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Reef Check Australia

Staff

The Reef Check Foundation, Ltd. Board of Directors:

  • Andy Dunstan
  • Andrew Gillespie
  • Jos Hill
  • Peter Payne
  • John Rumney

Jos Hill is Managing Director of Reef Check Australia. She is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and Marine Scientist with a BSc Hons in Biology from the Univeristy of Leeds (UK) and a MApSci in Marine Natural Resource Management from James Cook University (Australia). Initiated and supported by Undersea Explorer (2001), Jos set up Reef Check Australia’s flagship GBR Project, which expanded Reef Check monitoring to dive sites through the GBR. Jos founded Reef Check Foundation Limited (Australia) in 2004 to house Australian and ultimately Indo Pacific-wide Reef Check projects.

Jos’ vision is to enhance the conservation of Australian and ultimately Indo Pacific coral reefs through:

  • Establishing a system which enables community coral reef monitoring to provide high quality and timely information to coral reef scientists and managers;
  • Increasing general public support for sustainable coral reef management practices.

With extensive coral reef monitoring experience in the Asia Pacific region Jos has tailored the Reef Check protocol and projects to fit management needs in Australia, and has worked to standardise training and data quality through the country to enhance its effectiveness for local management needs.

Jos is the primary author of the Methods for Ecological Monitoring of Coral Reefs: A Resource for Managers. Version 1 with Dr Clive Wilkinson, authored the Reef Check Australia Training Course and is a major author or Reef Check International’s EcoAction program and standard Reef Check EcoDiver course. As a Reef Check Instructor Trainer, Jos has led a number of Reef Check Training workshops in the Indo Pacific and in Mexico.

 

 

Peter Payne is married with two children and owns two successful businesses – a registered training organisation and a safety compliance company. Peter has built up both businesses from humble beginnings and now operates nationally. He brings a broad range of business management skills to the Reef Check board.    

Peter has over 32 years of diving experience with the last 17 as a dive instructor.  In 1995 he became a Course Director with the PADI organisation and has taught over 1,300 dive instructors.  He has been involved in protecting the reef since 1993 and directly involved with Reef Check Australia since January 2004 and joined the Board of Directors in 2006.  Peter has continually supported Reef Check Australia with his extensive diving & training background and provides input into Reef Check Australia’s dive course standards and dive policies.

 

John Rumney has made living on the GBR since 1977 first in commercial fishing, light game charters, and followed by day and live aboard diving, research and conservation coordination.

John is very active in marine conservation circles and is one of the original founders of Low Isles Preservation Society (LIPS) in 1993 and acted as President for 4 years from1998-2002. John was also conservation workshop co-ordinator for the 1995 Cairns Dive Festival: “The commercial advantage to saving the environment” or “Cashing in on Conservation”. John has a long-term working relationship with the World Wide Fund for Nature and was very active in the GBR Campaign to rezone the GBRMP in 2004. John is currently working with WWF and PEW Environment Group (the conservation arm of the Pew Charitable Trust) on the Coral Sea Campaign.

In addition to Reef Check, John currently sits on the following committees:

  • TRRAC 2002-2008 (Tourism and Recreation Reef Advisory Committee for GBRMPA) representing Conservation, Diving Operation, Live Aboard and
  • LMAC (Local Marine Advisory Committee)
  • CHARROA President (2000-2008) (Cod Hole and Ribbon Reef Operators Association) the Live aboard dive industry association. CHARROA presently has a MOU with the Coral Sea Fisheries Association in relation to the fisherman voluntarily limiting their fishing activities due to the recognised importance of the Mega fauna to the Dive Industry.

Through these different roles John has been able to liase with the community as well as educate industry of the importance of conservation.  John has worked with the dive industry, recreational fishers, tourism and local business to bring a level of awareness of the importance of a healthy reef to each stakeholder group.

“Having been a long term user of the GBR a keen fisherman, spear fisherman and diver I understand and can relate with many of the different stakeholders desires and fears and believe through informed dialog most stake holders grow to understand that research with the resulting conservation are important and desirable for the benefit for all.”

In 1995 John joined forces with Rino and Dianna Grollo to form the Undersea Explorer (UE) project: Harnessing the tourist dollar to fund Research and Conservation. John was concept originator, General Manager, Skipper and was also responsible for Marketing for UE between 1995-2007. During this time UE initiated a wide rage of programs and research projects to include Dwarf Minke Whales, Nautilus, Sharks, Water Quality, Bio erosion, Coral Monitoring and Reef Check.

“Reef Check accelerates the process of increasing awareness through the community because the volunteers are part of this community”.

Jos Hill is Managing Director of Reef Check Australia. She is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and Marine Scientist with a BSc Hons in Biology from the Univeristy of Leeds (UK) and a MApSci in Marine Natural Resource Management from James Cook University (Australia). Initiated and supported by Undersea Explorer (2001), Jos set up Reef Check Australia’s flagship GBR Project, which expanded Reef Check monitoring to dive sites through the GBR. Jos founded Reef Check Foundation Limited (Australia) in 2004 to house Australian and ultimately Indo Pacific-wide Reef Check projects.

Jos’ vision is to enhance the conservation of Australian and ultimately Indo Pacific coral reefs through:

  • Establishing a system which enables community coral reef monitoring to provide high quality and timely information to coral reef scientists and managers;
  • Increasing general public support for sustainable coral reef management practices.

With extensive coral reef monitoring experience in the Asia Pacific region Jos has tailored the Reef Check protocol and projects to fit management needs in Australia, and has worked to standardise training and data quality through the country to enhance its effectiveness for local management needs.

Jos is the primary author of the Methods for Ecological Monitoring of Coral Reefs: A Resource for Managers. Version 1 with Dr Clive Wilkinson, authored the Reef Check Australia Training Course and is a major author or Reef Check International’s EcoAction program and standard Reef Check EcoDiver course. As a Reef Check Instructor Trainer, Jos has led a number of Reef Check Training workshops in the Indo Pacific and in Mexico.

 

Cherryn Huggon is the Administration Coordinator for Reef Check Australia’s head office in Townsville and joined Reef Check in July 2007. Cherryn holds Certificate 3 & 4 in Business Administration and Certificate 4 in Business (Governance) for non profit organisations. Cherryn has spent 6 years volunteering with the Country Fire Authority in various capacities amongst numerous other volunteer activities that fill her spare time. In-between raising her family Cherryn has acquired various experience as a small business operator as a Family Day Care Provider and other administrative roles where she acquired her interest in helping with organisational development of non-profits.

Cherryn has been involved with the establishment of Reef Check Australia’s administrative policy and procedures as well as providing valuable input into many other parts of the organisation.

 

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