Credit: Harriet Spark, Grumpy Turtle Creative

Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub

The Hub is an open collaborative network that connects people to share, learn, and pilot new collaborative approaches to care for reefs in the face of climate change.

#Value of a network

Together, we can shape a better future for coral reefs by sharing, learning and collaborating to deliver new scalable and highly impactful projects

The Cairns-Port Douglas region is home to multiple coral rehabilitation and stewardship projects supported by Traditional Owners, scientists, tourism operators and the community who are deeply committed to a healthy and resilient Reef. 

The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub (the Hub) network brings together individuals and organisations that want to learn, share and collaborate to pilot new approaches for assisted coral reef recovery, protection and adaptation that deliver benefits for the local reefs and community in the face of climate change. 

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#Latest news

Why a Hub network?

#Why a Hub network?

The Reef is an enormous and highly complex system - with both healthy and degraded areas. Reef pressures are growing and the window of time we have to shape a better future for Reefs and Reef communities calls for a more hands-on approach to caring for the Reef.

Well-designed coral protection and rehabilitation activities are one tool to help reef sites of critical value bridge a gap while urgent efforts to address climate change are underway. 

As active Reef protection and rehabilitation efforts increase, so does the need for more collaborative, scalable and highly impactful approaches.

The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub (the Hub) is a pilot project to strengthen and scale ways to deliver this work by growing learning, sharing and collaboration across local partners, projects underway in other regions, and the Reef-wide Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. 

This pilot model is using an action learning approach - working to collaboratively build a network that meets a range of needs, and to learn and adapt as we go. 

#Hub Activities


Increasing collaborative actions through pilot projects and streamlining ways to support on-ground delivery


Providing a platform for sharing and learning across Traditional Owners, tourism, government, research, and community to enhance knowledge sharing, trust and action


Growing pathways to connect a range of types and scales of work to foster impactful techniques & scaling pathways


Enabling access to tools and training to build skills and grow capacity for impactful reef recovery actions

A call for healing

#A call for healing

'If there was ever a time for us to come together that time is now.'

The Heart of the Reef—a call for healing developed at a co-design workshop with Traditional Owners and The Great Barrier Reef Foundation in 2021 articulates the deep interconnectedness that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have to Country.

It is an urgent call to action for partners, government and the world to join Traditional Owners in healing the Reef by understanding ‘that healing is about the relationship between Country and its People…one can’t heal without the other’. May we learn from the wisdom they share.

We include the Heart of the Reef statement here to mark our collective respect for Traditional Owners, their voices and their knowledge, past, present and future and a commitment to supporting collaborative approaches to designing and implementing the Hub network. As a network, we aspire to help respond to this call to action by supporting connections between knowledge systems, and by learning together to support holistic management to Reef Country. 


#Get involved

Abbi Scott, Hub Coordinator

Abbi Scott, Hub Coordinator

If you want to get involved, please reach out to the Hub Coordinator:

Email Abbi

#Hub Steering Group

A Steering Group, representative of the diversity of the Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub network and bringing relevant skills and expertise, provides localised strategic leadership to guide the design and operation of the Hub.

Phil Laycock - Independent Chair

Affiliation: PES Consulting

Stewart Lockie - Social Scientist

Affiliation: Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program and The Cairns Institute, JCU

Peppi Iovanella - Tourism

Affiliation: Down Under Cruise and Dive

Neil Mattocks - Reef conservation actions

Affiliation: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Johnny Gaskell - Reef management & industry engagement

Affiliation: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Brian Singleton - Reef Traditional Owner

Affiliations: Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation and Reef Restoration and Adaptation Science Traditional Owner Technical Working Group

Jennifer Loder - Community Partnerships

Affiliations: Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Ryan Donnelly - NGOs & business models

Affiliations: Reef Restoration Foundation, Terrain NRM

#Strategic & technical support

The Hub relies on strategic and technical advice and support for an action-learning approach with the Reef Restoration and Adaption Program.

Bruce Taylor - Human geographer

CSIRO, RRAP Engagement Subprogram co-lead

Matt Curnock - Social research scientist


Sam Stone-Jovicich - Social research scientist


On-ground projects

#On-ground projects

Want to learn more about on-ground projects to accelerate site-based recovery of coral and support Reef stewardship? Learnings from these projects will be shared across the Hub network.

Credit for top banner photo: Harriet Spark, Grumpy Turtle

The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government's Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The Hub is coordinated by TropWATER at James Cook University and enabled by the partnership's Community Reef Protection and Traditional Owner Reef Protection components, and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program with a network of local partners.