage Convention that encourages the establishment of a national foundation whose purpose is to invite donations for the protection of world heritage sites.

While there were many conversations leading up to the formal inception of the Foundation, one of the driving forces behind its establishment was Sir Sydney Schubert.

Sir Sydney was a builder of vision and ideals – he fostered infrastructure development around the state of Queensland and he was also integral to the creation of an agency to safeguard the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef. He was a founding board members of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a role he held for more than a decade. In 2001, he became the Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for the Reef, furthering his personal support for the protection of the Reef.

As part of the recognition for his highly respected work, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman announced last year that a reef located about 17.7 km east of Lizard Island will become Sir Sydney Schubert Reef. We are so pleased that this Reef will forever be named in memory of the man who did so much for the Great Barrier Reef.

Today, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation takes the lead in raising funds to develop and deliver projects grounded in science and on-ground action to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef and the world's coral reefs.